In­dia: Ger­ber Tech­nol­ogy helps ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ers so­lid­ify their cut­ting room op­er­a­tions

Stitch World - - TECH TRACK -

Ap­parel in­dus­try works on one sim­ple prin­ci­ple: in­tel­li­gently re­duce the cost of op­er­a­tion to im­prove prof­itabil­ity. How­ever, it de­pends on the ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ers’ will­ing­ness as to how they can ef­fec­tively step up in or­der to re­duce the cost, im­prove ef­fi­ciency and pro­vide the de­sired qual­ity to their cus­tomers. Au­to­ma­tion is the so­lu­tion and Ger­ber Tech­nol­ogy, a USbased tech­nol­ogy provider of highly flex­i­ble and au­to­mated cut­ting so­lu­tions, is serv­ing the pur­pose of the in­dus­try since long. Re­cently the com­pany par­tic­i­pated in GTE, Ban­ga­lore in as­so­ci­a­tion with its In­dian dealer IIGM and gar­nered at­ten­tion of vis­i­tors not just for au­to­ma­tion, but also to know the ac­tual di­rec­tion of the in­dus­try es­pe­cially in Ban­ga­lore and how Ger­ber can help them im­prove to sus­tain for a longer term. “By in­te­grat­ing cut­ting rooms with soft­ware sys­tems, the chances of er­ror and cost per hu­man in­put can be min­imised,” quoted Sa­jith Ku­mar, Vice Pres­i­dent, IIGM.

Since cut­ting room is one of the most im­por­tant areas in an ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ing unit, cost can be and should be con­trolled to the max­i­mum in this area only rather than wait­ing for the cut pieces to go on the sewing floor and then putting enor­mous ef­forts in cost sav­ing. Ac­cord­ing to Sa­jith, Ger­ber ed­u­cates the ap­parel in­dus­try a lot apart from pro­vid­ing them au­to­mated cut­ters and, there­fore, the tra­di­tional way of work­ing is get­ting ob­so­lete grad­u­ally.“CAD was ba­si­cally a two- di­men­sional so­lu­tion and ev­ery­body used to say that pat­tern de­sign­ing, grad­ing, marker mak­ing, au­to­matic nest­ing and sav­ing fab­ric were the only roles it plays. Now, the cus­tomers are think­ing one step ahead in plan­ning which means when an or­der comes in, the cut­ting room distributes size ra­tios to make mul­ti­ple marker not af­ter buy­ing the fab­ric, but be­fore they buy the fab­rics as our cus­tomers are re­al­is­ing that there is no point in buy­ing the fab­ric first and then sav­ing it,” as­serted Sa­jith.

Ex­plain­ing a key tech­ni­cal point, Sa­jith fur­ther added that notches are very im­por­tant guid­ing fac­tors for the sewing process. “If you have an in­ter­nal or ex­ter­nal notch, you will not be able to have zero buf­fer against touch­ing an ad­ja­cent piece. But, Ger­ber Tech­nol­ogy is in­tel­li­gently han­dling it with its Ac­cumark soft­ware and it's called ‘dy­namic buffer­ing’,” ex­plained Sa­jith. When a pat­tern is made, a lit­tle bit of dy­namic buf­fer is given ei­ther on one side or the other ( based on the qual­ity re­quire­ment) and then it goes to the auto nest­ing and will gen­er­ate an ef­fi­cient marker for au­to­matic cut­ting with­out com­pro­mis­ing qual­ity in crit­i­cal pieces.

Markedly, a lot of changes are hap­pen­ing in prod­uct de­vel­op­ment too and GER­BER PLM is the best ex­am­ple of this. Most of the cus­tomers are look­ing to stream­line their con­cept to pre- pro­duc­tion digi­ti­sa­tion and this adap­ta­tion is termed as ‘em­brac­ing the dig­i­tal re­al­ity’ by Ger­ber. Sa­jith elab­o­rates that ad­vance­ments in PLM are helping the users to se­cure and organise the dig­i­tal de­signs in such a way that they can re­trieve and use them at the later stages or use the past in­for­ma­tion for fu­ture. “Pre­vi­ously, the data was kept in dis­torted fil­ing struc­ture, but now Ger­ber has so­lu­tion to col­lab­o­rate be­tween Adobe il­lus­tra­tors and Corel Draw. Also, mer­chan­dis­ers mostly use Mi­crosoft Ex­cel which has also been up­graded to PLM forms,” boasted Sa­jith. Ac­cord­ing to him, Ger­ber’s Yu­niquePLM helps com­pa­nies work at a faster pace than ever be­fore and have con­trol of the full prod­uct de­vel­op­ment process from con­cept to pro­duc­tion.

How­ever, tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tions have al­ways been there. The thing is who is show­ing in­ter­est in it and how Ger­ber is con­vinc­ing the cus­tomers to in­vest in its prod­ucts. Ban­ga­lore is one such city in In­dia which is not very re­luc­tant when it comes to adopt­ing tech­nol­ogy. “When we look at our busi­ness in In­dia, it's not that bad as it is per­ceived and talked about in the mar­ket. Busi­ness is grow­ing ac­tu­ally as far as Ger­ber is con­cerned,” said an op­ti­mistic Sa­jith.

Notably, though ex­porters are shift­ing to­wards re­mote areas, cut­ting needs skilled man­power and acute short­age of skilled masters is al­ways there in new lo­ca­tions. “Since the busi­ness is mov­ing to the sur­round­ing areas, re­lo­ca­tion of skilled man­power is some­how dif­fi­cult and so this sce­nario is ac­tu­ally help­ful for Ger­ber as peo­ple are look­ing for more au­to­ma­tion not just from fab­ric sav­ing point of view but also in terms of pro­duc­tiv­ity and con­sis­tency of cut­ting,” com­mented Sa­jith.

It’s worth not­ing here that Ger­ber sold 25+ cut­ters in In­dia in 2017 out of which 60 per cent cut­ters were sold in South In­dia alone. “The num­ber of cut­ters we are sell­ing has not fallen since last 6 years and we are hope­ful to in­crease our cus­tomers’ base in 2018,” con­cluded Sa­jith.

Sa­jith Ku­mar, (3rd from right), Vice Pres­i­dent, IIGM with his team. Sa­jith be­lieves Ger­ber’s cus­tomer base will in­crease in 2018

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