New fabric cutting technology

We’re thrilled to feature in a Big Furniture Group article on Pathfinder Cutting Technology.

We’ve invested in a new cutting machine which:

  • Speeds up the cutting process
  • Improves efficiency
  • Minimises waste

Andy Brown, Financial Director at Alliance Office Systems discusses further:

How were you cutting before?

Previously, we relied on skilled operatives to mark-up templates and then manually cut them using electric knives.

Why did you decide to automate your fabric cutting?

Training fully skilled cutting operatives takes several years, which could become a challenge as our business grows. Therefore, we decided to automate the cutting process to simplify the operation, increase efficiency, maximize fabric yield, and reduce waste.

How has Pathfinder improved your business?

Alliance has an excellent reputation for being one of the fastest manufacturers in the office seating industry. The Pathfinder machine will help us maintain, and potentially enhance, this reputation as we continue to grow. Cutting time has significantly improved, particularly when cutting soft seating, breakout furniture, and more complex pattern layups, where the time savings have been substantial. Nesting the cut parts, especially on larger layups, has significantly improved material yield and helped us minimise waste. Although we haven’t developed any new product lines since the machine’s installation, I am confident that the software and the machine will enable us to develop new models much faster than before.

How easy was it for your staff to learn?

All of the software is very easy to learn. The pattern-making software is the most challenging, but the basics can be learned within a day or two. The machine operating software is much more straightforward, and we’ve trained new operators from within the company in just half a day.

How does Pathfinder compare with other cutters you’ve used?

We haven’t had any automated cutting machines previously, but we evaluated numerous options before purchasing the Pathfinder. We found the other machines to be overly complicated for furniture applications and more suited to apparel.

Would you go back to manual operations now?

We still have the capability to cut manually for smaller items, but we are increasingly shifting to the Pathfinder machine due to its clear benefits. Therefore, I can confidently say we will not be going back to manual operations.

Would you recommend Pathfinder?

Yes, we would have no hesitation in recommending Pathfinder. The level of support, from ordering to installation and after-service, has been excellent.

Read the full article here

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