Newton, NC 09/23/2014
Southern Glove, a manufacturer of industrial work gloves and safety products invested in its first Pathfinder cutting machine in 2008 to achieve a significant increase in yield as well as material savings.
The industrial glove manufacturer has a facility in Honduras where their products are cut and assembled. To cut product component parts, the facility used old presses previously used in the automotive industry to stamp out automotive body parts. However, this cutting process required dies, which were very costly to purchase and maintain. Even a change in pattern to make a new glove required an investment of over $30,000 in new dies; they were also limited to using narrow fabric, which capped the potential of increasing their material yields.
Following a comparative analysis of cutting machines from brands such as Lectra, Gerber and Pathfinder, Southern Glove purchased its first Pathfinder cutting machine in October 2008. The installation at the Honduras facility was completed very smoothly and they were up and running in a day after the machine was delivered, with the operators trained within two weeks.
The Pathfinder was operated at the Honduras factory, which was not climate controlled, in temperatures in excess of 100°F or 38°C along with an average relative humidity of more than 80%. The power supply was also not reliable resulting in many brownouts and blackouts. In spite of these extreme conditions, the Pathfinder cutting machine performed extremely well with minimal downtime.
Since the installation of the Pathfinder, Southern Glove has been able to realise an increase in yield of over six percent and an annual material savings of over $100,000. Unlike before, the facility is able to change patterns on the fly and offer customers more value added services in the form of customised products. The Pathfinder cutting machine was able to deliver excellent financial benefits and competitive advantages to the company, prompting them to purchase another machine in 2010. The cutting machines are operated for over 100 hours per week.
Brent Fidler – President & CEO, Southern Glove Inc. comments that they will certainly purchase another Pathfinder when they outgrow the current capacity, thanks to the machine’s quality, service and value, which are unmatched elsewhere in the market.