Many of our customers pride themselves on manufacturing products in the U.S.A. It might be more expensive, but these manufacturers are committed to producing the highest quality product possible, and they feel they have more control over the process when they do it locally.
Quality a Top Priority for Cole TAC Customers
Cole TAC is one of those customers. They make tactical accessories for competitive firearms enthusiasts who want top-quality, often custom gear that is made in the United States. Dustin Coleman, Vice President of Cole TAC, explains why their gear has to be very high quality: “Our customers want stuff that is bomb proof,” he said. “They want to buy a piece of gear, drag it through cacti in the desert one week, and up through the snow on top of a mountain the next week. Quality of work is something that they really focus on. Not much separates competitors at the top level – a piece of gear that fails in a competition might bump them back three spots.”
Cole TAC wanted to grow, but in order to preserve the quality of their products without making them cost-prohibitive, they needed to optimize their manufacturing process first. Since cutting was a bottleneck, the company decided to automate it with a precision fabric cutting machine. After interacting with the Autometrix staff and seeing the table in action first hand at the IFAI (Industrial Fabric Association International) trade show, Coleman decided to purchase one. He has never looked back.
Automated Cutting Speeds Up the Process
“If someone said that machine had to go away I would find a different business,” said Coleman. “No way could I go back to manual cutting. The more you use it the more you find all these different ways to speed up the process. When we first starting sewing pieces, we had round pieces where we had to clip the edge. Then we realized we could do it on the machine.” Coleman looked at multi-ply fabric cutting machines in his research, but ultimately decided on the Radium single-ply machine, with the option of upgrading to a conveyorized machine if production ramps up enough to require it.
“You can get a lot more output with multi-ply, but being able to mark the patterns in single ply is huge for us,” he said. “We’ve created our own language with symbols so our sewers can just look at the fabric and know where everything goes.”
Cutting Machine Solved a Staffing Challenge
Cole TAC’s Autometrix pattern cutting machine has also helped with another business challenge – staffing. It has been hard to find employees in Cole TAC’s remote, rural New Hampshire location. Now he can use the few employees he has to sew instead of cut. And the accurately cut parts make sewing much easier.
Autometrix is pleased to support another business that believes in manufacturing in the United States, and Cole TAC’s customers feel the same way about them. “Our customers are big into ‘Made in the USA,’ said Coleman. “That’s what drove us to Autometrix. So far it’s been a great match.” Want to see how an Autometrix fabric cutting table is installed? Watch this time lapse video below to see an Autometrix field technicians building an industrial fabric cutting table from the ground up at the Cole-TAC facility in New Hampshire.
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