CadShot Mobile – The most efficient way to digitize patterns

Pattern Digitizing Made as Easy as Click and Go

Autometrix is going mobile!  Autometrix prides itself on two things — being innovative, and listening to customers. We recently combined these strengths in a new initiative – transferring one of our popular software applications to the mobile platform.  Our new CadShot Mobile app is now available on Google Play and will be available in a few weeks in the Apple Store. CadShot Mobile, lets you digitize patterns on paper using only your smart phone or tablet. If you have an abundance of paper patterns that you’d like to digitize, this is the app for you.

Watch the video  below to see how fast and easy it is to point your smart phone at a paper pattern, and moments later, get an optimized digital pattern that you can use immediately. This would take much longer to do manually (20 minutes to an hour for each pattern), and the results would not be as accurate. Think of CadShot Mobile as a low-cost version of CadShot Fusion – it’s great for new businesses who aren’t sure they want or need to invest in a big camera framework just to shoot patterns, or businesses who are looking to transition from paper to digital, but don’t want to lose all of their work in original paper patterns.

Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) agrees that CadShot Mobile is a great idea – they gave CadShot Mobile the “Show Stopper” award for equipment and tools at last year’s Expo. “I want to make products people use,” says Software Development Manager Stuart McCarley. “We innovate to help customers get their jobs done.”

Check it out for yourself, and let us know what you think!   Get CadShot Mobile on Google Play

Email us if you want CadShotMobile to make pattern digitizing easy for you

 

Stuart McCarley Thinks Differently | The Autometrix Software Development Guru

software development manger

Autometrix is an interesting place to work, and we have some very interesting employees. Software Development Manager Stuart McCarley has been managing and growing our software development team for the past two and half years. Read on to find out how McCarley approaches product development from a different angle, and how he lives in the moment.

What do you do for Autometrix?

CTO Jonathan Palmer lets me do things a little differently. I get bored with: “We’ve always done it this way.” I view myself as a team facilitator. Can we create a group that is cohesive and feels like we have everybody’s trust?  And I feel like we are at that point. I like watching people flourish and get excited.

One of the interesting parts is watching team members hit their stride — to be all that they can be in software

What is the most interesting part of your job?

It changes. One of the interesting parts is watching team members hit their stride — to be all that they can be in software, coming up with great ideas and solving problems with a passion, because they want to be here, because it’s not just a job. This month, it’s exciting to me that I have a team where everyone is working on something different and exciting.

What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I’m a gourmet chef – for my birthdays I like to prepare a meal that might take a few eight-hour days to make. I’ll incorporate molecular gastronomy, sous vide technique, etc. I also enjoy motorcycling. My first date with my wife was on a motorcycle, and we have had regular motorcycle dates since 1989. I think the most important thing to do to enjoy life is to live in the moment. Motorcycling forces me to live in the moment.

Stuart McCarley and wife Sue – Then and Now

Little-known fact about Stuart McCarley?

I planned to go to culinary school, but after I worked in the industry I realized that there were a heck of a lot of dues to pay to get to the level that I wanted to be at. The day in and day out assembly line thing didn’t work for me. Software is new every day.


Ask us about Autometrix Pattern and Digitizing Solutions that Stu and his fantastic team are responsible for.

Prolong the life of your Cutting Machine Surface in 6 simple steps

Adjusting the Blade to the right length is very important for the life of your cutting surface

The customer solutions staff of Autometrix provide much needed and timely advise to our customers. We will be providing you some tips via our blog page and social media that will maximize the efficiency and life of your machines as well as over all productivity.

For more assistance : Resources           |            For helpful posts, news and updates:  Sign up to the blog 

Manufacturing for Good with Industrial Fabrics Association International

Raintree House is a safe haven for abused and neglected teenage girls in foster care. Photo: Raintree Children & Family Services.

By:  / Specialty Fabrics Review The Greater Good.


For four days every year, IFAI Expo offers industry members the opportunity to share trade secrets and take advantage of educational opportunities, product demonstrations and certification options.

A new addition this year is Manufacturing for Good. The live manufacturing experience demonstrates the making of a duffel bag from start to finish, with a philanthropic twist: all bags will be donated to Raintree Children & Family Services, a nonprofit organization that assists at-risk children and youth in the greater New Orleans area.

Practical and positive

The idea for the event came to Jeff Sponseller, executive vice president of Ohio-based manufacturer Miller Weldmaster Corp., while attending a recent trade show in France that benefited Doctors without Borders. His company, which manufactures welding equipment, made tents and cots for the nonprofit to use in the field. Sponseller suggested a similar idea to IFAI’s Cutting and Welding Committee, which jumped at the opportunity.

“We were immediately onboard with the idea of creating trade show excitement through a charity-driven collaboration of IFAI member companies,” says Christine Gerard, IFAI Equipment Division supervisor and one of the main organizers of the event, with Magda Ronningen, IFAI National Program Manager for the Makers Division.

The pop-up factory will highlight machines from nine manufacturers as they create more than 200 duffel bags over the course of ten hours, assembly-line style. “We wanted to show IFAI members how our equipment works,” says Sponseller, “and at the same time, create a usable product that would have a positive impact on the community.”

The duffel bag project

Planning for the project began with a series of IFAI member committee meetings, followed by consultations with two IFAI member fabricators. Porcupine Canvas Manufacturing Ltd. assisted with the lean manufacturing layout and provided advice on the duffel bag construction, and Wyoming Canvas donated two duffel bags, along with the duffel bag pattern. Next, the committee sent the pattern to Miller Weldmaster to determine which part of the bag could be welded. Autometrix Inc. received a bag and the pattern in advance of the event, which allowed them to redesign and digitize a new pattern to store in the automated cutter.

Since it was IFAI’s first experience with creating a portable factory on the show floor, “It required a steep learning curve and lots of collaboration and expert advice from our membership,” says Gerard.

Autometrix will use its automated cutting machine to cut out the bags’ pattern, and JTE Machine Systems Inc. will showcase its tabletop grommet machine to install grommets on the bags. Miller Weldmaster and Forsstrom High Frequency AB will be demonstrating welding on the pocket and ends of the bags with their radio frequency (RF) and hot air welders, and the bags will be put together with sewing machines by Juki America Inc. Fabric for the bags was donated by Snyder Mfg Inc. and Vertilux Ltd., with thread from FIL-TEC Inc. and webbing and zippers from YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.

Typically, products created in similar demonstrations are simply discarded after trade shows. Instead, Manufacturing for Good is putting the finished duffel bags to good use by donating them to Raintree.

“The best part is the product we’re making isn’t just something we’re going to throw away—a local charity is going to benefit,” says Sponseller.


Jahna Peloquin is a writer and editor based in Minneapolis, Minn. This article was originally published by the Specialty Fabrics Review September issue


 

From machines to humans: Boost the productivity of your business

Tescew Ltd using CAD Software

Productivity Boosters: Companies use a variety of methods – from machine to humans – to increase the efficiency of their operations


Autometrix was featured in this original article,  published by the Specialty Fabrics Review Magazine September 2017 Issue.


Improving productivity depends on a combination of efficient employees, equipment and processes. Driving improvement in all these areas involves examining the current practices in place and making adjustments to systems, employee training, technology, equipment and tools. From small tweaks in communication processes to large technology improvements, companies are using many techniques to boost productivity.

From small tweaks in communication processes to large technology improvements, companies are using many techniques to boost productivity.

Tecsew Ltd. in Gosport, Hampshire, U.K., includes a video on its website that explains one of the primary ways it manages production efficientlywith materials requirements planning (MRP) software. Before 2006, “production was managed using a series of Excel spreadsheets,” the video’s narrator says. “The company realized that, if it were to expand and move away from the inherent problems that a fragmented approach to production management causes, they would need to upgrade to a more integrated solution.”

John Bland, managing director of Tecsew, which designs and manufactures marine covers and upholstery, lauds the MRP software of U.K.-based 123 Insight Ltd. “Quotes, invoices, orders, etc., can be emailed automatically, as well as dialing out from the database to a client or supplier,” he says. “Our quotes include a photo of the person who has prepared the quote, which gives it a human touch.”

He adds that 123 generates reports and that, although it is not cheap and is laborious to set up,” the benefits are well worth the investment of money and time.

In addition to automation equipment and software, Tecsew follows a range of productivity principles, including lean and justintime manufacturing, key performance indicators, workforce incentives and employee empowerment. “Im always looking to improve, to get an edge, so always keep an eye out for anything that can add value,” Bland says. “Profitability and market share will suffer as a consequence of not moving forward.

“Look at what others do,” he suggests. “If you have an idea and its not being done, research, explore and implement. Have an open mind, and always be prepared to try out an idea. Embrace new technology and reap the rewards.”

The right investment

Frame Fabricator at Tescew Ltd.

Frame Fabricator at Tescew Ltd. Photo: Tecsew Limited.

A frame fabricator at Tecsew assembles a frame bent with a CNC ring roller (not shown). The programs for bending the frames are taken from models prepared in Rhinoceros 3D CAD software. Photo: Tecsew Limited.

Tecsew uses a Tauring CNC ring roller to bend frames, a Prodim Proliner for measuring and making templates, a Logitech digitizing board for inputting templates and a Blackman & White Genesis conveyor cutter with a laserguided fabric feeder.

[The latter] replaced a flatbed model requiring a larger floor space and was restricted to the size of the table in terms of the length of fabric that could be cut,” Bland says. “With the conveyor, we can cut a whole roll of fabric.”

The company also has computeraided manufacturing software that works handinhand with the roller and cutter and three computeraided design (CAD) programs. Bland cites 3D CAD as having the biggest impact on Tecsews productivity.

Ohio Awning & Manufacturing Co. also uses 3D CAD software“The 3D helps create very nice drawings for customer approvals and shop drawings for construction, and being able to convey what we are planning to do in a much more clean and professional way than we have in the past,” says William Morse, vice president. “It helped us from the outset from a customer perspective and in doing things the right way.”

You can store the file for easy recall when it is necessary to make the same product years later, without the need to rummage through stacks of paper patterns.

                        ~ Truy Pham, Autometrix

However, the Clevelandbased company has not found the right software for overall manufacturing management, so it has developed its own stopgap of using an integrated database that ties together different elements of the company,” Morse says.He offers two actions that have made a major impact on productivity: (1) acquisition of a digital cutting machine within the last couple of years and (2relocation from the fourstory building it occupied for 85 years to a onestory building, which provided an opportunity to design with workflow in mind.

“We also have done a lot of little things, a tweak here or there, such as adding attachments to sewing machines to automate some processes, like easily creating a fold,” Morse says. “Its a simple thing that has made a big impact on the amount of time people spend doing things.”

Autometrix Precision Cutting Solutions has developed a series of automated cutting machines to fit any size company. Its newest product, CADShot Mobile, won an IFAI Expo 2016 Show Stopper Award. The software turns existing patterns into digital pattern files.

“It saves an immense amount of time over recreating the pattern in CAD,” says Truy Pham, Autometrix national sales manager. You can store the file for easy recall when it is necessary to make the same product years later, without the need to rummage through stacks of paper patterns.

Dize Company Measuring an Awning

Dize Company Measuring an Awning. Photo: The Dize Co.

“Accessibility to the technology is how our company and the industry will grow,” he continues. “Currently, our bestselling products are static tables. Besides us being able to customize the table to any length and width to accommodate fabricroll specifications, our Radium and Argon models have options and features to make them suitable for many types of industrial fabrics manufacturers.”

Headquartered in Grass Valley, Calif., Autometrix has clients in Europe, Asia and the Americas. “Our job is to observe the movement of people, fabric and paperwork in a shop. We then present a solution on how implementing the right software, cutting system and materialhandling devices will promote a more productive and eficient organization. A lot of times, we find that the right investment is not always the highest cost,” Pham says. “Our goal is to give clients a system where CAD experience is not necessary. We want to make it simple for them to generate patterns and keep the machine cutting.”

Our goal is to give clients a system where CAD experience is not necessary. We want to make it simple for them to generate patterns and keep the machine cutting.

~ Truy Pham, Autometrix

The Dize Co., an awnings fabricator in Winston Salem, N.C., also uses CAD software. But president/CEO Fred Burke has no plans to purchase automation equipment in the next 24 months, in part because his focus is on investing in employees.

“Also, we have had to invest in new vehicles for new installation crews,” he says. “Back orders were a choking point. New technology wont help me until I can get awnings installed on buildings.”

Patrick Hickey, president of Minnesota Knitting Mills in St. Paul, says his company has continued to update equipment and touched on a wide range of productivityboosting practicestaking tenets from multiple concepts and applying them to a given situation or process flow,” he says. “While not fully adopting nor acquiring specific programs such as Six Sigma, we have reviewed them all and nestedthem in a fashion that makes sense for what we are trying to accomplish.”

People power

“Finding quality people with good leadership skills and placing them in key positions can have the greatest impact on productivity,” Hickey asserts.

Dize takes a similar approach. “I went out to get the right people and was willing to pay for that,” Burke says, noting that he upgraded job profiles to attract the right people.”

This past spring, the company paid employees a piece rate in addition to a flat hourly rate as a productivity incentive. “Its been very well accepted and makes us more eficient,” Burke says.

Ohio Awning also uses monetary rewards to encourage employees to increase productivity, offering bonuses tied to a point system. “Where we have been very successful with it is with installers,” Morse says. “We have incentivized them to get so much work done per day.”

Most important, communication is essential to maintaining a productive workforce.

“Autometrix equipment is owned by twoemployee shops and Fortune 50 companies,” Pham says. “The commonality Ive noticed is that employees of our clients have an avenue to have their voice heard to improve everything from working conditions to manufacturing workflow.”

Ohio Awning & Manufacturing Co relocated to integrate larger workstations

Ohio Awning & Manufacturing Co relocated to integrate larger workstations. Photo: Ohio Awning & Manufacturing Co.

Ohio Awning seeks input from employees by simply asking them how they would change the way things are done to make processes more eficient. “People speak up and let you know, because it impacts them as well,” Morse says. “There are quite a few things we have adopted based on input from people in the sewing room and welding shop. In sewing is where a lot of things have had the biggest impact in the overall product.”

“I actively encourage [suggestions from personnel]. I tell staff that they should always look for better ways to do things and look to improve our trade,” Bland says.

“MBWA (management by walking around) is highly effective for Minnesota Knitting Mills,” Hickey says. “We believe the best answers to productivity are most often first seen by the employee that is being impacted.” As an example, he points to a change suggested by employees: converting a 40hour workweek from five eighthour shifts to four 10hour shifts.

Dize continually solicits suggestions from employees on how operations might be improved. An example of input that was implemented is having people crosstrain on multiple positions.

“My door has never been shut,” Burke says. “People on the floor feel comfortable walking in and saying, ‘I think we need to do thisor I need help.’ I walk the floor and converse with employees at every level three or four times a day. I go out in the field and meet with project managers and owners of construction companies. I will take suggestions from anybody. You may get two and one is good, but its one more than you had the day before.”

Custom solutions

“Integration of new technology, if done right and with the right partners, will certainly speed up pattern creation, cutting time and maintenance of the entire system,” Pham says. “More often now, fabric suppliers and equipment manufacturers are working together to create a custom solution for fabricators. This tailored approach eliminates as much downtime as possible, while adding many more benefits that harbor productivity, such as error elimination, organization, material savings and employee satisfaction.”

Integration of new technology, if done right and with the right partners, will certainly speed up pattern creation, cutting time and maintenance of the entire system

~ Truy Pham, Autometrix

Indeed, Bland is looking to collaborate with other fabricators.

“Im never satisfied,” he says. “I want to work on edgedetection software and hopefully find a way of digitizing patterns directly from a photo. The main avenue Id like to explore with others is the development of a better system/equipment to take 3D CAD surveys of boats. Ive researched extensively and whats available on the market is cumbersome, heavy, restrictive and timeconsuming. I have ideas and would love to be actively involved with others who want a better answer.

“A lot of what we have done has come about from research and looking for answers when none seem available,” he notes. “It takes a big leap of faith sometimes, and perseverance to get to where you want to go, especially if no one else has done it before.”

“Every business should have a responsibility to continuously improve productivity. The status quo is not acceptable, and we will always be looking for process improvement to impact productivity,” Hickey says. “At the same time, heres where you have to weigh the advancements in technology against the cost of implementation and, ultimately, the return on investment.”

That said, Hickey acknowledges immobility is never the answer.

“Achieving quality is an ongoing, daytoday process that should not have a foreseeable end.”


Janice Kleinschmidt is a writer and magazine editor based in San Diego, Calif. This article was originally published in the Specialty Fabrics Review Magazine September 2017 Issue.


 

Autometrix Uses its Industrial Fabric Cutting Machines to Give Back

Autometrix PatternSmith Workshop

At Autometrix, we believe in using our powers and our  industrial fabric cutting machines for good. Autometrix participates in several projects that support both our community and the communities of our customers. Close to home, Autometrix is proud to be a Business Champion for the Nevada County Tech Connection (NCTC), which strives to support, connect and showcase the technology eco-system in rural Nevada County. Autometrix provides valuable input to the NCTC, including sharing the kinds of skills that are needed for technical jobs at cutting system manufacturers like Autometrix.

This month, we used our fabric cutting machines to give back in two different communities where our customers live and work. On September 6, Autometrix hosted a free Precision Cutting and Pattern Management workshop at Cerritos College in Norwalk, California. Students who attend this public community college were able to get an introduction to the cutting skills they need to qualify for a job in any manufacturing facility where bulk cutting is used. It was a great opportunity for faculty, students and some industry professionals to see how an Autometrix cutting machine is operated. We had students from the following classes in attandance: composites manufacturing, fiberglass technology and manufacturing engineering.

At the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Expo September 27-29 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Autometrix will be participating in a ‘manufacturing for good’ project. Raintree Children & Family Services will be benefiting from one of our industrial fabric cutting machines to make duffel bags for local at-risk youth. Raintree provides a range of services for children and teenagers in New Orleans, including a safe haven for adolescent girls who need a home. Duffel bags are especially useful for kids who do not have a permanent home because the kids often need to pack up all of their things and transport them with very little notice. Stop by the Autometrix Booth (#1455) at the IFAI Expo to help us support this important organization!

Finally Autometrix has started a donation drive for the victims of Hurricane Harvey this month. The organization will be matching the donation made by all our staff and hopes to raise a substantial amount to give to Samaritan’s Purse, the non-profit of our choice for this instance.

Do you know of a way an Autometrix cutting machine could help do some good in your community? Contact us right away.

Greg Thompson giving a cutting demo on the Advantage Cutting Machine. Holy Vinyl!

Six Men and a Baby | Small Cutting Machine

Autometrix Radium 24 in x 10 ft

Today the Autometrix production team completed the assembly of our smallest automated cutting machine. The 24 in x 10 ft Autometrix Radium is ready to ship to a high school. The customer made a special order for a small sized cutting machine due to the school’s limited space. The high school will soon be adding a new member to their design and engineering family. We like to think of our machines as having an effect on our clients much like a newborn baby affects a family. To our way of thinking, every company that places an order for our cutting edge technology (no pun intended) is bringing home a new baby. A super-baby, a baby that adds new excitement as it challenges one to master its mechanisms as you develop the skills to utilize the Autometrix cutting machine to its full capacity.

This does require changing a few old habits, learning new processes and may require reassigning duties. However, after the initial learning curve, there is the bliss that every new parent feels. They will hear the sweet humming sound of improved productivity, the jingling of higher revenues, the smiles of satisfied employees who no longer have to do their jobs manually. And, in this case, students with curious minds will be learning new skills that will make them more employable in this automated world of manufacturing.

David Barrett runs a tight ship managing the production and assembly of each and every piece of machinery that is manufactured for our customers. His team of well harmonized professionals has a role to play in the creation of each and every new machine. Our cutting solutions (both hardware and software) are available in a variety of sizes, speeds and features to fit every need. The production process involves approximately 3 weeks of assembly, which includes 48 hours of quality control by David himself. As part of our quality control protocol, the checklist is reviewed thoroughly by three different people. Our expert teams pride themselves on never letting one of our machines leave the factory unless it meets our exacting standards of excellence. Even the crates that these precision cutting machines go into are custom made by Tim Britton who is an expert cabinet maker.

When customization of one of our cutting machines is required, our genius mechanical engineer, Mike McGuiness, personally handles all aspects for special orders. Much care and attention goes into the production, assembly and shipping of these special pieces of equipment.

David has been with Autometrix for 14 years now. He started his life in production working for his grandfather’s company “Barrett Metal Finishing” where he did the chrome plating for companies like Peterbilt and Kenworth Trucks. His passion for road racing led him to Grass Valley and Autometrix. After 10 years of road racing he moved into mountain biking and coaching the local high school team. He has even coached some of our staff members when they were in high school! He continues to coach and lead an efficient team of super motivated individuals. Their attention to detail, and joy in manufacturing our cutting machines is unparalleled.

Contact Us today to find a unique cutting solution just for you.


Six men in the picture above, left to right: Tony Britton -Tech Assembler I (Carriage Builder), Doug Rigel  – Inventory Control & Purchasing, Mike McGuiness – Mechanical Engineer (Special Project Development), David Barrett – Production Manager, James Kohnke – Assembler, Justin Triplet – Tech Assembler I (Electronics Tech) and of course the “baby” Autometrix Radium 24 in x 10 ft

Final Test before we ship this baby off!

Going the extra mile for you

Joel at the Agony Ride

A few individuals from Autometrix participate in the “Agony Ride” every year. They ride for a period of 24 hours, with a single minded goal of covering as many miles as possible within a 24 hour period, with little or no sleep. This is a cause to raise money for youth in need of rehab, counseling and education. Joel Koopmans accomplished a whopping 224 miles this year! When asked, he stated his motivation is hearing of the young lives that have turned around due to this effort.

Joel is our Customer Solutions Expert (you may call him your champion). No question or problem goes unattended or unresolved – thanks to his dogged will, perseverance, desire to leave no puzzle unsolved and just the need to provide the best service he can to each and every individual. Aren’t you glad you have him on your side?

Contact Joel directly for any customer support questions

Exciting Updates in PatternSmith Software 8.2

Psssst! Exciting news update about our PatternSmith Cutting Solutions Software.

Fresh off the press, here is an unedited excerpt from our CTO’s monthly report to the company about our propriety cutting solutions software:

PATTERNSMITH 8.2:

Our Software Manager Stu has already provided an update on progress in the Software world, but I wanted to emphasize how responsive the Software team is capable of being – 8.2 has a number of important features for all of our users, but we were also able to sneak in a couple very specific features that will allow a few customers to change the way they use their equipment for the better.

SLICER:

This is a beautifully updated version of our Slicer plugin – anyone making large products that require multiple widths of their material will absolutely benefit from using this software

SpeedLoader

Slicer

SPEEDLOADER:

This is the barcode/QR code file-loading system we’ve initially built for a specific customer, but it has broad application for any of our customers – especially if they’re process includes work orders. Now, a simple scan of a barcode will load the appropriate cut file, and if there’s a nest ready to go, it will go ahead and send it to their cutter, just waiting for a user to press “start”.

Go ahead Ask Us more about these great updates or download the PatternSmith 8.2 Free Trial

This is Gary Unitt

This is Gary Unitt. What does Gary do?

He is our Customer Solutions Manager. He helps you with on-boarding and getting familiarized with our industry-leading pattern making software PatternSmith. He helps you whenever you want to to try new and fancy designs or guide you in cutting material you never have before.

Gary also does QA for our software developers and tries to break what they make and pushes them to levels of high performance that you won’t find elsewhere in the industry!

This morning he gave a demo on the “Radium” cutting machine to an excited potential multi-national business representative, who arrived with great excitement to see how this cutter will change the world of their production team (of advanced technical fabric and composites). And he left with a giant smile on his face.

Thank you Gary for all you do.