Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - 25

covers and exterior curtains for
commercial and residential applications,
just purchased his own Autometrix
plotter/cutter, anticipating delivery soon.
This isn't his first automation go-round.
In 2010 he bought two RF machines (he's
now down to one); in 2014 he purchased
a Murro grommet machine; and last
April, he bought a Sigma impulse welder.
Four years ago, he began thinking about
the plotter/cutter to help keep up with
production increases.
The impulse welder enabled one
person to do the work of four and replaced
one RF machine. When Childres saw
the efficiencies gained by that machine,
he became excited about what could
be achieved with a plotter/cutter. For
example, currently, it takes two people
30 hours to cut 16 full-size curtains. With
the plotter/cutter, one person could
manage this same volume in two hours.
Childres says the ROI for the welder
was achieved in about six months. He
anticipates ROI for the plotter/cutter
will be realized in under a year.
Employees initially worried about
potential job loss related to the welder,
says Childres. But when the nineperson staff wasn't downsized-instead,
employees were moved to other areas of
the operation-they relaxed. Technology
hasn't forced him to let people go; it
has kept him from having to hire up.
Childres also told staff their pay would
rise along with their skill sets because
of cross-training. Consequently, the
plotter/cutter's impending addition
hasn't aroused any concerns.
CONCERNS AND HESITATIONS
Automation is expensive, which can
cause some companies to hesitate and
even prevent others from moving
forward. Still, there are financing and
leasing options available that can put this
technology within reach. But perhaps
more concerning to owners is the

Purchased in 2019, this Sigma impulse welder has allowed Double C Canvas and Repairs
to gain cost-saving efficiencies, enabling a single operator to do the work of four, which
frees up employees for other tasks. Photo: Double C Canvas and Repairs Inc.

An Autometrix cutting table has not only ramped
up production at American Canvas Products,
it has allowed the company to help during the
COVID-19 pandemic by using this table to make
face masks while still staying on top of other
jobs. The company has provided more than
50,000 masks to hospitals, nursing homes and
individuals, with more orders coming in, an
impact made possible by this machine.
Photo: American Canvas Products.

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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020

Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - 1
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