Customer Stories 15/04/2020
Search for new technologies to increase cutting productivity
In 2019 we at The Look Company, a long-time leader in textile Sports and Retail branding, found ourselves in an enviable position. The rapid growth of our North American division had exposed a capacity bottleneck in our facilities, our existing textile cutting equipment could no longer keep pace with the production demands.
To solve this problem, The Look Company conducted an extensive search for new technologies that would allow us to increase our cutting productivity without adding additional floor space or staff to the department. What we found was that while most manufacturers were focused on improving their base machines to allow for faster cutting speeds, our analysis showed that the true limiting factor in our production processes was the vision-based location systems. This is what ultimately led us to Summa.
Summa’s technology uses a full width camera array to “scan” the substrate as it is fed into the cutting area. While there were other manufacturers using similar techniques at the time, Summa’s was the first system we found that could use the camera array to accurately pick up traditional registration marks, a must-have feature for The Look Company due to the nature of our textiles and the high level of precision required by our applications. This combination of speed and precision looked like it had the potential to solve our capacity problems, and all in a smaller footprint than our existing equipment.
Summa L Series laser cutter was up to the task
Of course, the best vision system for our application would not be a solution at all if it was not paired up with a machine that could provide cutting that matched its potential, and we found that the Summa L Series laser cutter was up to the task. Cuts were fast and consistent, and the mechanical systems seemed to be up to the challenge of our 24/7 operations. The Look Company purchased our first L Series laser cutter (the L3214), one of the first produced, and installed it in our Canadian manufacturing facility.
As with any new equipment The Look Company brings online, we found that there were added features, tweaks, and changes needed to truly get the most out of the machine for our needs. Summa’s team proved to be excellent partners in innovation in this regard, working with our teams to refine the software, firmware, and even updating some of the machine design based on our feedback and requests. It is this sense of partnership and support, along with the excellent L Series cutting machine, that gave The Look Company the confidence to expand our investment in the Summa product to our facilities worldwide, with 3 laser cutting machines now in service.
The Summa laser cutters and their excellent customer support has proven to be a winning formula for us here at The Look Company, and the relationship is one that we hope to continue to expand and grow in the years to come.