There are only a handful of manufacturers left in the US who manufacture within the country and Eastman Machine Company, the manufacturer of cutting room solutions for the apparel and other sewn products industry, is one among the few catering to the industry for 135 years. The company has proven its expertise time and again. Year after year, Eastman has brought to their customers the latest spreading and cutting solutions. This year’s GTE was no different.
The highlight was the US-based Eastman’s ES-660 – a multipurpose spreading machine for all types of fabrics such as woven, knit, denim, cotton and twill. “We don’t want our customer to worry about fabric type. We have inbuilt attachment, i.e., extension mesh and extension roller to spread knit fabric,” shares Syed Hafeez, Country Manager, Eastman CRA (Hong Kong).
The latest spreading machine by Eastman can handle weight capacity up to 120 kg both in flat fold and roll fabrics. In roll fabrics, it can handle diameter of up to 50 cm. To consume less power, the company has designed inbuilt control PLC and drive control system in the spreader. With a spreading height of 20 cm, ES-660 can achieve the maximum spreading speed of approximately 97 m/minute.
In order to facilitate easy maintenance of the spreading machine, electrical configuration is not set up inside the machine, but separately outside the machine with the LCD touchscreen control panel. Such a setup will avoid heating in the machine that damages the circuit board, thus giving longer life to the machine.
Eastman has achieved 150 installations so far and claims the payback period to be 6 months. “ES-660 saves fabric, space and manpower as well. Normally, if you want to spread 4000-5000 m in an 8-hour shift, you would require minimum 2 tables of 18 metres each and minimum 5 operators (provided they are working with good efficiency). But with this one machine and one table, the operator can spread 4,000-5,000 metres of fabric in an 8-hour shift, assured with an average of 10-12 metres per minute,” explains Hafeez.
The company is now focusing on training customer technicians as they should know about the weekly/monthly preventive maintenance. “Our motto to fully train customer technicians,” underlines Hafeez.
The cutting room technology pioneer also has in its basket a wide range of automatic cutting machines and band knives. Eastman’s Raptor 75 multiply cutting system is an automated reciprocating straight knife cutter, with conveyor, capable of cutting up to 7.5 cm of compressed material. Equipped with features like Intellicut™ knife control, variable speed functions, reciprocating knife and knife chiller mechanisms, the aspect of real time diagnostics provides the cutter a definite edge. All the cutters are digitally controlled, issues such as wiring problems do not stop the cutter, and rather the cutting operator is alerted about the problem, while the cutter keeps working.
The presence of rack and pinion, for movement of cutting head on both Y-axis and X-axis instead of teeth timing belt in Y-axis like in most of the other cutters, facilitates more precise and accurate control and grip of the cutter on the cutting head. One can make notches, drill holes and V-notches with the same cutter. The Raptor 75 is compatible with all the available CAD software solutions.