One of my businesses is a design and manufacturing operation. Cactus manufactures backpacks and outdoors clothing. For years we’ve been using PAD which is a CAD/CAM software package to make patterns for the apparel industry. PAD works well but has always been a little backwards in terms of development, online availability and the like.
A new offering that one of my colleagues mentioned to me today is pretty interesting. Pattern pieces get created in the installed application as they always have but from here things have changed. In the past, when one wanted to make a marker (the template to cut out all the pattern pieces) one spent ages playing around with the pieces to get the highest efficiency. Obviously given labour costs, this is less than efficient.
The new system combined the PAD offering, with some technology created by New Zealand business ShapeShifter. ShapeShifter is apparel optimisation software – it uses some cool algorithms to reduce fabric consumption and optimise production planing.
In a nice little SaaS/Traditional combination, we can now email our pattern pieces directly to PAD where, as an added service to owners of their software, an automatic process occurs which creates the most efficient lay plans possible using ShapeShifter’s offering.
In our case – it formerly took a highly skilled (and paid) worker 30 minutes or so to create a marker with 80% efficiency. The new offering achieves higher efficiencies, at no cost and in a similar amount of time.
Nice work guys!