Litania Sports Group, the parent company of two of the most respected names in the sports equipment industry, Gil and Porter, has been manufacturing Athletic equipment in America for almost 100 years. As the largest producer of track and field equipment in the world, they know the importance of continually improving their manufacturing processes to provide their customers with the best product, at the best price, with the faster turnaround. This is why we were excited when they decided to add the Carlson Design plotter/cutter to their Champaign Il, facility to automate cutting their protective vinyl gym wall and goal post pads.
Thanks to the help from everyone at Litania, this was a great install with great results. Our very first run reduced cut times by a factor of 10 from 30 minutes to 3!
Here’s a quick video of that innageral run: https://vimeo.com/39737338
They are cutting 14oz vinyl with a 28mm steel rotary blade.
After running for 4 months here’s what the production manager had to say:
Sorry for the late response. We have hit our busy season and emails are flying in and out. Slipped through the cracks.
Everything is going great. We did have a air solenoid go out, but that was a pretty easy fix, and it was in the spare parts kit. We also broke off the step down air nipple off the compressor (stole from the bad solenoid).
I would certainly like to give you some feedback on the cutter, just don’t know where to start or what to say.
Watching patterns being cut before the Carlson Designs cutter was installed was a painful process. It was like watching a caveman cut the first animal skins with sharp stones! Definitely required skill and an eye for detail to ensure everything was correct. Since the cutter was installed, I have taught three people to cut patterns. Can you move a mouse and click a few things? Yep, you’re trained too! As stated before, we are now cutting jobs in 3 minutes that took us 45 to 60 minutes to cut. This has freed up valuable resources to help in other areas. But, what is best is that we are turning out consistent product. Cut pattern number 1 is exactly the same as cut pattern number 400! Moving a sew line with a hard template required rebuilding the template. Cutting something out was left up to the person sewing. Now? Give me five minutes and I will update the drawing for you. We are systematically reducing the extra steps that a seamstress would have to take in trimming, clipping, cutting….. We haven’t even scratched the surface of where the Carlson Designs machine is going to take us.
One other thing. I am now looking at everything differently based on one thing you said several times when you were here to install….. When I look at a part that looks like we are having trouble with, I always remember what you said, “It can be more complicated”. This reminds me to stop and think that KISS is so true! Why do we sew this part this way? Easier stitches make faster pads, which means more volume….and more $$$.
Justin M. Vecchio”
OK let’s see how the got started:
Litania purchased a 6’x16′ long Phillocraft vacuum table. This is an endless frame comprised of 4′ long sections, allowing them to extend the table later by adding more sections. Our vacuum tables are typically ready to ship ahead of the plotter/cutter and can be assembled before we arrive. During onsite commissioning, we like to spend as much time training as possible, however training cannot begin until the installs complete. Having the table screwed together will shave 2-3 hours off the install and is a great way to ensure training can begin on the first day.
It was exciting to watch 20-40 minute manual cuts finish in less than 2 minutes start-to-finish. We cut 6 full pattern sets in a half hour — this would have normally taken a full day. The parts being delivered at the sewers station are now more accurate and much more repeatable. Having a computer controlled cutter also allowed the engineering department to get involved. They can now make changes and improvements to patterns in real time.
A big thanks to Justin, Eldon, and Ralph for making this a great install!
Litania selected Carlson Design because they were able to send us sample patterns and material that we digitized, cut, and returned the next day: https://vimeo.com/36582270 . If you would like to see your material and patterns test cut, please do not hesitate to send something our way:
- Carlson Design
- 539 S Trenon Ave
- Tulsa, OK 74120