Jaime Muriel, president of Isavela Compression Garments, is passionate about textiles! He uses a Carlson Design Plotter/Cutter to expand opportunities in the custom medical garment business. Jamie saves time by digitizing physical patterns, saves material by autonesting, and improves product quality and repeatability by computer marking and cutting.
Jaime’s manufacturing experience began with his custom jewelry manufacturing business in Mexico in the 90′s. When it sold, he entered the Mortgage industry. But, his heart wasn’t in real estate, so before long Jamie was looking for a new project to get excited about. While exploring post-surgical recovery compression garments, he decided it was a niche he could passionately sell. When the industry players – now competitors – weren’t interested in his ideas, Jaime decided to produce his own. So, in 2008, he applied his manufacturing experience in Mexico to producing a high quality garment at the best price, and Isavela was born. Seven years later, with headquarters in McAllen, TX and manufacturing in Reynosa, Mexico, Isavela have a 45,000sqft facility and over 100 sewing machines, all housed in a clean facility with cafeteria and air conditioning. The high quality work environment and good wages ensure Isavela can provide a world-class cut/sew operation.
Jaime met Carlson Design at IFAI 2013 in Orlando, Florida. He was looking for a pattern digitizer and automated plotting/cutting solution to address a growing demand for custom compression garments. Jaime says, “We will get 150 orders over the weekend, all custom and in low quantity. This means we have to find and pull pattern sets for each order, trace these parts on pattern paper, and then manually cut each and every one. With your system we can select the digital files we want, nest as many as needed, and click ‘go’”. Jaime estimated our Plotter/Cutter system would take as much as two to three years to pay for itself from only labor savings – mainly due to the low cost of Labor in Mexico – but, has big plans and suspects it will be much sooner “now that the plotter/cutter gives us the opportunity for expansion.”
When asked why he chose Carlson Design he said, “I think if more guys knew you guys, they’d buy your system. It just cuts! You don’t charge me for services I don’t need or make me sign contracts for software and parts.”
Isavela has hundreds of custom patterns sets and is continually generating new ones. They are stored but not indexed. We asked one of their cutters how long it would take to cut an average pattern set — they estimated about 15 minutes. Jaime countered, “it might take them up to 15 minutes just to find the pattern they are looking for.” Here’s how the old system works…
They have to do this for every order!
The new technique calls for digitizing, organizing, and nesting patterns. Using the Carlson Design T-Bar 2D Pattern Digitizer they can build a pattern library that allows the operator to quickly and easily retrieve and cut all of the patterns for a given job.
Our first digitized pattern cut in six minutes. To cut this pattern set again simply pull fabric, select the pattern, and click “PLOT”.
Vacuum or No Vacuum:
Before Isavela purchased their Carlson Design plotter/cutter, they sent us patterns and material to test cut. We performed two tests — the first was with vacuum and an HDPE cutting surface. Since their knits – Trecol and Non-Slip Fabrics are porous, the vacuum is less effective in securing it for cutting. The vacuum holes in the cutting surface can cause an occasional material “hangers” if the blade rolls over them.
The second test used a sheet of non-drilled acrylic, without vacuum. The acrylic is harder and its static cling reduces material shift during cutting and eliminates material hangers.
Test 1 HDPE and vacuum: https://vimeo.com/90706465
Test 2 Acrylic – no vacuum: https://vimeo.com/90773227
After much discussion, Jaime decided to order a vacuum table and blowers installed, but start with the non-drilled acrylic cutting tops. This means they do NOT use vacuum in their day-to-day cutting, but they could if the need or certain project arose.
To prevent dulling the blade on this harder cutting surface we more carefully regulate the pressure and slow cutting speeds around corners, further reducing material shift.
Digitized pattern sets are quickly and easily nested using our Autonesting software. Autonesting allows the operator to specify part quantity, orientation, and priority. Jaime reports the autonesting performs as well as the the original demonstration!
Below we review how we installed their PT-84″ Plotter/Cutter, vacuum system, cutting surface, workstation, and existing spreader. We also explore slits vs. notches in a short video at the end.
Slitting Vs. Notching: Notches are used to help the sewers identify how parts go together. Our steered blade holder can make V notches or slits. To reduce cut time, we recommend slitting the material with a short 1/16″ line. The over-cut of the 28mm rotary blade results in a 3/8″ long slit.
Thank you! See you all next time 😀