This image shows a cross-section of a typical needle knife (used in high ply cutters), the paper underneath that sits on a bristle bed for vacuum, and a layer of plastic on top. The vacuum and plastic on top are used to create the compressed height. Compressed height gives the productivity of the cutting system.
The needle knife is turned toward the forces that bend the blade so that the parts are the same from top to bottom. Some firms have justified high ply cutters based on sewing automation as all parts are cut in the same size and shape.
High ply cutting is not trivial as many individual components are involved. Just obvious things like perforated paper underneath the spread, bundle papers that are porous, thin plastic on top, and of course, Part ID (identification).
The marker is electronic. So, Part ID could be a printed paper (like a marker) or a separate device that applies Part ID stickers. For all products that are put together, Part Tracking is most important. The configuration of the cutting room has also changed. One cutter can move between spreading tables. The actual configuration very much depends on orders, spreading table length, type of fabric, spreading speed, etc. Spreading machines can also move from table to table. How the cutting room is configured leads to optimum productivity. It is also important that your fabric supplier knows of your requirements. In fact, all of your suppliers of papers, plastics, stickers, etc. All this plus one or more trained CAD/CAM individuals.
Cutting rooms of this type are known to operate around the clock as there are a lot of costs to be amortized. They are most productive when operating efficiently.
Parts are often problematic. It is an important consideration and manufacturers and vendors need to advise accordingly. Meaning that parts can be housed at the vendor, manufacturer, or a third party.
I must ask your opinion here. Basically, does a patent hinder or help ingenuity? I am pondering this issue.
On one hand, the patentee firm benefits by controlling the market for 20 years. As a manufacturer, that 23.7% increase in productivity often keeps the firm in business.
So, what is the path forward because that’s where we are going?