Debunking the myths on CAD/CAM technology

Ryan Ball, Managing Director at South West Upholstery, shares an inside view of Pathfinder’s technology and how it has helped their business.

When the topic of automating cutting processes arises, the knee-jerk reactions often lean towards the assumption that it will displace existing employees and is only for large businesses. However, the technology isn’t designed for that purpose.

“We were really concerned how our staff would react to the Pathfinder solution and how hard it would be to integrate. We had no reason to be, it is easy to use and intuitive like a smartphone. The operators picked it up really quick,” said Ryan Ball, Managing Director at South West Upholstery.

Pathfinder’s automated solutions are crafted to elevate cutting quality to unparalleled levels, reducing time constraints, streamlining pattern matching, and curbing fabric wastage, particularly with high-value materials like leathers. Their aim is to eliminate bottlenecks in the cutting room, fostering a safer and more efficient working environment.

“As a manufacturer we have become more efficient and slicker, the digital patterns and CNC cutting give us maximise fabric yield every time and provide a high-quality pattern cutting which has further improved our finished product,” said Ryan. “We are already seeing significant savings from reductions in fabric waste and cutting time.”

Moreover, they serve as strategic tools for cost reduction and lay the groundwork for business growth and expansion, ensuring resilience in the face of challenges.

Ryan continued: “Our growth plan would not be possible without this investment, our growing order book meant we were hitting our boundaries and with skilled workers hard to find we knew we would soon not be able to meet demand. Pathfinder have allowed us to surpass this, giving us room for further growth. The ability to call on digital patterns at a whim combined with perfect digital cutting means we cannot go back to hand cutting.”

Whether you’re a small business or a corporate giant, our technology is tailored to empower you to improve and thrive, not hinder or restrict. No matter the complexity of your cutting room processes, we have the solution. Every innovation is informed by the invaluable feedback we receive from industry professionals and cutting room specialists.

“It was imperative to invest in a machine that could cut a variety of textiles,” Ryan added. “Others we had looked at were only able to cut one type of textile. It was refreshing to speak with Pathfinder as they were more interested in building a package tailored to our business needs than simply selling a machine. Pattern matching and leather cutting are time exhaustive by hand, now we can do that with our Pathfinder in a fraction of the time. Leather nesting is now hassle free, working around scars and faults is a non-issue as the software allows us to see what we are cutting before we cut.

“We have found the introduction and investment in Pathfinder to our business a pleasure from start to finish, but we aren’t finished and the ongoing support we receive from a global company feels very local and personal.”

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