by Liz McGruder Liz McGruder

Eastman in Financial Times U.S. Manufacturing Coverage

Read Entire Article Here

What role for the workers in Trump’s American factory revival? Excerpt below.

Like other fading industrial regions, the Buffalo area voted for Mr Trump. Although New York state overall went for Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival, the area around Buffalo backed Mr Trump by 50 per cent to 46 per cent.
Alongside the visible marks of decay, however, some Buffalo manufacturers are thriving. Near the city centre, on a site it has occupied for more than a century, family-owned Eastman Machine employs 122 people making cutting machines for fabrics, including simple handheld tools and advanced computer-controlled systems. It exports half its products to customers making everything from aircraft to T-shirts, and even sells well in emerging economies such as Bangladesh and Vietnam.
One of the ways Eastman stays competitive is that labour is a very small proportion of its total costs: only about 3 per cent. Rivals in China or elsewhere may pay lower wages, but that does not give them much of an advantage.
“If you can offer solutions to customers’ issues, you can continue to survive,” says Robert Stevenson, the chief executive who is the fourth generation of his family to run the company. “American manufacturing is superior in quality and reliability.”
Labour costs have been kept down, he adds, by a sharp increase in productivity achieved by more efficient working practices. “In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, work rules just strangled manufacturing. You had to have more workers than you needed,” he says. “We said to our guys: ‘We are committed to manufacturing here. But you need to change’.”
Where once, rules stipulated one worker per machine, Eastman can now have one worker running three computer-controlled machines.

by Annawade Stevenson Annawade Stevenson

Improving every step of the infusion process with automatic cutting

Reinforced Plastics  Volume 60, Number 4  July/August 2016 Article excerpt:
With the introduction of new materials such as the Lantor Soric group of materials, Eastman Machine Company has responded by offering a range of equipment that meets the automatic cutting and roll handling demands for experimentation, concept testing or full-production runs.
As new applications for composites have emerged, Eastman has worked in tandem with industry engineers to develop and enhance the cutting products, capabilities and technical support offered. With over 128 years of experience innovating products used for all types of flexible soft goods, Eastman’s product portfolio includes computer-controlled (CNC) systems and manual tools (operated by hand); material handling equipment for pre-and post-cutting piece management; and a sophisticated software suite of programs.
Success in an automated cutting environment can be measured with reductions in manual labor and scrap of expensive composite materials, improved throughput and quality of cut parts and faster time to market.
Automatic cutting systems are available in a variety of widths and lengths to address the industry supply of core materials, foams, reinforced plastics and other flexible materials. Each project is uniquely considered and the equipment is configured based on the anticipated materials to be cut, pattern dimensions and end product.

To link to an online version of the article, valid through 27 October 2016, please click HERE.
For more information on Lantor, please visit

by Liz McGruder Liz McGruder

CMP-Trading New South American Representative

Eastman Machine Company, a 128 year-old manufacturing company specializing in cutting equipment, announces that it has appointed CMP Trading of São José dos Campos (São Paulo), Brazil, to represent its line of automated cutting systems, material handling equipment and design software.
CMP Trading is a sales representative and sourcing group specializing in the local culture, laws, language and purchasing mechanisms for OEM in the aerospace, automotive, defense and composite industries of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Uruguay, Peru and Bolivia. CMP Trading’s network of experience will enhance Eastman’s ability to provide fast response and support to local customers.
“Establishing a representative in Brazil will allow Eastman to evaluate opportunities in a variety of markets with an experienced team on location,” said Robert Stevenson, Eastman’s president and chief executive officer. “We are excited about the partnership with CMP Trading for a number of reasons, including their vast international market knowledge and experience in the aerospace, automotive and defense industries. We look forward to collaboratively growing our businesses.”
Eastman has installed over 1500 automated cutting systems worldwide. Automated cutting systems offer time and labor saving solutions to manufacturers using composite materials and industrial fabrics in the aerospace, transport, marine, apparel and safety industries, among others.
Eastman technical service and support is coordinated through the Buffalo, New York headquarters with several sales and service satellite offices located worldwide. In order to guarantee immediate response to customer requests, Eastman has an extended network of representatives located in Europe, South America and Asia for technical support.
Eastman has been manufacturing manually-operated cutting machines, automated CNC cutting systems, CAD/CAM software programs and material handling equipment in Buffalo since 1888. For more information, visit
For more information on CMP Trading, please visit

by Annawade Stevenson Annawade Stevenson

New Touchscreen Display & File Management on Saber Spreading System

The Eastman Saber C-Series E computerized, cradle feed machine is a robust yet smooth operating material spreading system capable of handling material rolls up to 2,200 lb. (1,000 kg) and 50 inches in diameter. Manufactured in Buffalo, New York (USA), the Saber C-Series E Spreading system offers three spreading modes: face-up with knife; face-to-face with knife; face-to-face with catchers.
A newly integrated touchscreen display facilitates fast and intuitive input of operational factors like spread length and splice points from clearly defined menu options. This failsafe display limits the options given to users based on various authorization levels, reducing operator errors and minimizing training time. In comparison, earlier Saber models had antiquated push buttons and minimal computer-assisted prompts. This made the user’s experience cumbersome and routine job settings unreliable.
Saber C-Series-EThe updated Windows-based operating system makes it easy to upload marker files via WiFi (optional) from a remote computer location, or they can be generated on the spreader. The operator can select multiple files remotely to create a list. An input / output diagnostic analysis report is also available through the new color display.
Overall ease of use for the operator is simplified with the implementation of material file management capabilities. The user can save regularly used material parameters like, but not limited to: speed, length of spread, acceleration, ply count, and cut mode, either on the machine or network connected computer to ensure operational settings are uniform and optimized at any given time.
A new machine-mounted barcode scanner (optional) helps manifest information quickly and accurately across system platforms and enables accurate control over inventory or other variables that are tracked.
New “Saber C-Series E” Features include:

  • Windows-based operating system
  • Modern, color touchscreen
  • WiFi capabilities (optional)
  • English/Spanish language controls
  • Machine diagnostics
  • Maintenance prompts
  • Upload files remotely
  • Material utilization package with splice recognition
  • PLC
  • Material File Management
  • Step Layer Capability

Related Products:
Raptor 75x™ Multi-Ply Cutting System is an automated reciprocating straight knife cutter, with conveyor, capable of cutting up to 7.5 cm (3 inches) of compressed material. Precise system operations, driven by state-of-the-art motion control communications combine to offer an industry-leading solution for medium- to high-ply cutting of flexible material goods. The systems have been installed at facilities cutting for garments and for industrial fabrics applications like marine, medical and agricultural products.
Eastman SLS3 Stack Labeling System fully automates the labeling process, reduces time, labor and eliminates costly errors that can occur with manual labeling. Small, self-adhesive labels replace large paper patterns or markers used for identification purposes. The SLS3 can interface with any CAD system and accurately print and affix pattern labels to the top layer of fabric stacks up to 4 inches (10.16cm) high. The stacks are then ready to move to a high-ply cutting where they are cut and bundled

by Annawade Stevenson Annawade Stevenson

Ultrasonic Tool Head For Composites, Gaskets and More

Eastman’s new Ultrasonic tool head has been designed for cutting adhesive backed, composite or gasket type materials with 20,000 oscillations per second. The ultrasonic technology reduces blade gumming and friction between the material and blade. The Ultrasonic tool head option is available for static table and conveyor systems.

  • Designed for cutting adhesive backed, composite or gasket type materials
  • One ultrasonic and two heavy-duty tool spindles
  • Ultrasonic spindle available with 30, 45 and 55 degree drag blades
  • Reduces blade gumming and friction between the material and blade
  • Frequency: 20,000 Hz (20,000 oscillations per second)
  • Includes pneumatic pen lift/holder assembly for labeling parts and/or system calibration purposes (computer-assisted calibration available)
  • 3 inch (7.62cm) stroke
  • Compatible with JetPRO, LabelPRO and Router Options

Includes Two Heavy-Duty Tool Spindles

  • Heavy-duty tool spindles with your choice of up to two tools
  • Stiffer, thicker tool spindles offer less deflection when cutting rigid materials
  • 3 inch (7.62cm) stroke
  • Compatible with complete library of blades, punches, notches and more.


by Liz McGruder Liz McGruder

Relying on Trusted Hardware

Finishing with a Workhorse Achievements of a Visual Imaging Provider

Eastman is featured in the April 2016 issue of Digital Output magazine. To read the entire article click here. An excerpt, below:

Workhorse Caliber
Because of the cyclical nature of sales, most of Coloredge’s clients change out graphics around the same time due to seasonal promotions. To handle this, the company relies on trusted hardware.
It uses an Eastman M9000 Static Table System from Eastman Machine for much of its in-store displays and light box work. The company has owned this piece of equipment since 2000. According to Sebastian Pratap, director of graphic panel production, Coloredge, the “workhorse” survived historic Hurricane Sandy even after the production facility in NJ took on four feet of water. “We only had to change out a few parts and it was up and running,” he continues.
The 78-inch by 24-foot flatbed on average cuts 150,000 linear feet a year. This includes paper and vinyl with thicknesses anywhere from 23- to 27-mil. It’s used daily, eight hours a day.
Other flatbed routers are used for drilling holes into materials and an XY cutter works to cut rolls of flexible media. Which device utilized is dependent on the job. The Eastman M9000 handles the majority of the in-store display and light box work.
When it comes to thinking about the Eastman M9000 and the difference it’s made to the company, Pratap points out that its existence pre-dates his employment. However, he says, “There really is no comparison. It’s machine versus man. Before it, they cut by hand. Now it takes the machine a minute to cut a 30 square foot pattern with no waste and little room for error. It’s all about accuracy and productivity.”

by Liz McGruder Liz McGruder

Improving cutting efficiency at Harris Corp.


Composites World – Harris Corp., Rochester Plant Tour – Read Full Article Here.

Eastman Machines for Cutting Composites

Please contact us directly with any questions or to discuss your unique application requirements. Eastman systems are suitable for cutting composites in both dry and pre-preg form – with or without peel ply. Our team of applications specialists have significant experience with R&D and production cutting of (but not limited to):

  • Unidirectional continuous strand roving
  • Bidirectional (woven roving, woven fabrics, continuous strand reinforcement)
  • Multidirectional (chopped strands, continuous, chopped strand mat, tri-axial, multiaxial)
  • Nonwoven core materials
  • Aramid (Kevlar®)
  • Fibre-reinforced plastic / FRP (Fiberglass)
  • E-Glass, S-Glass
  • Carbon Fibre (CF)
  • Carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) / impregnated with epoxy resin
  • Carbon- Glass and Carbon- Aramid Hybrid fabrics

Related Products
Eagle C125 Conveyor Cutting System
Eagle S125 Static Table Cutting System
Buzzaird Pneumatic Shear
Blue Streak & Brute Straight Knife Cutting Machines


by Annawade Stevenson Annawade Stevenson

January Specialty Fabrics Review Article

Eastman featured in latest Specialty Fabrics Review article (January 2016). To read the entire article, please visit

Excerpt from the article:

For most businesses, change is an essential part of long-term success. Ongoing innovation, in products, processes, service and value, is the best way to beat the competition.

Innovation. It’s the essential ingredient in any company’s ability to thrive and stay viable for the long haul. Innovative companies are restless explorers, constantly searching for and testing out new ideas, investigating new markets, looking for ways to become more value-added for their customers. It’s a relentless undertaking, not for the limited of vision or the “we’ve always done it this way” thinkers. Instead, innovation requires a willingness to examine assumptions, stick your neck out and possibly fail. Risky, yes, but the potential rewards make taking the chance worthwhile.

…Another example is Eastman Machine Co. Headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y., it has been manufacturing fabric cutting equipment since 1888, says Robert L. Stevenson, president and CEO. Originally, Eastman Machine manufactured cutting machines for harnesses and other horse-related items. Later, the company began offering cutting machines for apparel. Later still, noticing a rise in the use of industrial specialty fabrics, the company moved into this arena.

Now, Stevenson says, they manufacture cutting equipment for fabrics used by aerospace (such as carbon graphite pre-preg and resin-coated fabrics), the wind energy field and for fabrics used for inflatable and permanent structures (such as the fabric roof of the Denver International Airport), in addition to other markets such as recreational space. “Staying innovative is the only way to stay in business,” Stevenson says. “We’re continually expanding our product—like in terms of creating faster machines and developing user-friendly software. Seventy percent of what we sell today wasn’t even invented 25 years ago.”

For more information on Eastman cutting machines for industrial fabrics, click here.

by Annawade Stevenson Annawade Stevenson

SLS3 For Stack Labeling

The Eastman SLS3 Stack Labeling System fully automates the labeling process, reduces time, labor and eliminates costly errors that can occur with manual labeling. Small, self-adhesive labels replace large paper patterns or markers used for identification purposes. The SLS3 can interface with any CAD system and accurately print and affix pattern labels to the top layer of fabric stacks up to 4 inches (10.16cm) high. The stacks are then ready to move to a high-ply cutting where they are cut and bundled.

  • Prints and applies labels in one step
  • Thermal print head
  • Adjustable speed control
  • Uses standard 1” x 2” or 1.25” x 0.5” labels
  • Supports numbers 0-9; characters A-Z; +/-/./$/% and SPACE
  • One of seven available barcode types may be selected (standard is CODE39)
  • Accommodates 9 information fields in various font sizes
  • Operates on all standard spreading tables