by Lydia Anaka Lydia Anaka

Sporting Equipment to Surgical Gowns: Gilman Gear and COVID-19

Devoted to fulfilling the need for PPE among the medical field, Gilman Gear has re-purposed one of their facilities to make surgical and isolation gowns. Over the span of two weeks, the Gilman team designed, manufactured, and began supply of surgical and isolation gowns for the Yale New Haven Hospital.

Gilman Gear has been domestically sourcing raw materials for the past 91 years to produce sporting equipment. During the pandemic, the company is proud to be using their logistics network, skilled labor force, and machinery to assist in keeping supply and fabrication of PPE in America.

“The Eastman cutting machine is our workhorse to cut all gowns,” said Gilman Gear President, Neil Gilman.

The sporting equipment manufacturer uses an Eagle C125 conveyor system to aid in its production. The automated machine continuously conveys multiple layers of material with consistent speed and control, while exceeding industry standards for accuracy. The C125 boasts supreme capabilities for single- to low-ply cutting requirements at up to 60 in. (1.52 m) per second and has proven itself as the go-to cutting solution for various industries. Gilman mentioned how substantial the productivity gains are with the automated Eastman conveyor system. “It cuts 280 gowns per hour and over 12,000 yards of material per week.”

To keep up with the demand, Gilman hired 12 new sewing machine operators and the whole team is working six, 10-hour days a week. “We are also committed to keeping our employees working and on the job during these tough times.”

Much like Gilman Gear, Eastman Machine Company is a family business and has been innovating for over 130 years. Robert Stevenson, fourth-generation owner of Eastman Machine, applauded Gilman’s earnest efforts. “The key to success is to be adaptive and to respond quickly to crisis,” said Stevenson. “Gilman Gear is a prime example of such success.”

Hundreds of cutting solutions are proudly designed and manufactured at Eastman Machine Company’s headquarters in Buffalo, New York. Complimentary test cut evaluations to capture the machine’s speed and recommended configuration are available by contacting the Eastman headquarters at +1-716-856-2200.


Watch Gilman Gear’s PPE Production Process!

by Lydia Anaka Lydia Anaka

Introducing Versatile Tools For Automated Cutting Of Challenging Technical Textiles

Eastman announces recent additions to its catalog of precision tools with the oscillating tool head and 10-sided blade. The tools have been engineered to offer maximum versatility and adaptability while adhering to stringent industry requirements for accuracy, speed, and repeated quality. Eastman is also introducing the foot-activated pause switch to its automated machine accessories.

Oscillating Tool Head

The unique motion of the oscillating tool decreases drag force, creating a clean and precise cut. The high-speed sawing motion of the oscillating tool head, around 12,000 oscillations per second (12,000 Hz), nearly eliminates hangars and minimizes overcut.

The oscillating tool is engineered within a heavy-duty tool head which contains two supplementary tool spindles. These individually aligned and calibrated spindles can be used with any two tools in addition to the oscillating; pneumatic pen lift/holder assembly is included. The spindles offer less deflection when cutting rigid or dense material due to their stiff, thick, and durable nature.

A variety of blades specifically designed to handle a wide range of applications are available.

10-Sided Blade

The 10-sided blade is engineered to cut through advanced textiles, like stitched fiberglass, with ease while offering maximum versatility and adaptability. It’s a great addition to the standard or multi-spindled heavy-duty tool head. The blade is available with a variety of exclusive depth limiting discs and is compatible with both the C125 conveyor cutting system and the S125 Static Table.

Foot-Activated Pause Switch

Located at the takeoff end of a conveyor system, the foot-activated pause switch allows the operator to stop the conveyor with their foot. Once paused, the operator can easily remove cut pieces from the work area with both hands free. The switch length equals the machine width, making it easily accessible, and only 12 oz. of pressure force is needed to activate it.


The oscillating tool, 10-sided blade, and foot-activated pause switch, along with hundreds of other cutting solutions, are proudly engineered and manufactured at Eastman’s Buffalo, New York headquarters. Complimentary test cut evaluations to capture the machine’s speed and recommended configuration are available by contacting the Eastman headquarters at +1-716-856-2200.

by Lydia Anaka Lydia Anaka

Tsuga Collaborates with CTD to Support PPE Production

The Carolina Textile District (CTD) is working with North Carolina manufacturers to produce medical supplies in the wake of COVID-19. Tsuga, an outdoor gear brand, has taken on a major role within the CTD efforts: cutting.

Automated cutting of high-quality industrial textiles is usual practice for Tsuga. Knowing the capabilities of its Eastman static table, Tsuga quickly joined the efforts to assist in COVID-19 relief. “We’re cutting close to 40,000 masks a week,” says Tsuga CEO, Jimi Combs. “Our machine is running from 6 AM to midnight.. everyday.”

So far, the coalition has produced close to 400,000 units of PPE over the past three months. Thousands of masks and gowns have been donated to essential workers and community members throughout North Carolina and the U.S.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to take part with the Carolina Textile District in the PPE effort,” said Combs. “This is an amazing network of people within our region and we at Tsuga are fortunate to have a connection to this community.”

The Eagle S125 can cut, mark and punch virtually any flexible material at speeds of nearly 60 inches per second (152.4 cm/second), proving itself as the go-to resource for many industries. Next to unrivaled speed, Combs finds the precision cut quality to be the most impressive.

Typical to Eastman products, the S125 is completely customizable based on the customer’s application and demands. A variety of system widths, lengths and tool head accessories are available to ensure the machine is maximizing productivity.

Eastman Machine Company has been manufacturing American made cutting solutions for over 130 years and is inspired by the dedication at Tsuga. “We are proud to play a minor role in the impressive efforts of the Carolina Textile District during this crisis,” said Robert Stevenson, Eastman President and CEO.

The Eagle S125 Static Table, along with hundreds of other cutting solutions, is proudly designed and manufactured at Eastman Machine Company’s headquarters in Buffalo, New York. Complimentary test cut evaluations to capture the machine’s speed and recommended configuration are available by contacting the Eastman headquarters at +1-716-856-2200.


Watch video by White Blaze Marketing, outlining the efforts of CTD during the pandemic.