by Lydia Anaka Lydia Anaka

Eastman Machine Company Announces Building Acquisition and Expansion of Headquarters

Buffalo, NY – Eastman Machine Company, influenced by client and product line growth, announces building acquisition and anticipated expansion of its headquarters in Buffalo, NY. Eastman Machine recently closed on 707 Washington Street and will now occupy the entire city block between Washington and Ellicott streets, south of Goodell Street and north of E. Tupper Street.

The neighboring building is a unique space of 12,589-square-feet and, once renovated, will serve as a robust demonstration center for Eastman’s cutting technology and solutions. Functional exhibition space is vital for daily operation at Eastman. To Robert Stevenson, fourth-generation CEO, personalized service and support are what separates Eastman from its competition.

“This acquisition is an innate step forward for Eastman,” says Stevenson. “We need the room to continue giving our customers and prospects individualized attention.”

The acquisition deal comes shortly after East­man Machine initiated a 5,000-square-foot expansion of its headquarters with the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA). The expanded facility will provide the capacity needed for the company to accommodate the accelerated development and scope of its work. Hundreds of cutting solutions are proudly designed, manufactured, and showcased at Eastman Machine’s headquarters for a range of applications and industries. The company expects to break ground with the proposed $1.66 million project later this year.

“Expanding the Eastman headquarters is just another example of our commitment to providing well-crafted cutting solutions and to American manufacturing,” says Stevenson.

Eastman Machine Company was founded in 1888 after developing the first electric fabric cutting machine. The revolutionary machine put an end to tedious manual cutting room labor and remains a necessity among various industries on a global scale. Almost five generations later, Eastman Machine continues to lead the industry, supporting manufacturers by cultivating advanced cutting technology.

About Eastman Machine Company

Eastman Machine Company is a cutting machine manufacturer, providing custom engineered solutions and innovative technologies for a variety of industries. Eastman offers the industry’s widest range of classic, hand-held and manually-operated fabric cutting machines; as well as a comprehensive line of fully automated, computerized cutting and plotting systems. Manufactured with the highest quality materials, built to precise specifications, and subject to rigorous testing, Eastman’s line of cutting systems have been setting the standard for over a century. Matched to specific customer needs, Eastman has a solution for virtually every cutting requirement.

To learn more about Eastman Machine and its mission, watch the company profile video: More Than a Machine.

Pictured: Eastman headquarters (left), future expanded footprint of Eastman headquarters (right).

by Lydia Anaka Lydia Anaka

Airworthy Aerospace Testimonial to Eastman

Airworthy, Inc. Fabrication division cuts, sews, and welds interior textile and non-textile products for the transportation industry. We specialize in aerospace carpets and non-textile flooring products for commercial aviation. Our Hudson, WI production facility utilizes an automated Eastman conveyor cutting machine to enable us to meet and/or exceed our strict quality and capacity goals.

Our Fabrication division is certified to AS9100D, allowing us to showcase our commitment to customer satisfaction, on-time delivery, and product quality. Our Eastman machine is a key piece of equipment in our production process and ability to meet goals.

In 2019, the Hudson Fabrication division cut 213,938 yards of aircraft flooring product with our Eastman at a year end average of 99.66% product quality. Through continuous improvement initiatives, Airworthy, Inc. Hudson Fabrication has been able to reach 100% product quality and no reported customer rejections for product produced the first half of 2020 (January 2020-July 2020).

We can accurately perform capacity planning with the aid of the automated machine utilization metric calculated by the Eastman. Knowing the output of our machine allows us to plan our labor and time-off schedules of downline processes to meet our customers’ demands and delivery schedules. Our Eastman and marker software also aids in material planning and allows us to calculate material utilization efficiency to ensure lean production and accurate inventory. Reducing material waste in the nesting and cutting operations is not only beneficial to the company and our customers, but also the environment. In fact, all our material scrap is recycled through a recovery program to further reduce our impact on the environment.

The consistency of cuts and punches, as well as the ability to set standardized machine settings for part numbers means that we can determine order turn-around-times with ease and deliver a consistent quality product. We can produce orders with short TAT when aircraft are on the ground for unscheduled maintenance or expedite orders to help ensure minimal down-time and lost revenue for our customers. Depending on customer location we can deliver same day or next day with an accurate ETA delivery window.

Our machine is outfitted with the Eastman EasiMark air brush marking system, which allows us to automate part marking with indelible ink. The system enables us to customize markings based on customer requirements such as part number, revision, production date, or install markings. Since the markings are programmed into the Eastman files, we can produce consistent markings production run after production run.

Our Eastman machine has allowed us to set industry tolerance and quality standards for fit when it comes to aircraft flooring. We are proud to work with nearly every major commercial carrier and their regional partners as well as original equipment manufacturers to fabricate flooring to customer requirements and design specifications.

Eastman has also assisted us to increase efficiency for other Airworthy, Inc. divisions. For example, we have automated the cutting process of liner sheets (made of woven E and/or S-glass cloth with a modified phenolic resin system and a 1 ml white Tedlar ® overlay resin sheet) for our Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) division. By cutting multi-plys of the liner sheets and using marker nesting efficiency placement, we have increased the cutting process efficiency time by nearly 94% and decreased material usage.

Like many other industries, aviation has been severely impacted by Covid-19. We have worked with our customers to design cargo bags to allow passenger aircraft to be converted to cargo operations without cabin reconfiguration. This allows our customers to contribute to the much-needed movement of medical supplies and other necessities due to the global supply chain impacts of Covid-19.

Despite the industry impacts experienced in 2020, Airworthy, Inc. Fabrication is looking to the future. We are planning to increase capacity and expand our product lines with the addition of a second machine for our Hudson, WI facility. The choice to purchase and customize a new machine from Eastman was easy considering the reliability and capabilities of our current machine.”

-Rebecca Johnson, Quality Manager

 

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.

by Lydia Anaka Lydia Anaka

Eastman Machine Company Announces Appointment of TeCS to Represent Eastman in the UK and Ireland

BUFFALO, New York – Eastman Machine Company announces that it has appointed Technical Cutting (TeCS) of Nottinghamshire to represent its line of automated cutting systems in the UK and Ireland. To offer local testing and education, TeCS strategically established an Eastman technical demonstration facility inside the world-renowned composites specialist Kamm Projects Ltd. in Newcastle.

TeCS is a team of experienced engineers, technicians, and CAD/CAM specialists. The company has extensive experience in cutting room implementation, applications analysis, and service across a variety of machine manufactures. With decades of hands-on customer facing support, specific to automatic cutting and material handling, TeCS is a natural fit for Eastman. “Eastman is part of our DNA,” says Shaun Doohan, owner of TeCS. “That DNA has flowed through nearly every cutting room we have visited in 30 years of service.”

The demonstration facility boasts a fully automated, CNC-controlled Eastman conveyor system to use for cutting trials and software training. As a direct result of the of the TeCS team’s ambition and flexibility, the site opened in early June and is now available by appointment with TeCS. “Having a team that really understands cutting solutions and is also capable of providing valuable support and service mirrors our business concept around the world,” said Elizabeth McGruder, Eastman’s vice president for European sales and marketing. “A local team will provide more options, increased savings and knowledgeable support for all of our customers in the UK.”

With 20 years of manufacturing and engineering experience, Kamm Projects has cultivated a reputation for delivering creative solutions. “We are proud to open our facility and demonstrate how two industry leaders work together in synergy to produce a flawless product, in both design and execution,” says Martin Meir, the Managing Director of Kamm Projects. “The automated technology which Eastman has extended to our facility has given us the confidence to create, design and continually meet the evolving array of design requirements. We are proud to welcome the Eastman conveyor system to our facility and look forward to hosting Eastman training and demonstration events in the near future.”

Eastman has installed thousands of 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 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 www.eastmancuts.com.

by Lydia Anaka Lydia Anaka

D’Addario: Music Accessories to Medical Necessities

Farmingdale, NY – Helping alleviate the dire shortage of medical protective gear is the current mission of D’Addario, a musical instrument manufacturer and Eastman Machine Company patron. D’Addario has been able to repurpose its production facilities to fabricate protective face shields for healthcare workers in need.

Cutting the FDA approved Dynatomy clear film for its face shields is usual practice for D’Addario. It is the same material and process used to fabricate the popular Evans G2 drumhead. Even before D’Addario factories were closed, the team was devising a way to use its resources to support the global response to COVID-19. Since the end of April, the company has been producing up to 100,000 shields per week.

D’Addario has committed to making 1,500,000 face shields by the end of July but they do not plan to stop any time soon.

“It’s our intention to manufacture these shields as long as they’re needed in New York or anywhere around the globe,” says Jim D’Addario, the Chief Innovation Officer. “We feel an immense responsibility to do our part in overcoming the COVID-19 crisis.”

Committed to providing musicians the most innovative musical accessories in the world, D’Addario sources the highest quality materials and machinery. Over a decade ago, D’Addario invested in an automated conveyor system from Eastman. The American-made machine has been a reliable asset to D’Addario in its usual production of musical accessories and now medical face shields.

John D’Addario III, CEO of D’Addario, decided to name his company’s efforts Project Excelsior, after the New York State motto. Excelsior means ‘Ever Upward’ and he felt this program title captured the incredible dedication of his small team while typifying the company’s current adage: #WeWillPlayOn.

Eastman Machine Company applauds D’Addario for its ingenuity and quick turnaround in production. “Millions of medical professionals across the globe now have access to protection, because of our customers,” says Robert Stevenson, Eastman President and CEO. “I am humbled by the continued effort.”

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 a video of the production of PPE at D’Addario here.

To learn more about D’Addario: www.daddario.com

by Eastman Machine Company Eastman Machine Company

Prepreg Processing: Considerations for Cutting Pre-impregnated Composites

Addressing the challenges of prepreg processing, including cutting, requires an understanding of what makes them different from other composite materials. Rather than reinforcing composite fibers or fabrics with resin after cutting and building, prepregs have been impregnated with resin prior to the manufacturing process.

Glass, carbon, or aramid are infused, layered, or coated with a resin such as epoxy resin, phenolic resin, polyurethane, polypropylene, vinyl ester, silicone, PU, or PTFE. The polymer used to create the prepreg composite depends on the material’s end-use and dictates the manufacturing process the material will endure. After cutting and molding, the prepreg composite is cured with a combination of heat and pressure, usually in an autoclave with a vacuum pump.

Prepregs present many advantages for manufacturers. Resins are added via machine, giving the producer more control over the ratio of fibers to polymer. This process is completed by the material manufacturer, rather than at the facility producing the final product. Aerospace, energy, and automotive businesses are able to streamline the manufacturing process by eliminating the need to store and apply resin separately. Companies in the wind energy, architecture, and sporting goods industries also rely on the benefits of prepregs.

Considerations for Cutting Prepregs

Many of the challenges of prepreg processing lie in cutting. Businesses must take into consideration the inherent properties of prepregs. This integral part of the manufacturing process is also unique to each end product. The right prepreg cutting solution must be functional, reliable, customizable, and versatile.

Functionality

The manufacturing process and end product dictate how a business approaches cutting a prepreg and its accompanying peel ply. A prepreg cutting machine must be able to adapt to the many ways manufacturers cut these layers. This may include removing the top or bottom peel ply layer (or both the top and bottom layers) prior to the material entering the cutter. Or, prepreg processing may require that only the peel ply layer is scored using a “kiss cut” method that leaves the composite itself unscathed.

A smooth, easy-to-clean cutting surface is essential, especially in manufacturing processes where the peel ply is removed prior to cutting. Eastman Machine recommends its polyurethane cutting belts because the material is easy to clean, ensuring the prepreg is not contaminated during cutting. Felt cutting belts can “shed” fiber particles and degrade the quality of the raw material.

An ultrasonic tool head, cutting at 20,000 oscillations per second, also helps address the challenges of prepreg processing. This type of tool spindle offers accuracy, speed, and repeated quality by reducing blade gumming and friction, even when cutting tacky materials. Reducing friction also minimizes the prepreg’s exposure to heat, which can cause the resin in the material to begin curing prematurely.

Reliability

Prepreg composites’ lifespan at room temperature is limited. Depending on the material, it may need to be cured within hours, days, or weeks of entering production. An efficient, reliable automated cutting solution is crucial to minimizing wasted materials and labor costs. Eastman’s machines are backed by decades of engineering excellence as well as industry-leading customer service.

Customizable and Versatile

Prepregs are used in a wide variety of industries because of their unique benefits. This means that prepreg processing varies dramatically across industries, businesses, and final products. The most effective cutting solution is one that is both customizable and versatile. Eastman Machine’s experienced applications specialists work with businesses of all sizes to determine which prepreg cutter, tool head, blades, and material handling equipment are best suited for their unique needs. These versatile solutions allow businesses to maximize their raw materials, labor, and production equipment.

by Lydia Anaka Lydia Anaka

Saratoga Horseworks’s Current Mission? Fulfilling The Need for American-Made PPE

Amsterdam, NY – Saratoga Horseworks has halted regular manufacturing of equestrian supplies to assist in local COVID-19 relief. In a matter of days, the company was able to bring PPE designs to life and has since supplied thousands of face shields and isolation gowns to health officials across the country.

“We are shipping about 7,500 gowns per week and have demand for over 30,000 at this time,” said Michael Libertucci, Saratoga Horseworks president. The company’s quick turnaround grabbed the attention of local executives and has been recognized as Montgomery County’s first ever Small Business of the Month.

“We have a great team here at Saratoga Horseworks,” says Libertucci. “I couldn’t be more proud of how they have stepped up (during this crisis).”

Since 1988, Saratoga Horseworks has been producing high-quality, American made consumer products. “We take pride in our made in USA label,” said Libertucci. Not only are the products made in America, but Saratoga Horseworks goes through great lengths to source innovative American-made materials and machinery. “Forget China,” says Libertucci, “buy American.”

For over a decade, Eastman machinery has been a staple in production for Saratoga Horseworks and Custom Sewn Products, the contract manufacturing division of the company. In fact, Libertucci recently purchased a new C125 conveyor to pair with his faithful EC3 conveyor. Using automation, they reduce material waste and increase efficiency he noted. Without the Eastman machinery, Libertucci believes they would not be able to keep up with contract orders.

Eastman Machine Company has been manufacturing American made cutting solutions for over 130 years and is honored to be working alongside a fellow Upstate New York manufacturer like Saratoga Horseworks. “It is exciting to see how much PPE in America is coming from our customers,” says Robert Stevenson, Eastman Machine President and CEO. “I am humbled by the continued effort to supply our citizens.”

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 Video of Saratoga Horseworks PPE Production.