We recently caught up with our friend Willy Totten, the Production Engineer at Go Fast Campers, to discuss GFC’s growing success and the vital role its custom Eastman conveyorized laser cutting machine plays. Check it out!
Who is Go Fast Camper and how does it fit in the overlanding/rooftop tent market?
GFC manufactures vehicle-mounted campers, toppers, and tents that allow our customers to have more adventures and meet interesting and adventurous people in our 8000+ and growing community. Strong, lightweight, and easy to use, they’re always there when you’re ready to go. No fuss getting prepped, just go camp!
What makes GFC products different from other similar rooftop tents on the market?
Our camper is not only the lightest and most off-road worthy, but it is also entirely manufactured in-house. Built custom fitted to the vehicle, and as a fully repairable and modifiable platform, the value of our products is two-fold. First, the production quality is high from the start, thanks to hard-working Montanans using state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies. Secondly, your overall lifetime costs are the lowest in the RV industry, thanks to the serviceable design with replacement parts shipped directly from the factory (in Belgrade, MT), keeping campers going on adventures, not in the landfills.
What role does your Eastman play in production?
Our Eastman machine is highly integrated into our fabric department, while also being utilized for prototyping and product development. During normal production, our team requires an ever-changing mix of parts, and we do not hold an inventory of cut parts. To facilitate this, we built a custom software integration between our Eastman machine and our production scheduling software. This allows us to use the machine essentially autonomously to fulfill our daily cut fabric needs without holding an inventory or batch cutting. Making our production as lean as possible, while running the machine minimally, and simultaneously freeing up our operators to do other tasks. We hope to continue to improve how we use our machine in production and eventually automate it further!
How does your Eastman cutting machine benefit GFC customers?
For GFC, the machine has fully eliminated the need to hold a cut parts inventory and dramatically improved cutting quality, speed, and accuracy. Keeping us lean while also making product improvements and changes, rapid and low-friction to roll out. Our soft goods production has also grown and diversified, without the need for our fabric team to grow. The same team members sewing and assembling parts are cutting the parts. Additionally, having the laser head has opened up our product development team to new materials and fabrics. These benefits are passed on to our customers in the form of constantly improving products, new products and price stability.
What made you decide to work with Eastman rather than other potential options?
We chose to work with Eastman because we feel they offer the best platform for their customers to integrate into their production and build upon. Additionally, with our machine being a first of its kind from Eastman, we knew we would need a solid, US-based support team and Eastman’s customer support has been just that! Responsive and fast with spare parts, software updates, and whatever we have needed to keep the machine running.
Dennis B. aka “FabricDaddy” has been sewing tents for over 30 years and has been an integral part of every GFC Tent that has gone through production for the past 2 years. Dennis works alongside his dog, Hugo, and his Daughter, Marya who is also part of the Fabric Team here at GFC. Throughout his time here at GFC, Dennis has implemented key changes to the tent design, and continues to apply his experience and skills to the overall production of GFC Campers.
Radically simple and immensely strong, GFC’s campers, rooftop tents, bed toppers, and cargo racks are able to go places no camper could before, all while improving your truck’s utility in daily driving. All GFC products are made in Montana by American employees earning a living wage, and are available nationwide through our network of partner shops.
Meeting Surging Demand: How Eastman Powers Outdoor Product Manufacturing
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