From a single cutting unit to an integrated solution. This is the route taken by Orox Group, providing a comprehensive range of products for the cutting room, including management and connectivity based on real time shared data
Orox is an Italian Group that since 2005 has designed, developed and made cutting solutions for the clothing, fashion, interior design, automotive and tech textiles industry. The hub of such an extremely technical business is its Research&Development department that provides genuine, tangible innovations: its growth pushes Orox to expand.
«We are going to move to a new and larger location in Zanica (Bergamo); we will have a larger space for a growing staff, to implement a dedicated demo space and rooms for 3D printers, for our engineers and for the whole R&D section». We spoke on the subject with Marta Maiandi, Chief Technical Officer of the company.
«Our goal is to provide solutions offering cutting edge technology. In fact, beside approved patents, we have many other patents still in the research or validation stage. The cutting room we provide is more and more a 4.0 version, integrated and at the forefront: we started offering cutting systems, however, our range is now larger and exhaustive, including number of spreading units. Our cutting range is now comprehensive, efficient and automated offering top quality, a higher productivity, a lower risk of human error and a reduced waste of time and cloth».
The traditional range includes iCut cutting units, conveyor cutting tables and the tailor stationary cutting table. It also includes the iRun spreading unit, standard spreading tables, conveyor and blowing spreaders, iSign, the new automatic labelling machine and specific management systems like iPlan.
The most advanced instruments installed on our automatic cutting equipment include a main control system, PLC, CN, x-y motors and inverters on board of the unit that becomes a stand-alone robotic unit, able to reduce breakups and maintenance. «Namely, as regards interconnection and IoT, all units made by Orox can be connected in a network so as to achieve a continuous monitoring of the machine and to offer a predictive maintenance service».
The cloth spreader
The iRun spreader by Orox is equipped with number of project measures that make it extremely performing and user-friendly. Among them, a synchronized spiral hose to open the fabric, roll loading on the side, a 10″ operator panel, a cutter lifter with endcoder, a bi-directional cutter, aligning light barrier dimmer, all-wheel drive and a light barrier to align the layer at the edge of the layers.
«On this spreader one can select from four profiles of speed and pre-set acceleration, or adjust them manually. One can also get the position of the step via a self-learning module, both by hand at the beginning or at the end of a step, or entering the length of the step. One can control the conveyorized tables via panels on each table, via the spreading unit panel or via the cutter panel. From the panel one can move each table or connect them».
The management system
Key to the 4.0 innovation in the Textile/Clothing Industry is data sharing and analysis. Data integration from each unit with other IT platforms in the business is fundamental to manage better the progress of production on an automatic cutting line.
«Through a PC on board of the machine we have real time data available: the platform we developed is the hub of this mechanism. I’ am talking about iPlan, a database and software that processes and displays production data while leveraging all stages from work-order to the cut bundle.
The basic iPlan version can plan by hand the steps and shades to be spread; recalling the ISO markers created on the CAD system one can assemble fabric layers specifying the number of plies on each step/marker.
Furthermore, fabric layers can be generated and saved on a database file to source from on a later stage. iPlan-Basic allows to automatically generate cut points and pick up points on each marker to be managed through the spreading unit in case of defects or at the end of a roll.
The iPlan-Pro software, engineered to manage cutting plans and layers in the clothing industry, immediately tells you the demand of cloth for the work-order.
«Starting from the amount of work-orders and based on the work-order in process, through an excellent calculation algorithm, iPlan-Pro can generate automatically the cutting plan, with the necessary markers and plies to be spread for each shade, considering various features like length, number of plies, height of the cutting table and cloth width».
One can integrate, change or keep the plan unchanged based on the CAD controlled automatic marker making and the preparation of markers. «Markers can be saved in an archive to be recalled automatically, thus saving marker making time. Furthermore, they can be assembled and reorganized in several steps so as to generate a set of plies to be forwarded to the graphic interactive iPlan Spread interface».
The iPlan-Pro platform can plan and manage pieces both in stock and along the manufacturing process in a lean way, optimizing resources and minimizing waste. The software includes different modules to control the whole cutting room, generate reports on the machines and the production process, manage the spreading lines and get markers and nestings on each spread.
«When equipped with a PC on board of the machine, the spreading unit can connect with the iSpread programme. Once interfaced with iPlan Pro, it manages pick up and cutting of the marker; this way, the operator who used to work analogically with a sheet of paper and a chalk moving from one end of the table to the other, now can get the information he needs looking at his screen. The cycle is fully automated».
Orox provides also tables for the production department with operator panels and intuitive displays instead of buttons and levers.