Contract cutting and kitting

If buying a flatbed cutting system isn't practical, composite manufacturers have the option of contract cutting services.

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What if buying a cutting table isn’t an option, because of cost, space restrictions or lack of personnel? CAD Cut (Middlesex, Vt. and Denton, Texas) says it has an answer. The ISO9001 and AS9100-certified company, now part of Web Industries (Marlborough, Mass.), has 20 years of experience in providing contract cutting, ply-kitting and material supply chain management services for its customers, says general manager Ben Winters. “If a company’s core competency is building composite parts,” he adss,”that company wants to focus on that core activity, and doesn’t necessarily want to deal with purchasing automated machinery that requires a skilled operator and support costs.”

Those support costs are no small challenge: They can include additional freezer space for prepregs, material ordering and management, training of operators, machine maintenance, paperwork and record-keeping. Blake Phillips, Web’s marketing coordinator, notes, “Cutting is never just cutting. There are always other factors, risks and costs to consider.”

CAD Cut says it can manage all of that and more, with a centralized engineering and management team at its Vermont headquarters. The team sets up and manages each customer’s job, from material ordering to packaging and shipping of finished kits “just in time.”

Winters says that CAD Cut is expanding geographically, with a cutting center in Texas and new facility in the works at Web’s Georgia location. Colocating a cutting and kitting operation at a customer’s factory is also an option, he adds. “Buying a cutting system and all the add-ons comes with some risks. We allow a customer to ‘test the water’ with automated cutting and kitting, without having to make that purchase.”

Jim Powers, business development manager for Web Industries, adds, “We’re taking the hassles of supply chain management out of our customers’ hands, and actually saving them money, compared to in-house cutting.”

This short article is a sidebar to a feature story titled "Automated cutting accelerates." To read the main article, click on its title under "Editor's Picks" at top right.

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