Manufacturers Gain Respect from Foreign Trading Partners because of Manufacturing Automation Systems.
PRESTIGIOUS VIETNAMESE GARMENT MAKER, An Phuoc Co., was established in the early 1990s and began manufacturing jackets on a production line consisting of 30 sewing machines. Nguyen Thi Dien, general director of An Phuoc, said that by 1997, the garment manufacturer had recruited about 1,200 workers to make a broader range of garments, including shirts and clothing for children. Swamped by the increase in orders and stricter customer deadlines, Dien and her colleagues decided to invest in a computer-aided design (CAD) advanced automation system to assist in their pre-production process.
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY AT AN PHUOC
Then, in mid-1998, after researching all the different options, the company decided to purchase automated solutions from Gerber Technology. "We chose Gerber Technology because its systems are user friendly and very durable. Gerber also offers strong technical support, including on-site service, training, and a large inventory of consumable parts – which were critical points in our decision-making process," Dien stated. An Phuoc now has 80 shops nationwide and utilizes four computer-aided design (CAD) systems. Dien said that these CAD systems have decreased their design labor by 75 percent. In other words, a workshop of 500 employees typically needs four workers to design and make markers manually, but only one technician is needed to run a CAD system. Another advantage is that if any of An Phuoc's partners also use Gerber systems (or even other CAD systems); they can send patterns and/ or markers directly to workstations via email instead of by costly and time-consuming courier services. The company's next investment will be in Gerber's automatic spreading and cutting systems – which will further cut labor costs and boost production efficiency.
IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY AT VIET TIEN
Another premier company that attributes part of its manufacturing success to investing in the latest advanced technology is Viet Tien, Vietnam's leading apparel maker. Tran Minh Cong, deputy general director of Viet Tien Garment Joint Stock Corporation, says that Viet Tien was the first local company to utilize Gerber Technology's AccuMark® system – the most powerful design, grading and marker making software for the apparel industry. Over the past decade, Viet Tien has been acquiring more and more automated equipment, and now its nationwide workshops and subsidiaries utilize a total of 32 Gerber AccuMark pattern design, grading, marker making and 3D design simulation workstations, 10 digitizers, 32 plotters, two Gerber automated spreading systems, and two GERBERcutter systems. Cong says that Gerber's vast experience, combined with its full maintenance, training and customer service offerings, allows Viet Tien to achieve outstanding productivity.
In addition to improved productivity, owing to the utilization of technically-advanced manufacturing systems, Viet Tien is also experiencing enhanced operations and workforce management. This has resulted in an annual growth of 20-30 percent in revenue. In the first nine months of last year, Viet Tien's combined revenues from domestic sales and exports was VND 2.5 trillion (U.S. $119 million). An Phuoc and Viet Tien are just two of nearly 300 local (Vietnamese) customers of Gerber Technology, which supplies automated CAD, CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) and PLM (product lifecycle management) solutions for industries including apparel, aerospace, composites, furniture, automotive, marine and industrial fabrics. According to Ngo Huy Duong, general director of Gerber Vietnam, Gerber now holds 50 percent of the market share for apparel technology systems in Vietnam.
VALUE FOR END-CUSTOMERS AT BOWKER
Besides Vietnamese customers, scores of apparel companies around the globe have been investing in Gerber's automation solutions for over four decades. One such company is Hong Kong-based Bowker (Vietnam) Garment Factory Co., an adidas® sports clothing manufacturer. Wielly Chen, the company's production manager, says that since its establishment in October 2005, Bowker has used Gerber systems to manufacture its products.
The company considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of real value for its end-customers to be wasteful, and purchasing Gerber systems has been an important part of proving that philosophy.
Bowker believes that the strong selling points of Gerber's equipment include quality, speed, and ease of maintenance. Bowker Vietnam operates an array of Gerber systems from pattern designing and marker making to material spreading and cutting. Since the introduction of these systems, they have reduced labor costs by 70 percent. "We invested in Gerber's advanced technology equipment years ago at our two original workshops, where we employed 1,500 workers. We have since recouped all of our capital investment," says Chen. Bowker Vietnam opened its third factory last year and plans to reach full capacity this year with expected output of 4.5 million garments.
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