Historically, fabricators have specialized their manufacturing processes to include either sewing or sealing. But what if fabricators combined these approaches? What if more manufacturers offered sewing and sealing services and used both methods on a single project? According to this article from IFAI, combining these techniques could even make your business more profitable.
President of S. Kaplan Sewing Machine Co. Inc., Steven Kaplan, says that there’s a good reason to consider combining both practices as they “aren’t mutually exclusive.” Some projects require sewing and sealing, so maybe fabricators should produce material that is suitable for both. However, entering this uncharted manufacturing territory isn’t for everyone. This expansion shouldn’t be taken on without proper planning and preparation to ensure that ROI is protected.
Why not just stick to one or the other? There are some situations in which a combined approach can be useful. For example, picture an awning in a marine environment. You can’t sew the covering of the awning that would come in contact with the rainfall because water would leak through the holes in the thread patterns. However, the edges of the awning require more flexibility and precision than sealing can offer. So, sewing is generally better for tight corners or perimeters.
Matic S.A. Area Sales Manager, James Herstein, points out that a project’s scale can be a determining factor in which manufacturing approach to take. “Smaller finishing requirements may stick with sewing. Larger projects typically use sealing,” explains Herstein. The textile makeup is another factor to consider. For example, vinyl materials weld well but polyesters and acrylics require welding tape, and some material can’t be welded at all. There are an array of questions to be asked before diving into this combined approach. Do you have the staff to support the new practice? What kind of projects do you foresee your company taking on? Must you invest in new technology, and if so, will you choose automatic or manual? All of these factors must be considered when deciding which manufacturing services to offer.
It might be daunting to take on a new manufacturing process, but there is a need for each method. Kaplan even says that, in today’s economy, “the ability to do both is something a fabricator should have in order to be competitive. You don’t want to have to turn work away; you need the flexibility that both offer.” Read more about the pros and cons of each method in this article.