The Challenge

A manufacturing company in Istanbul, Turkey, purchased a very large cutting plotter to produce shade sails. As the sails were up to 21 m long and mostly in PVC-coated textiles, we recommended our “classic” SM-330-TA cutting plotter with a conveyor belt for infinite cutting lengths. However, the customer had a lot of space available and was interested to see the patterns spread out after each cut to provide a fast, visual quality inspection. For this reason, they insisted on a static bed cutting plotter from our SM-375-series.

The Solution

We built a large cutting plotter with a usable length 21 m for panels up to 5 m wide and installed the tools needed to cut heavy PVC-coated fabrics. This included 28 mm and 45 mm rotary blades for high-speed cuts of curves, straight lines, and simple patterns, along with a drag knife for complex shapes and a marker pen to indicate the individual parts with an identification code or reference points for subsequent welding and sewing jobs.

Since the machine has such a large cutting frame, we installed two vacuum turbines and sectioned the worktop in multiple areas where the vacuum power could be activated or deactivated according to the panels' size to be cut.

A custom CAD-macro makes the creation of very complex shape sails fast and easy for operators of any skillset. Orders can also be imported from the company’s own order database.

Extra-large panels cut with great precision.

The machine spreads the XXL panels automatically. The vacuum turbines do not secure the fabric to the cutting surface during the cut, but can invert the airflow and create a “flying carpet” on the work top for easy movement of the large and weighty PVC sheets. The dynamic zero-point, indicated by a laser pointer and steered by a joystick on the machine’s control panel, allows operators to cut patterns from the roll while but processing small pieces of discarded fabrics.

The machine has been working in Istanbul since the Summer of 2016.

Machines for Sun Protection – Case Studies  – Cutting Solutions for Shade Sails - Image 1