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Machine of the Month: A Look Back at Foothills Industries Cutting Textile Machine

This month, we visited Foothills Industries to see why they chose Vention for designing and building their new textile cutting machine. Learn more about their experience.

Vincent Herman Freelance Writer / Apr 24th, 2019

For April’s Machine of the Month feature, we caught up with Foothills Industries, a surgical drape manufacturing and service company in western North Carolina, which worked with Vention to design and fabricate a custom textile-cutting machine.


Stephen Galle, Foothills’ maintenance technician, was tasked with designing and commissioning the project, but he had trouble finding an engineering firm that could deliver the customized equipment they needed on schedule and within their budget.

Stephen has an extensive background with this type of equipment—as both a fabricator and mechanic—so he began to consider the possibility of designing and building it in-house.

However, after speaking to everyone involved in the machine’s development, including operators in the cutting department, it was clear that the project would be very complicated.

“We had to come up with a user-friendly machine that’s both cost-effective and easy to service. But the more I learned about how the machine would need to work, the more I questioned whether we would be able to build it ourselves.”
—Stephen Galle, Maintenance Technician

Despite recent improvements in CAD software, the design of custom industrial equipment can still be a frustrating and overwhelming process for many SMEs. What’s more, the transition from design to physical assembly often involves some unwelcome surprises.

Incompatible parts from different vendors, small variations between custom-built parts, and untested “integrated” systems all cause costly delays in the design-to-build workflow.

Vention makes it easy to get around these issues, no matter your skill level. “I was fortunate enough to come across Vention’s website and found out that they would be able to help me with some of the areas that I was not as strong in,” Stephen said.

Custom Textile Cutting Machine 3D Design

After a quick demo with Vention’s free CAD design software, Stephen and the team at Foothill Industries were able to design a custom cut-and-pull machine that met their unique requirements and that will allow the company to keep producing high-quality surgical drapes well into the future.

Have an operations or manufacturing project in mind? Try MachineBuilder™ today for an intuitive and collaborative design experience and self-start your automation journey with Vention.

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