It’s All in the Stitching

DAP America, Inc.

There tends to be more to most things than what meets the eye – especially when it comes to the curious number of stitches that hold our world together. From shoes to car seats, handbags, and more, quality stitching is an integral part of what sets high-end sewn goods apart from everything else.
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DAP America, Inc. – previously known as Dürkopp Adler America Inc. – brings German ingenuity to the United States and far beyond. This time-honored industry leader is proud to make its prestigious clients in the clothing, upholstery, automotive and other industries more profitable and competitive by providing them with the latest in high-tech sewing systems and technology, and superb client service.

Appropriate for a range of applications including ladies and men’s wear, shirts and blouses, leather goods, jeans and work wear, uniforms, protective clothing, lingerie, automotive uses and airbags, upholstery, shoes, handbags, filters, technical textiles and more, DAP America’s machines ensure the latest in production technology and flow, ensuring better results and greater cost savings for customers. It is no surprise that these machines are the darling of the world’s sewing industries.

So, what’s really in a stitch? One may wonder. Quality stitching is part of what makes exclusive high-end sewn goods shine with sleek design details and greatly improves the quality and appearance of seams – which is why Dürkopp Adler counts Louis Vuitton amongst its exclusive, loyal clientele. Thanks to exponential technological advancement, this is the most exciting time the sewing industry has experienced in 150 years. DAP America, Inc., based in Atlanta, Georgia, focuses on leveraging technical developments to help customers stay ahead of the trends. It also saves them time, money and labor frustrations.

The company’s prestigious machines include brands such as Dürkopp Adler’s own, Pfaff, KSL, and Beisler. And its offerings don’t end with sewing machines either; DAP America, Inc. offers a phenomenal choice of technology solutions across all industrial sewing processes. This includes automated sewing stations, sophisticated software, robotics and much more.

Dürkopp Adler’s footprint is global in the truest sense of the word and leaves many competitors reaching for their stitch pickers. With its main headquarters in Bielefeld, Germany and three primary manufacturing plants in the Czech Republic, Romania, and China, the company’s operation stretches across many countries as well as across most continents. Four primary subsidiaries in Southern and Central Europe, as well as the Americas, are in charge of distribution. The latter trades as DAP America, who serves all of Canada and the rest of North and South America up to Argentina, while the European outfits trade as DAP Italy, DAP France, and DAP Poland. While these are the company’s main distributors, there are also scores of smaller subsidiaries dotted across the globe.

This incredible reach stands testimony to the company’s rock-solid reputation for quality products and customer care, as these machines are renowned for their strength and tenacity. “Our products are really rugged. Many operations, like those in the automotive industry, run 24/7 and big industrial manufacturers have come to rely on these machines because of this. Some operators have had machines for 40 years and more,” says President, Mariano Amezcua. And he should know, because Mariano is no stranger to dealing with customers. He often pays clients’ plants personal visits to see how the machines are performing and to offer support, advice, and solutions where needed.

As market needs evolve and technology improves, the company’s offering also progresses. Dürkopp Adler is particularly committed to digitizing the sewing room and invests heavily in research and development in this field. The company’s aim? To take the guesswork and downtime out of every process imaginable – including maintenance. With real-time information and automated systems that largely take care of themselves, managers are able to make on-the-spot decisions about issues that used to take days or sometimes even weeks to solve.

One example of how far this computerization has taken the industry is in the realm of needles becoming blunt. When this happens, a number of problems arise; such needles may skip stitches or only perforate goods, for instance. Products like leather and delicate fabrics that cannot be restitched then have to be discarded – but only at the very end of an entire manufacturing process that, in the case of fabrics, also includes washing and drying. This is an incredibly wasteful process – especially considering how precious resources like water and energy have become.

To correct such errors and perform maintenance used to stop the entire production line both up- and downstream for as long as it took to correct the problem – sometimes for hours at a time, so to solve this heavy expense, Dürkopp Adler’s latest industry 4.0 software solution allows all digitally connected machines to identify and communicate upcoming maintenance tasks and impending problems. Consider for instance that a standard needle remains sharp for 100,000 stitches. The company’s latest system will notify its technicians when any of its needles reach 99,000 stitches and again after that until the old needle is replaced. Therefore, this latest innovation mitigates the effect of all possible glitches that can occur on production lines, including bottlenecks and much more. This means that technicians can be prescheduled and can arrive with the correct parts on hand, and managers are also warned of technical issues when machines start slowing down.

All these measures culminate in substantial savings for manufacturers and can ultimately prevent disaster. For instance, when an automotive fabricator loses 20 percent of its production volume due to a slowed-down production process, overtime has to be scheduled at great expense, or even worse, products have to be airfreighted to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to avoid incurring massive fines. Therefore, when the stakes are high, manufacturers know who to call. DAP America, Inc. is always there to support valuable production lines in the sewing industry.

To make it all just that little bit more incredible, DAP America’s latest machines not only predict, but also self-perform certain maintenance tasks on the production lines. They can even determine and share where and how savings can be attained. In addition to all this, the company’s automated substations function without operators, while robotics technology allows myriad different tasks to be executed by individual, automated functions, such as the robotic arms used to sew dashboards for the automotive industry. These operations are entirely independent of any human input. Far beyond cost and time savings, these systems empower managers and manufacturers to make the correct decisions regarding quality, maintenance and costs by providing them with real-time, accurate information. That’s a pretty profound win in this highly competitive field.

“Over the last century and a half, industrial sewing operations have had little means of gauging their losses as it was difficult to see where improvements could be made in terms of cost and time savings,” says Amezcua. Today, there is no doubt that Dürkopp Adler’s industrial sewing innovation has changed the way in which the world sews. In as little as just three years, the primarily electro-mechanical process of sewing has become computerized, and thanks to the latest touchscreen technology, switching between different materials using the company’s premium machines is as easy as pie.

When clients want to change from working with leather to vinyl, for example, it suddenly becomes as easy as if you were adjusting your car’s temperature or flipping a channel. Now, manufacturers no longer need multiple production lines dedicated to only one function or material. Neither do they have to spend entire shifts working with just a single product or material. “Manufacturers used to have to plan a lot more carefully and had a lot more downtime due to changing materials and products, but that has all changed thanks to computerization,” says Amezcua. This again saves a lot of resources and reduces the manufacturing footprint in a very big way – all without sacrificing quality.

When it comes to DAP America, Inc.’s outstanding range of machines, there simply is no contest and one can easily understand why its machines can be found in nearly every country in the world. The secret to its longevity is the fact that for Dürkopp Adler, its success is reliant on the success of its customers – and there’s nothing disposable about the fact. Instead of making machinery in order to replace it after a certain amount of time, this tenacious manufacturer focuses on unadulterated craftsmanship and customer care. Amezcua has a very strong belief in consulting with clients in order to understand their challenges. “The whole world is held together by stitches when you start looking around. That makes our role in the industry a very big one. Our teams take that impact we have on clients’ operations very seriously,” he says. The president is particularly proud of the global impact the company has on making the world a better place.

Seeing customers’ challenges constantly change and increase makes getting even closer to them a top priority for this team. One of these challenges is an increased pressure on product turnaround, as timelines have been shrinking rapidly over the past few years. Producing a greater variety in lower quantities at an ever-increasing speed is the current norm and DAP America, Inc. is there to support customers in achieving these low-volume, high-mix goals in the most effective ways possible. To achieve and maintain these close relationships with customers, the company is continually investing in ramping up its service as well as its salespeople. “For us, it’s all about putting our customers first, every step of the way,” shares Amezcua.

This is evident from the moment clients first reach out to the DAP team. A dedicated sales manager travels to their facility to ascertain exactly what the client’s needs are and what solutions are needed to improve their current or proposed new production processes. Material samples are collected and tested on a variety of its existing machines to find the perfect match based on application and the challenge at hand. Depending on the challenge, a product specialist from Dürkopp Adler’s headquarters in Germany may be enlisted to help find the desired outcome. Once clients have had an opportunity to consider and approve the resulting products, a quote is prepared and the process follows from here.

Founded in central Germany’s Bielefeld textile region around 1860, Dürkopp Adler ironically started out in sewing machine manufacturing at a time that machines were imported from America at astronomical expense. The original founders, Baer and Koch, were both locksmiths and over time, partners came and went. The name changed a few times and by the 1980s, the company had become internationally known and very successful. Since that time, it has grown into a global giant in the sewing systems industry through acquisitions and consolidations.

Over the past three years, DAP America has enjoyed a significant growth rate and in 2017, the company won a Texprocess award for Innovation for its industry 4.0 software solution. “We have reason to believe that this software will change the market, purely by helping manufacturers become more quality efficient, and will drive down production costs,” says Amezcua. One can see the effects in the volume of clients who choose to take part in early adoption of the technology. Practically every single client who has heard about the product is keen to install it and DAP America, Inc. is excited to continue leveraging technology to the benefit all of its customers.

For this strong team of 35, the future is clearly stitched out. Yet another generation is keen to pass Dürkopp Adler’s proud and famous legacy of automation and computerization on to the next.

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August 24, 2019, 4:01 AM EDT