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Tried by Fire: Innotex

Tried by Fire: Innotex enlists Zünd G3 L-3200 cutting systems to reliably and productively cut turn-out gear designed to support and protect fire fighters.

Innotex craftsmanship and innovation go back to 1889, when the company’s Canadian facility began manufacturing garments. In the century that followed, Innotex’s business transitioned to a focus on outerwear and protective gear, and by the mid-1980s, on fire-resistant protective apparel for industrial and military clients. Today Innotex has operations in the US and Canada, and its mission is to be the global leader in innovative turnout gear, continually striving to improve comfort and durability without compromising protection.

High performance and durability with low maintenance
Aiming for primarily just-in-time production workflows and improved transparency and flexibility in their lean manufacturing schedule, Innotex was looking for cutting equipment that could be relied upon to cut virtually maintenance free, three shifts, five days a week, with the potential for weekend overtime. Given that the shell, membrane and liner/insulation materials being processed are all manufactured to NFPA specifications and high in Kevlar content, the cutting process alone demands equipment that excels in precision, performance, as well as durability. “In view of these requirements, Zünd was the perfect choice for us,” Says Alexandre Trudeau, Operations Manager. Besides its reputation for high reliability and low maintenance, another deciding factor was the potential for lowering production costs. “Our materials are so costly, single-layer processing with parts nested for maximum yield across the entire width of the material creates very efficient markers,” explains Alexandre Trudeau. “With the new cutting system, we have been able to limit cutting room staff from 3 per shift on the older equipment to 1.25 on the Zünd. In the process, we went from 2 shifts to 3, but even so, we are still realizing considerable savings.”

Looking to the future – with Zünd
Trudeau is impressed with the way the Zünd G3 equipment has been instrumental in lowering unit costs – a critical component in staying competitive in the future. “We feel like we are part of the Zünd family. The Zünd staff has shown great interest and has been very supportive in our product development.” As a result of the successful implementation of the Zünd G3 in Quebec, Innotex has already installed a second G3 system at their Alabama (US) location.

“In view of our challenging cutting requirements, our need for precision, performance and durability, as well as our goal to reduce unit costs, the Zünd cutter was the perfect choice.” Alexandre Trudeau, Operations Manager, Innotex Inc.