Comelz, the cutting machine for seamless shoesThe growing popularity of seamless sports shoes on international markets poses new challenges for cutting technologies, which must consider the weave, graphics, and design of engineered fabrics; challenges that Comelz is ready to tackle through its innovative visual recognition technology.
The most difficult technical aspect of seamless uppers is represented by the “reading” of the material’s shape and the recognition of specific elements like the weave, graphics, and design. In order to resolve this problem, Comelz developed the historic CTM single head utility cutter, fitting it with a system of high definition video cameras that allow for the visual recognition of each single reference graphic element of the material to be cut. An innovative solution for engineered materials that guarantees a high level of cutting accuracy that is without comparison.
“The VR system allows us to fully undertake a process that is extremely popular, for example, in the main production districts of Asia and Brazil: a seamless upper for sports shoes. – explains Stefano Zorzolo, technical director of Comelz – The CTM VR cutting island, thanks to a high definition vision system made up by 15 video cameras, manages to ‘read’ the material with the printed upper: starting from the roll of printed material, it sees the upper, recognises it, and cuts it correctly. Its ability to interpret the material allows it to also work with the engineered mesh of sports shoes: with its high resolution, the VR system, in fact, identifies the differing densities of fabrics, weaves, graphics, etc.…”
When compared to other systems present on the market, the CTM VR cutting island offers a number of important advantages: “First of all – explains Stefano Zorzolo – with a full and high definition view of the entire work area, it functions without needing to previously know the layout and without the use of markers of reference printed on the material. A characteristic that speeds up the entire cutting process, making it more flexible, while also demonstrating itself to be fundamental in correcting for material distortions once the piece has been placed on the work surface, especially when the fabrics are soft, like those for engineered mesh, allowing for the possibility to cut away imperfect or overlapping materials”.
There are then a series of devices that optimise the functioning of the machine: a low-hanging head that allows the video cameras to be brought closer to the viewing area, thereby creating a higher resolution by which to examine the fabric, the 111-LED system that allows the lighting to be adjusted, thus avoiding external light sources that might cause an incorrect reading of the material, and the possibility to close the machine from the front, resulting in a contained system that is also soundproof…
Thanks to these characteristics, the cutting island with Comelz CTM Visual Recognition (VR) system confirms itself as the most qualified partner for seamless footwear productions and engineered mesh.