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Digital patterns offer security and save time

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Atlantic Coast Canvas, Lexington, S.C., is an OEM manufacturer, so it does tend to make the same boat covers over and over. However, office administrator Debbie Van Newhouse says the company switched to digital patterns mainly for security, not for the time savings.

“We have 30 years’ worth of patterns, and losing them could cripple the company. If we hadn’t changed from paper files to storing them electronically on a disc, then if there should be any damage-water, fire, anything-it would have taken us years to recover these files,” she explains. “The number one reason we bought the digitizer was for the [payback on our] insurance.”

Rather than sending the digital files to an automated cutting table, Atlantic Coast Canvas currently prints out paper patterns with a plotter. But Van Newhouse hopes the company will soon be designing items on the computer and using machinery to cut the pieces automatically.

Jamie Swedberg is a freelance writer and former editor based in Athens, Ga.

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