Gerber Technology, Yunique Solutions Launch New Advancements at ideation2014 for PLM, 3D Product Development/Pattern Making

10/28/2014
Gerber Technology and Yunique Solutions, a Gerber Technology company, made several significant product announcements around PLM and 3D technology for product development and pattern making at ideation2014, an annual customer event focused on innovation which was held Oct. 22-24, 2014 in Boca Raton, Fla. 

Some 200 of the companies' customers, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Under Armour, LL Bean, Fruit of the Loom, New Balance, VF Corp. , Disney, adidas and more, participated,  several through case study presentations.

In his opening remarks at the conference, Gerber Technology CEO Mike Elia said the new developments are a "testament to our deep domain expertise." 

"We have been working constantly to bring together the virtual and physical world to create product and, in fact, developed much of the original technology that initially disrupted the industry," he said. 

Elia also emphasized Gerber's solid financial performance, reporting that for the past fiscal quarter, which ended in July, the company's sales were up six percent, with earnings up 40 percent. 

The newest advancements come after several years of intensified investments by Geber in research and development. Specifically, the provider of integrated solutions for the apparel and industrial marketplaces announced that AccuMark 10, featuring a fully integrated 3D solution for garment development and pattern making, will be available in the spring of 2015, with the 3D solution as an optional module. The new version will allow designers to share 3D images and motion files, furthering collaboration and centralization of data. Designers will have a real-life visualization of designs and be able to make pattern corrections that can then be seen in 3D.

"This is the best version of Accumark we have ever announced," said Elia. "It reduces fittings and remakes and lays the foundation for so much opportunity in the virtual world."

"This release is huge for Gerber," added Bill Brewster, VP and general manager for Yunique. "It's making a big statement about the level of investment we're making in software. I think 3D has been an emerging technology in this industry for many years but hasn't taken hold. But it's turning now and the technology has certainly progressed.  It's about ease of use — you want to be able to truly design using 3D and then leverage those digital assets throughout your whole value chain – and now you'll be able to."

On the PLM front, Yunique, which was purchased by Gerber in 2011, is launching its sixth version of software, YuniquePLM V6, updated to improve speed, efficiency and usability.  Some of the key enhancements include a new development calendar, designed to provide complete product development visibility across the enterprise;  upgraded line planning which now, for example, captures planned units and initial style data to forecast budgets and financials by adding SKU plans and pricing information early on in the process;  3D file support, which allows users to view, store and analyze 3D files in one location, either internally or through a partner via a vendor portal; and mass sample request development.

Brewster expects the majority of its current YuniquePLM users to adopt the newest version.  He points to the new calendar as the biggest wow factor.  "This development calendar and calendar management is fully integrated into the work flow.  So if you have 20 styles to complete, for example, and you've done 10, it will show that 10 are complete. So it's automatically updated and connected to the workflow that you set up in the PLM system."

Brewster also reported that Yunique has added many customers over the past year primarily from the United States, Europe and Asia. China in particular has been a hot spot; Yunique picked up Zhejiang Semir Garment Co., Ltd.®, one of top 10 retailers in China and the No. 1 retailer in China in terms of market capitalization, as a PLM customer, he said.

"Companies in China have traditionally been manufacturing companies," said Brewster, "but with a growing middle class a lot of those firms are now creating their own brands and retail presence and that's what is really driving the adoption of PLM there."

On the benefit of this geographical diversification of customers, Brewster says: "The China market is different, with different need sets or different ways of doing things, and the hope is, if they need certain aspects accomplished in the product, that in turn will benefit others."

As to company size diversification among its customers, Brewster says that in addition to serving large brands and retailers, an out-of-the- box approach has been adopted by some of its smaller customers who have licensed as few as five seats, and scaled as needed when their business grew.

In other product news at the event, Gerber announced its next generation pattern plotters, the GERBERplotter® MP Series, designed for long-term reliability.  And in executive management news, the company announced the hiring of Karsten Newbury as global general manager, software.  Most recently, Newbury was senior vice president and general manager for Siemen's PLM software mainstream engineering business.


Susan S. Nichols is publisher of Apparel. She can be reached at [email protected].

Editor's Note:  Complete product announcements on the new Gerber and Yunique releases can be accessed at apparelmag.com or via gerbertechnology.com and yunique.com
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