Company profiles for Eastman Machine Co. and Roland DGA Corp.
By John Gehner
Eastman Machine Co.
A tradition of service
More than a century ago, a Canadian inventor named George Eastman developed the first fractional electric motor that could be mounted on a machine. The motor was attached to a reciprocating knife mechanism, and the first electric fabric-cutting machine was born: The Eastman.
The Eastman revolutionized the apparel industry with a tool that ended tedious manual cutting-room labor. After countless patents and improvements from the first cutter built in 1888, Eastman’s current product line includes more than 100 machines that are sold worldwide.
In 1995, Eastman acquired North Technology Systems from the North Sails Group, the world’s largest sail maker. North developed this subsidiary to build computer-controlled cutting machines for use in North’s sail lofts.
North pioneered the use of Kevlar® and Mylar® in marine applications and found niche markets in aerospace, automotive, carpet, insulation and vinyl cutting applications. This acquisition enabled Eastman to expand into new industries such as the composite and industrial fabric markets (beyond the traditional apparel markets it was serving with the above manually-operated machines).
Eastman is one of only a few manufacturing companies that can lay claim to thriving through three centuries, an accomplishment credited to upholding a tradition of delivering durable machinery, superior service and expertise. The company has focused its vision on, and dedicated its goals to, identifying and solving modern manufacturing problems so customers can be competitive in today’s diverse marketplace.
Elizabeth McGruder, marketing manager, Eastman Machine Co.
Roland DGA Corp.
Surrounding the market
Roland just celebrated its 30th anniversary worldwide. Headquartered in Hamamatsu, Japan, the company was formed in 1981 as a provider of advanced computer peripherals for creative professionals. The company’s original product line of pen plotters served the CAD/CAM industry throughout the 1980s and led the way to three decades of innovation.
Today, the company is best known for its wide-format inkjet printers and printer/cutters, that address applications ranging from signs, vehicle wraps, banners, POP and trade show displays to soft signage, labels, package prototypes and apparel decoration.
In addition, Roland offers a complete line of vinyl cutters, engravers and 3-D milling machines, a broad-based product mix that includes product prototyping, personalization and medical marking devices, a jewelry wax model maker, a craft and hobby mill and a line of precision dental mills.
Roland products have a strong reputation for quality and reliability. They are offered as part of complete business solutions, supported by bundled software, supplies and accessories.