Lean Manufacturing Innovation : Digitizer


As technological advances continue to streamline traditional processes, the cost of traditional processes also decrease. This helps to increase the opportunity for more American made manufacturing and affordability within the supply chain helps to keep the cost of goods low.

Today we are taking a look at a new affordable digitizing method for apparel, footwear and other industries. The following information is from an interview I conducted with the Mike Eisner, Vice President  of Factory Success Technologies LLC on PhotoTrace, the new affordable digitizer on the market.

PhotoTrace is a physical digitizer with optional software. The digitizer uses a simple method of capturing photos of pattern pieces on a table through a calibrated camera. The system then translates the image into an actual virtual digitized pattern piece with points, measurements, notches, lines and every other detail needed.

This is a great improvement from the super large slanted tables in design rooms with the mouse tracing system that exist currently. This process works in seconds and like all great technological advances, eliminates human error.  The system is compatible with all current pattern making systems but it comes with its own software that is a bit more intuitive with the digitizer. This software can detect physical nuances on the pattern during the time of capture and translates it into the virtual pattern pieces. Grainlines and other important details are translated onto the pattern piece and can be adjusted virtually.  

Take a look at the interview below to find out more information on Phototrace:

How PhotoTrace Works

How PhotoTrace Works


Question: How does your digitizer work?  


Answer: Our PhotoTrace system takes a photo of a flat pattern(s) on a calibrated table and vectorizes the image for conversion to a digital format.  Exciting, huh!


Question: How is it innovative?

Answer: The most important innovation is the ease and time savings over traditional “point-click-trace” methods.  A typical 4-hour digitizing job can be done in less than one hour, with editing!  

Question: Does it integrate with CAD systems?  

Answer: PhotoTrace output is in DXF, ASTM, AAMA, XML, or other format which makes it play nice with any CAD system on the market, including Illustrator, AutoCAD, Optitex, Gerber, and others.

Question: Does it integrate with marker making programs?  

Answer: You can import digitized patterns into other marker making programs or you can use our exclusive CutNest program.  We can provide very competitive fabric utilization for an affordable price.

Question: What is the cost difference?

Answer:  A complete PhotoTrace system is about double the price of a digitizing board.  It takes less than two months of time savings to recover the difference.  Also, if PhotoTrace saves one Carpal Tunnel Worker’s Comp claim, it really pays off!

Question: How easy/hard is it to operate?

Answer:  If I can use it, just about anyone can!  Point-click-confirm—it really is that easy!

Question: How can businesses adopt this product?  

Answer: Contact us at sales@factorysuccess.com!  

Question: Is it difficult to learn?  

Answer: Like I said, if I can do it, just about anyone can!  Installation and training takes 1-2 days, depending on how many modules are installed.  Most of the work is handled in system set up.

Question: Anything else you would want readers to know?  

Answer: Digitizing patterns to a CAD program is just the start.  If the customer doesn’t have a CAD system, we can provide one of three options—Industrial, Garment, or Footwear specific.  We can also digitize patterns directly to a cut file for digital cutters.   Our technology was developed for the difficult challenge of nesting and cutting for leather with its irregular material shape, defects, and quality zones.  From there we looked for other applications like pattern digitizing.


Traditional systems can cost a company up to $30,000, this digitizer is available for $7,995.

For more information on how the technology can help you contact Mike directly at sales@factorysuccess.com . Feel free to ask me any questions. If you have an innovative technology helping to drive down the cost of manufacturing please let me know! Contact jcouch@luxorandfinch.com for all inquiries.


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