TUKATECH & New Chef Commited to Made In America

New Chef Fashion, Inc. invests in a new automatic cutter by TUKATECH to expand their Made In America initiative

New Chef facility1Los Angeles, CA April 1st, 2014 – Lucien Salama, CEO of New Chef Fashion, and Ram Sareen, CEO of TUKATECH, shook hands late last year and sealed the deal to install a new automatic cutting machine at the New Chef facility in Los Angeles. Salama believes in Made In America, and as his business expands, so do his manufacturing requirements. The new technically advanced TUKAcut offers his business the tool to continue growing successfully.

Now that the automatic cutting machine has been installed at the New Chef facility, Salama is thrilled with the results. “It is already exceeding our expectations,” said Salama. “The cuts are perfect.” He purchased the automatic cutter for more efficiency, allowing him to be more competitive.

New Chef facility2New Chef Fashions has revolutionized the culinary industry with unique, fashionable and moderately priced uniforms. Their customer base includes some of the most prestigious hotels, casinos, country clubs, culinary schools, restaurants, cruise lines and various branches of the military. Salama is proud to have New Chef as part of the Army Initiative to have all cooks wear coats that are Made In America. New Chef thrives on offering a high quality product and the best customer service.

When asked about the service from TUKATECH, Salama responds, “The service has been perfect. Very happy with the service from the entire company.”

About: TUKATECH, ranked # 1 by the APPAREL SCORECARD globally since 2007, provides affordable
fashion design and apparel product development solutions to the apparel and sewn goods industry, offering a total solution for guaranteed results: consulting, engineering, implementation, and unlimited training. TUKATECH is the first CAD-CAM company to bring digital pattern making to leading apparel manufacturing countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and many others. TUKATECH is the first CAD company to eliminate the use of Digitizers, and reduce or eliminate Grading and Marker making by automating the process. TUKATECH is the first and leading company in the world to offer apparel product development outsourcing (APDO) as a service to the industry in 2001 through TUKAweb.

 

www.tukatech.com          www.tukaweb.com           tukateam@tukatech.com

We built our company from zero to millions with Tukatech

tuka1When Robert Lohman, environmental studies degree in hand, decided to enter the apparel manufacturing business, he had two goals. “We wanted to come up with a basics brand that was all organic,” he says, “and we wanted it to be made in Los Angeles.” That was back in 2010, and conventional wisdom would have dictated that someone with no industry background or training, going 100 percent organic with recycled material, and locating his manufacturing base in the heart of the Los Angeles garment district, would likely be out of business by 2011.
tuka5Conventional wisdom, in this case, would be dead wrong. Today, Lohman is CEO of the Groceries brand of men’s and women’s organic and recycled material tops. It can be found in over 400 stores worldwide, including Kitson and Planet Blue in Los Angeles and Barney’s New York and Opening Ceremony in Tokyo.

Groceries boasts annual sales in the seven figures, a 33,000-square-foot manufacturing facility downtown at the corner of Alameda and 7th, and 64 full-time employees. In addition to its own label, Groceries also sells volume private-label blanks to big names such as Paul Mitchell and Pearl Jam. The company is doubling its size every nine months. In other words, Groceries is a rousing success.

What accounts for it? To begin with, a strong corporate vision combined with a healthy dose of stubbornness. “We’d rather go out of business than manufacture nonorganic shirts and manufacture overseas,” Lohman says. “We will not go against our DNA that way.” And Lohman credits one other key component for Groceries’ achievements. “We really wouldn’t be here without Tukatech,” he says.

“Tukatech’s staff members were very cooperative during the installation process, and provided overall guidance and suggestions for our cutting room,” said Dinesh Virwani, Group Managing Director. “While our installation process is still continuing, we have already seen our pattern makers more than double the number of patterns they can produce in one day.”

Tukatech, a name well known and respected throughout the apparel industry, is the leading provider of fashion software and hardware technology solutions. The 18-year-old company, headed by industry veteran Ram Sareen, has built a devoted following among designers, manufacturers, and distributors worldwide, having sold some 19,000 systems and replacing over 5,000 competing systems in the process. Its advanced TUKAcad software is arguably the most instinctive and ultra-efficient 3D and 2D patternmaking, marking, and grading software on the market, while its SMARTmark module maximizes marker placement with surgical precision to make use of every usable square inch of fabric. Its advantages over its “very expensive and rigid” competitors are many, Lohman says, but for him two qualities were critical: TUKAcad is instinctive and easy to use with built-in videos and self-training audio help and support for every function, and Tukatech’s prices are affordable and terms flexible. Tukatech “allowed me to rent for $200 a month, which made so much sense to me since we were getting started from nowhere,” he explains. “We didn’t purchase any hardware, like plotters or digitizers, because we could use TUKAcenters. Suddenly, we had the same powerful tools big apparel companies used. That was empowering.”

Those advantages were key, Lohman goes on, because of Groceries’ ambitious, locally based, vertical-integration business model. “A lot of brands outsource their manufacturing, especially overseas,” he says. “We think you can be more profitable manufacturing in the U.S., and it reduces your carbon footprint.”

Still, the challenges are many. “We take on all the headaches that come with manufacturing here because we gain speed, the ability to react to trends, and also to manufacture at a lower cost,” Lohman says. The company also takes a smaller margin to be able to compete with nonorganics. “We focused on price point because we want to compete not only with other organic companies but with nonorganics as well. Since there’s no middle man, we pass that savings on to the buyer. If we didn’t manufacture here, we wouldn’t be able to offer this kind of pricing and have the success we’ve had in the market.”

tuka3Renting TUKAcad “gave us an efficiency as far as saving fabric, but, more than anything, it allowed us to work on our own timeline, even all night if we wanted to,” Lohman says. He has since bought the software, and, three months ago, he added the SMARTmark module. “It’s been another transformation in our company,” Lohman continues. “SMARTmark is TUKAcad on steroids. It is really and truly amazing.” What used to take 30 to 40 hours per week now takes “less than two hours.” Expecting a 5 percent fabric savings, SMARTmark is realizing near 20 percent, which should save Groceries an estimated 100,000 yards of fabric next year. “Efficiency is a huge part of being an eco company,” Lohman says. “We save money, use fewer resources, and create more demand for organic fabrics.” And that fits Groceries’ corporate goals to a T.

Lohman also credits Groceries’ success to “immense help” from Sareen and Tukatech’s strong customer support. “We made good business decisions manufacturing here it’s not just a gimmick,” Lohman says. “But I’m not sure we’d be able to exist without Tukatech. We couldn’t compete with much larger companies, wouldn’t have the flexibility to produce and design. It’s very empowering for a small company to have that much strength in that type of software. Those are the words flexibility and empowerment that are the keys to our success.”

Tukatech Trains 1000th CAD Operator in Sri Lanka

Los Angeles, CA. USA ; “Tukatech brought Digital Pattern Making to Sri Lanka” quoted Ashroff Omar, Chairman Brandix at the Annual General Meeting in 2006, but it was Anil Hirdaramani from Hirdaramani Group who brought Tukatech to Sri Lanka in 2004. Most companies had CAD systems yet no one made Digital Patterns. On 27th December, 2012 Tukatech trained the
1,000th CAD operator.

“We now have the largest pool of trained CAD operators in Sri Lanka. They have advanced training on Pattern Making, Virtual Sample making and are a really talented and world-class pool of operators.”  “We eliminated Digitizing, reduced or eliminated Grading and Marker Making with automation in Sri Lanka, thanks to the cooperation of the senior management of the Apparel
Industry in Sri Lanka. The management of the Apparel Industry are very serious about
their business and are looking for the best possible solutions so that they can become world class global players and without their commitment and support, we could not have made the difference for them,” commented Ram Sareen, CEO-Founder of TUKATECH, USA.

“Today we make 1,200 new styles of Dresses, Lingerie, Bras, Bottoms and Tops with less people than we did in 2005 when we brought Tuka into Timex –Fergasam.  Without digital solutions and TUKA2D and 3D systems, we could have never achieved that success,” commented Arshad Sattar. They are the first company to launch their own brands in Europe and Avirate Fashions for Asia.

 “We were using over 60 CAD stations from Lectra and Gerber and had another 40 plus paper pattern makers, with less than half the people on Tuka.  We now make more patterns, no paper and just digital process, thanks to Tukatech Engineers for their engineering, consulting and implementation. The support from Tuka is outstanding. Their pre-process and post process engineering helped us tremendously in Star Garments”, says Anusha Rodrigo, Vice President – Star Garments.

 Orit, Maliban, Brandix, Mercury, Hirdaramani, Star Garments, Jones NY-MML, Winterquilts and Sumithra were the early adopters and since then Academy of Design (AOD), University of Moratuwa and almost all the local brands and many exporters use Tukatech.

Note: TUKATECH, TUKAWEB and TUKACENTERS provide 2D/3D CAD and CAM software systems; web-based product development services supported by brick and mortar centers strategically located in garment manufacturing and design hubs worldwide. With over 14,000 systems installed and over 4,500
competitive systems replaced, TUKATECH is a Los Angeles, CA based company with support and engineering offices in garment districts around the world.

From Textile World: Tukatech Founder Ram Sareen Discusses the Changing Apparel Market

“Ram Sareen, CEO of Tukatech Inc., Los Angeles, a provider of product development solutions for the apparel and sewn goods industry, believes those who are well-informed as to the needs of all the participants in the supply chain have a competitive advantage over those who are not, and added that ‘localized sourcing, better logistics and sourcing partners in the supply chain help streamline the process and improve the bottom line.’”

Read more of Ram Sareen’s thoughts and the entire article here.

India’s Apparel Training and Design Centers Acquire 224 Tukatech Systems

Los Angeles, CA-  224 new TUKATECH 2D and 3D systems have been installed in 26 Apparel Training and Design Centers (ATDC) operated by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.  This latest acquisition adds to the existing 2,000 TUKATECH systems used for instruction in Indian fashion schools.

ATDC classroom

Concept to Consumer digital lab with TUKAcad, TUKAstudio, and TUKA3D.

Recently, TUKATECH partnered with the Institute of Apparel management (IAM), which is backed by the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), to install the very first digital fashion Innovation Lab that offers “Concept to Consumer” training for their Fashion and Lifestyle Design Degree programs, using software and systems that are redefining apparel production and management.

TUKATECH has been working with faculty to update the existing systems systems and is installing and training instructors in the new systems.  “Our goal is to prepare a highly skilled work force for our apparel industry by providing new technologies for improving production and quality,” said Dr. Darlie Koshy, the CEO and DG, ATDC & IAM, India

“India has over 400 colleges and teaching centers using TUKATECH systems, making it the largest user of any other country.  With many TUKAcenters available for plotting, students have easy access to the technology to complete their assignments,” commented Ram Sareen, CEO and Founder, TUKAgroup. “With such wide use of our technology, it helps students gain immediate employment upon graduation.

TUKATECH systems are designed to provide digital solutions seamlessly throughout each stage in the product development chain. With TUKAcad, pattern making, grading, and marker making has never been more efficient and user-friendly. Spec/tech pack and pattern card features allow for seamless integration with TUKAplan, a PDM/PLM and MRP software system. TUKA3D’s ground breaking 3D virtual draping technology has redefined the sample approval process. Digital patterns are draped on animated virtual 3D fit models to create virtual samples, allowing for quick and instant corrections to patterns, greatly reducing the number of iterations in sample making.  Most of the Fashion Schools also teach with TUKAstudio, TUKATECH’s innovative fabric and print design software system.

TUKATECH’s new venture, Styku Smart Fitting Room and body scanning technology is being called exciting, new, ‘disruptive technology’ that is changing the way apparel is designed, fitted, and sold. Styku was designed to integrate with TUKATECH’s 3D software, making it easy for designers and brands to implement, and improve their design process.

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About:  TUKATECH, ranked # 1 by the APPAREL SCORECARD globally since 2007, provides affordable fashion design and apparel product development solutions to the apparel and sewn goods industry.  We offer a total solution for guaranteed results: consulting, engineering, implementation, and unlimited training.

TUKATECH was the first CAD-CAM company to bring digital pattern making to leading apparel manufacturing countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and many others. TUKATECH was the first CAD company to eliminate the use of Digitizers, and reduced or eliminated Grading and Marker making by automating the process.   Our innovative and award-winning approach to streamlining fashion design, development, and manufacturing processes have led leading apparel companies to replace over 4,000 competitive CAD systems with Tukatech.

We are the first and leading company in the world to offer apparel product development outsourcing (APDO) as a service to the industry in 2001 through www.tukaweb.com.

About: Styku has created the ultimate platform for apparel retailers looking to solve the fit and sizing dilemma of selling clothing online. Using propriety apparel CAD 3D software (used by apparel brands, retailers and manufacturers) and the revolutionary Microsoft Kinect, Styku developed an ultra-low- cost body scanner that scans a body in three seconds, and then extract hundreds of core body measurements that can be used to select the right size in a particular brand – or create made-to-order apparel. Consumers will soon use the Xbox live platform, or their PC, to scan themselves at home and instantly “try-on” thousands of recommended apparel items and see how they will fit.

From the Los Angeles Times: Virtual fitting rooms changing the clothes shopping experience

High-tech sizing machines scan customers and offer a list of recommended clothing, eliminating returns and providing manufacturers with real-world data.

Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2010

Clothing makers, armed with body data collected from real shoppers, could sew better-fitting garments and more accurately forecast what sizes to stock. Retailers would save on labor needed to fold and rehang rejected garments. Some are already seeing its potential as a marketing tool.

Denim purchases at Bloomingdale’s Century City store shot up in March during the test of a body scanner aimed at helping shoppers find the right pair of jeans, company spokeswoman Marissa Vitagliano said.

Sizing machines are “a great example of using technology to drive sales,” she said. “It’s certainly the wave of the future and we want to be part of that.”

The technology could also help eliminate one of the biggest drawbacks to Internet shopping: returns. More than 20% of apparel ordered online gets sent back. Sizing software being developed for home motion-sensing devices like the popular Microsoft Kinect will soon allow consumers to scan themselves in their living rooms before clicking “purchase” on their computer screens.

“It’s disruptive technology that could break open the whole e-commerce apparel space,” said Raj Sareen, chief executive and founder of Styku. The Los Angeles startup has developed a program that measures users’ dimensions and creates personalized on-screen avatars to digitally “try on” clothes. Using specifications provided by clothing manufacturers, the program can figure out whether that dress will fit like a tent or a tourniquet before a shopper ever takes it off the rack.

Sareen said the company plans to sell the tool directly to consumers for home use by the end of the year, but has not yet set a price. It is also in talks with major retailers to install the software inside store fitting rooms.

Technology companies say virtual fitting rooms and sizing machines turn the shopping experience into a science. In a typical setup, shoppers step fully clothed into a sizing machine and stand still with their arms outstretched. Thousands of points on the body are then measured and mapped — usually by a motion-sensing device or by a vertical wand containing small antennas — and used to determine a person’s unique shape. A shopper is then matched with specific styles of clothing brands to fit his or her body type based on sizing information gathered from retailers’ actual inventory.

Read the full article

Styku shines at Microsoft Accelerator Demo Day

Styku, one of 11 startups in the Microsoft Kinect Accelerator, Powered by Techstars, showcases technology at Demo Day

Styku, the Los Angeles based Smart Fitting Room, concluded its participation in Microsoft’s Kinect Accelerator program with a demonstration presented to tech industry leaders, investors, and members of the press at the program’s demo day. Styku’s presentation, which showcased the company’s Kinect-based body scanning system and online virtual try-on, turned heads, as evidenced by the numerous write ups that appeared across the web and in print.

From CNet- Anyone who’s ever tried on a pair of pants, a blouse, or a skirt can testify to the challenge of finding the right size. Medium doesn’t always mean the same thing to every company.

“The industry is designing for an ideal body shape that is not us,” says Raj Sareen, chief executive and founder of Styku, a Los Angeles-based company that’s using Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing video game controller to solve the problem.

Read the Full Story

From Geekwire- Walking the floor at Microsoft’s conference center in Redmond yesterday for the conclusion of the three-month Kinect Accelerator startup program, it was remarkable to see not just tech demos but full-fledged companies being built on the company’s Kinect sensor.

See the Styku Demo Day Video and Read the Full Story

From Seattle Post Intelligencer- Raj Sareen, founder and CEO of Styku, demonstrates his company’s virtual fitting room technology at the Microsoft Accelerator for Kinect exhibition in Redmond on Thursday, June 28, 2012. “People don’t know what size to order,” said Elizabeth Thomas, the company’s vice president for marketing. “It’s one of the biggest barriers to online apparel sales.” The company plans to sell the system to retailers that have stores and online sales, and provide it free to consumers. A well-known retailer that the company cannot yet name plans to start a trial Aug. 6 in four fitting rooms in two stores.

Tukatech Presents Scholarship Award to Joseph Naranjo, “Future Entrepreneur”

Carole Anderson, Fashion Dept, LATTC, Joseph Naranjo, Future Entrepreneur Scholarship Award Recipient, and Ram Sareen, Head Coach/Founder, Tukatech

Joseph Naranjo, a fashion design student from Los Angeles Trade Technical Institute, was given the “Future Entrepreneur” financial scholarship award, sponsored by Tukatech. The award was presented by Tukatech Head Coach and Founder Ram Sareen on June 15 at the 2012 Textile Association of Los Angeles Scholarship Luncheon, where several other scholarships were awarded to young fashion industry students from schools all over Southern California.
Naranjo is currently studying pattern making and menswear design at the prestigious Los Angeles Trade Technical College. The “Future Entrepreneur” award, given to students who display talent as designers as well as strong business acumen, comes with a scholarship component which will contribute to his continuing education.
The monetary portion of each scholarship award is provided by donors from all areas of the apparel industry. Naranjo describes himself as interested in “exploring conceptual patternmaking techniques and tailoring in menswear.” The scholarship award he received was donated by Sareen and his company Tukatech, which has long history of advancing the technology and methods of patternmaking on a global scale.
“Tukatech is once again happy to contribute to the California Fashion Foundation and TALA’s Scholarship Awards Program,” said Sareen. “In the past, these awards have been given to students who went on to do amazing things, and this year’s recipients are another exciting group. Joseph Naranjo has already produced exceptional work, and I can’t wait to see the impact he makes in the industry once he graduates.”
Award recipients were judged by prestigious committee that includes professionals from apparel manufacturers, distributors, organizers, providers and journalists. Donors to the scholarship funds include AIMS 360, Betty Baumgardner Foundation, California Apparel News, California Market Center, Cooper Design Space, J Brand, Karen Kane Inc., KWDZ Manufacturing, STC-QST, Stony Apparel, Swat Fame Inc., and Tukatech.

Read California Apparel News’ article about the TALA 2012 Scholarship Awards.

IM-Label Reinvents The Tailoring Experience Using Body Scanning Technology

Styku Teams with IM-Label

Styku announced today the first implementation of the new body scanning technology that will replace the traditional process of taking hand-measurements with a measuring tape. Toronto’s IM-Label has installed the new StykuScan body scanning system that will enable quick and accurate body measurement and body shape analysis. IM-Label is the first custom tailor in the world to install and use the system.

“IM-Label is very excited to utilize the Styku system to individually refine the fit for each and every customer,” said Harry Park, Director at IM-Label. “We believe that this new technology increases accessibility to custom clothing by eliminating a step that normally requires a lot of skill and is prone to human error. Never before has such a technology been as economical to acquire and easy to use. It will allow us to measure accurately in seconds versus minutes and much less intrusively. This gives us one giant leap forward in providing affordable custom tailored clothing to the masses.”

For IM-Label, Styku’s body scanning technology has made one-click body measuring a reality. Inside of the 30 square foot measurement zone, a customer stands with his arms slightly raised, and in a mere 3 seconds, the body is scanned to extract accurate measurements within a quarter of an inch. This eliminates human error from the measuring processes, ensuring consistent measurements and better fitting garments.

“Styku is thrilled that IM-Label has embraced the future of getting a superior fit – and we fully expect our innovative body scanning technology to help them realize their goals. Canada has been an important market for us and having our first unit sent to such a progressive client makes us realize that the appetite for game changing technology north of the border is boundless,” said Raj Sareen, CEO/Founder at Styku.

“Body measurements are just the beginning,” said Park. “Combining data acquired from the body scanner with fabric virtualization technologies, IM-Label will be able to show customers what their garments will look like on a person before it is even constructed, thereby enhancing customer experience and satisfaction.”

About IM-Label

IM-Label is one of Toronto’s leading providers of custom tailored menswear. With three locations across the Greater Toronto Area and many private label brands, IM-Label focuses on providing its customers with individualized and well-fitted tailored garments through a customer-centric service approach and highly accessible prices. Today, IM-Label products are worn by customers who want to look their very best each day giving them the confidence they need to succeed. Founded in 2009 by engineers with an appetite for men’s fashion, IM-Label operates on the key elements of quality, individuality, and customer service. For more information, visit IM-Label.com.

About Styku

Styku has created the ultimate platform for apparel retailers looking to solve the fit and sizing dilemma of selling clothing online. Using propriety apparel CAD 3D software (used by apparel brands, retailers and manufacturers) and the revolutionary Microsoft Kinect, Styku developed an ultra-low-cost body scanner that scans a body in three seconds, and then extracts hundreds of core body measurements that can be used to select the right size in a particular brand – or create made-to-order apparel. Consumers will soon use the Xbox live platform, or their PC, to scan themselves at home and instantly “try-on” thousands of recommended apparel items and see how they will fit. Visit www.styku.com to learn more.