Gerber Technology's Taurus II cutting system to make Super Bowl footballs
The Wilson Sporting Goods Co.'s football factory in Ohio has made 800 official commemorative Super Bowl footballs using Gerber's new Taurus II leather cutting system. Gerber, a world leader in providing hardware and software systems to automate and manage product design and manufacturing processes, is comparing hide utilisation results when cutting hides manually vs. using the Taurus II system.
Wilson, a leading manufacturer of sports equipment that has made every NFL game ball in Super Bowls, produced 150 of the official game balls.
Due to hide flaws and variations in size and shape, the Taurus II leather cutter captures them in seconds using a digital camera above the cutter. The system's nesting software then applies algorithms to analyse the hide and to get the most cuts from every hide. With knives placed on the edges, Gerber's technology cuts quickly and precisely to ensure accuracy and product quality.
"We're excited about the opportunity Gerber's Taurus II offers us to ensure quality and reduce our material costs," said Dan Riegle, Wilson's factory manager. "We're seeing as much as 10% improvement in yields as a result of Taurus' computerized nesting capabilities."
Super Bowl teams receives 108 game balls each - 54 for practice and 54 for the game and the partnership between Wilson and the NFL is thought to be one of the longest in sports history.