P-CAM automatic cutting machine
contributes to labor savings
in school uniform production.

TOMBOW Co., Ltd.
General Manager of School Production Division
Kosuke Morimoto

Spreading school uniform use with “School Identity”

Our company was founded in 1876 and began producing and selling school uniforms in 1930. In 1976, we advocated “School Identity” and spread the use of different school uniforms for each school. Currently, our core business fields consist of school uniforms, sportswear, and healthcare.

Peculiarities in the manufacture of school uniforms

Production of school uniforms is concentrated in March before the school year begins. There exists tremendous variation by each school and each size, and "super-multiple variety" and quick-delivery production is the norm.

On the other hand, during the rest of the year, immediate response is required for single orders. The annual average lot is 14 pieces per order. This peculiarity is what makes it difficult for general apparel companies to enter this market, and also why production cannot be shifted overseas.

Labor savings by machine is an urgent issue in maintaining domestic production amidst a decreasing work population. This year, we launched our “Automation Project." Through it, we are working to identify processes that can be automated and to perform trials in robotic transportation.

Transport robot

Transport robot

The balance between quality and speed.

Under these circumstances, the computerized cutting machine has a major impact on productivity and product quality, and is key to labor savings.

For a long time, we used a cutting machine by an overseas manufacturer, but in 2008 when we were faced with the challenge of how to quickly cut a single piece of fabric due to the rapid increase in small-lot production, the first P-CAM cutting machine from SHIMA SEIKI was introduced. For school uniforms, it is important to balance speed and accuracy when cutting a small number of pieces. With P-CAM, cutting time per uniform was reduced by a third while improving quality. Six machines are currently in operation at the main factory.

Cutting machines by overseas manufacturers are also expensive to maintain and take time to repair. In contrast, SHIMA SEIKI's P-CAM has few failures through preventive maintenance.

For this reason, P-CAM is being added as needed in sportswear manufacturing factories where demand is rising.

Automatic  cutting machine P-CAM

Automatic cutting machine P-CAM


    Rolls of fabric are spread without twisting or warping, then sent to the next process.


    Labels are automatically affixed by SHIMA SEIKI's P-LAB automatic labeling machine so that parts can be easily identified after cutting.


    School uniforms use durable (thick and firm) fabrics. SHIMA SEIKI's P-CAM automatic cutting machine provides quick and stable cutting of these fabrics.

Expectations for SHIMA SEIKI

We appreciate the fact that SHIMA SEIKI listens to feedback from customers. That is why we look forward to solutions that address problematic areas at the production site. We hope to see total automation and labor-savings covering the pre-cutting and post-cutting processes.

TOMBOW Co., Ltd.

TOMBOW Co., Ltd.

Established 1876
Location Okayama/Tokyo, Japan
Type of business Production and sales of school uniforms

We can tailor solutions to fit each customer's requirements.
Please feel free to contact us.