Hudson Cutting Solutions serves the manufacturing industry by providing complete customized solutions covering all aspects of cutting. Rather than selling premade, out-of-the-box equipment for die-cutting, splitting, skiving, and material handling, Hudson Cutting analyzes a manufacturer’s operation before presenting an innovative solution tailored to their needs.
“We always go in and find out exactly what they want to do before we try to sell them anything,” says David Lees, Consultant at Hudson Cutting. By partnering with leading providers in the industry, the company is able to offer the most advanced customized equipment at competitive prices.
With over 100 years of experience in manufacturing, Hudson Cutting established itself in the shoe industry under a different name in 1910. Over the years, it began to supply different types of equipment including cutting machines. After it was purchased in 1973, the company started to move away from the shoe manufacturing industry and it delved further into the cutting space with a new range of advanced machinery.
The next step for Hudson Cutting was to merge with two large global corporations. By 2007, it transitioned to a different supplier that could be more flexible to the company’s new mindset of evaluating its customers’ needs and providing custom equipment.
“We not only changed the supplier, but we also changed the name to Hudson Cutting Solutions because our philosophy was to analyze, and supply the best solution to cut their product,” explains Lees.
Since 2012, the company has been a part of IPSUMM Inc. This network of partners has helped Hudson Cutting blossom into a leading provider of cutting solutions capable of offering superior technology and equipment.
“The big differentiating factor for Hudson with IPSUMM is that we have other groups that are very specialized in automation and service and machining that are complementary businesses to Hudson,” says IPSUMM President John Kodzis, “The way the groups work together, even though they’re owned by one parent, they’re not required to work with each other, so they’re potential supply chains for one another.”
One of Hudson’s sister companies, ENTAKT, is a service organization with technicians dedicated entirely to complete turnkey manufacturing solutions. It specializes in a variety of fields including cutting presses, but also packaging equipment, filling equipment, and more. The engineering arm of IPSUMM, called i2i Engineering, focuses on technology and automation. Next Generation Precision Machining (NGPM) offers CNC machining capabilities and USM Americas is an expert in the shoe manufacturing industry.
IPSUMM is headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Hudson Cutting is located in Montreal, Quebec. The entire organization aims to follow a strict business code of conduct, have a strong sense of integrity, and leave personal egos outside of the business. If all three of these principles are adhered to, employees across the board should be able to express their opinions and have authentic discussions with anyone inside the group of companies. This allows for particularly constructive collaboration between the separate businesses.
The honest and transparent attitude at Hudson Cutting also leads to good communication with the customer. It understands that as an important part of the supply chain, it has an influence on the marketplace, and the company does not take that responsibility lightly.
“We are huge believers in being part of the supply chain. We know the impact of what we do to the supply chain, and we know that what we’re contributing to this manufacturing space, really has an impact on how well our people can produce, what they can sell, and what they can make,” says Kodzis.
A number of team members within the organization have close to 50 years of experience in the industry. The extensive knowledge learned over the years is irreplaceable and it is a major advantage over some of its competitors. The fusion of skilled maturity with the fresh perspective of the younger generation also present within the company is an ideal combination.
“Having people with beginner’s eyes looking at this industry is really an advantage as well. We don’t just say ‘you have to do this because this is the way it’s been done,’” explains Kodzis, “And then having people who have been here a long time and their expertise, so you’re not going in blind trying to reinvent something that shouldn’t be reinvented, but trying to make something better in a way that makes sense. It really is a good mix of the old and the new.”
Die cutting is an ancient industry but the technology of today has produced multiple alternatives for cutting different types of products and materials such as laser cutting and water jet cutting. There are advantages of choosing to die cut: the results are consistently uniform and the speed of the process is fast in comparison to others.
“If it is softer than steel, it can be cut. So there are a variety of industries from foam, to packaging, to aerospace, to textiles, to automotive, or anything that’s softer than steel. I guarantee you everything you own today has been cut out with something, and they can all be die cut. That gives you an idea of the vast potential of die cutting,” says Lees.
Cutting presses are the type of machines that can last many years when they are well designed and properly taken care of. As a result, there are many presses in operation today that are no longer being manufactured. The ENTAKT service arm of the company is capable of bringing machines up to date with today’s technology by reengineering old equipment to include more modern, computerized controls.
One of the challenges that come with the longevity of die cutting equipment is getting manufacturers to comprehend that there are superior options and possible upgrades available. When a piece of machinery has proven itself over the years by continuing to provide good results, most individuals are happy to leave good enough alone. However, there comes a time when efficiency may be comprised by sticking with older equipment that cannot be simply updated. Hudson Cutting aims to share this knowledge and ensure that its customers are making the right decisions for their product and their business.
“The durability of these things is great, it’s just if they’re that old, a lot of times they’re not very efficient. Trying to get people to understand that and why they should buy a newer press is challenging,” says Kodzis.
Hudson Cutting and IPSUMM as a whole are both heavily committed to engaging with the community. Food drives and fundraisers are common occurrences and the local schools are a particular area of interest. The group of companies participate in STEM and STEAM programs that encourage elementary and high school age students to find a career path in science, technology, engineering, maths, or the arts.
As IPSUMM continues to grow and look for potential acquisitions to fill out its portfolio, Hudson Cutting is expanding its services as well. To reach more customers with its practical solutions, it plans to apply its custom style approach in other areas of cutting and it will further develop its service capabilities and product offerings this year.
“We’re looking at new technologies, and we’re always looking at acquisitions to bring more technology and opportunities to the group. It’s very difficult to say what we’ll do next, but our plans are definitely to look to new technologies, integrate new organizations, and to grow,” says Lees.
Hudson Cutting specializes in providing complete cutting solutions by asking questions and listening to the needs of its customers. It is not a company that prioritizes the sale of its product; it is a consulting partner with the intention of improving the efficiency of its customers’ operations.
“When people have got old machines and they have not had to do anything to them for 10 to 15 years and they have a problem, the people they call is Hudson because they know Hudson has got the experience to identify what they need. And we can either say yes we can help you with that or no that’s obsolete and we have to find another way of helping you,” says Lees. Hudson Cutting Solutions will continue to use its knowledge, experience, and positive attitude to advance the world of cutting in manufacturing.