What do backgrounds in computer graphics and speech synthesis have in common? Well, to begin with, Dušan Peterc and Simon Weilguny, together with their highly developed, well focussed vision and a commitment to listening to customers in the fiercely competitive garment and textile industry.
What began as a long shot startup back in 1992 has grown over the years into a widely respected and successful software company specialised in advanced CAD/CAM systems for weaving in the textile industry. Their main customers are weaving mills, who produce all kinds of woven products: suiting, shirting, ties, shawls, labels, bed linen, blankets, napkins, towels, mats and more; other clients include design studios, converters, universities and hand weavers.
Arahne developed its software from the start with translations in mind; today their software is translated into 12 languages. And just as language is an interface tool for people, CAD must also do the CAM part – that is, talk to the weaving machinery. Arahne's software currently reads and writes over 40 different file formats.
Already back in 1997 Arahne ported its software to Linux to make development more unified and systematic; this year the company will launch their Apple Mac OSX version, for all of their Mac-devoted designers.
Arahne products include applications like ArahWeave – a CAD/CAM software for dobby and jacquard weaving that can control production networks and send/read files directly to the looms and features a comprehensive range of colour profile support; ArahDrape, which allows for virtual dressing in all shapes, sizes and variations, draping models and textures at very high resolutions, and supporting transparency and antialiasing; and ArahPaint, a smart and easy drawing and construction application that includes an image browser of 40 image formats, many of which are specific to waving CAM machinery – and is downloadable for free.
Today Italy represents the company’s strongest European market, with the main textile centres like Milan, Biella, Como and Prato just a few highway-hours away. Asian sales too are growing every year, and exports represent well more than 90% of the company's annual sales.
Currently Arahne can point to installations in 30 countries around the world, on every continent. They like to say that Arahne never sleeps – for in reality there is always someone somewhere in the world running Arahne programs at any given time of the day or night.