Arahne是一家专门从事织造CAD/CAM系统开发的软件公司。它是1992年由两位厌倦了大学和政府科研机构中毫无结果的“研究”和官僚主义的年轻计算机工程师Dušan Peterc和Simon Weilguny在斯洛文尼亚建立的。
Slovenia has a population of only 2 million people, so Arahne’s team knew they had to export their software from the very start. In 1995 Arahne has exhibited at ITMA fair in Milan, Italy for the first time, and it has been to every ITMA since then (1999 in Paris, 2003 in Birmingham, 2007 in Munich, 2011 in Barcelona, 2015 in Milan). Arahne had gained first international sales already in 1995. Coming from a small nation, where most people speaks at least 3 languages, Arahne has a culture of investing in translations. So its software was developed from the start with translations in mind, and today Arahne has the software text translated in 17 languages.
Just as the language is a tool to interface to people, CAD must also do the CAM part, that is talk to the weaving machinery. Arahne’s software currently reads and writes over 50 different file formats. Many of these formats are hard to get, poorly documented, and need to be tested with a customer who has this equipment (loom, warper, drawing-in machine). Many years on the market exposed Arahne to the diverse incompatible textile machinery, and it overcome this obstacle by implementing the necessary interfaces. From the technical point of view, Arahne has started its development on Unix, since Windows was not mature as a CAD platform in 1992. This has brought many problems with installation and drivers, and in some cases also hurt the company commercially. Situation got gradually better since 1997, when Arahne ported its software to Linux. And it got even better in 2011, when the company launched the Apple Mac OSX version. Nowadays Linux is no longer greeted with fear, and designers just love their Macs. For companies who need Windows at all costs, virtualization comes to the rescue, and Linux runes nicely in WMware or VirtualBox. The choice or Unix/Linux was not all bad. Operating system is extremely stable, and it allowed us to use single development platform for almost 25 years. This means 25 years of gradual improvements, bug fixes, solving customer’s problems. Instead of working on changing programming languages and user interface toolkit.
Geographically, Italy is the strongest European market for Arahne, and thanks to good highway system they can reach main textile centers like Milan, Biella, Como, Prato in 4 to 5 hours by car. The percentage of Arahne’s Asian sales is also growing every year. Asian customers enjoy the high quality European product, which has matured with gradual improvement over many years. Export represents 97% of company’s income in 2017.
In the 25 years of business, we never heard a textile businessman or woman saying business is good. Always crying. And yet population is growing, and most people wear clothes. Textile business is hard and highly competitive. But is it not going away, it is growing every year. So the future of Arahne is bright.