In business since 1907,
Neiman Marcus is one of the world’s premier luxury ready to wear
fashion stores. Herbert Marcus Sr., his sister Carrie Marcus Neiman,
and her husband A.L. Neiman opened their first store in Dallas. 100
years later the Dallas store continues to serve as
the chain’s flagship site.
Marcus has a record of unique holiday store window displays. The
large tree displays stopped in the early sixties but were in
reinstated in 2000. The
Dallas Flagship Holiday Window project intentionally pushes the
Past holiday projects have included a money tree produced in
conjunction with the U. S. MINT, a water themed tree, glass trees
and others. “The
problem,” says Vice President of Store Development, Ignaz Gorischek,
“is outdoing yourself year after year. The concept for the 2007
project began with a doodle on a napkin. What I envisioned was a
tree and some robotic interaction. I had to sell the idea, get the
tree produced and find an automation partner. I found it somewhat easier
said than done.”
Gorischek sold his
concept and had approximately five months of lead time to launch the
project. After a few
initial inquiries, Gorischek met with FANUC Robotics to discuss the
project and timing.
FANUC Robotics’ SMART
Center West and Customer Resource Center (cRc) personnel were
instrumental in providing three robots, software and support for the
recommended the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC) to
integrate the system. FANUC Robotics and TMAC had
worked together on previous automation projects. TMAC is the
Texas affiliate of the U.S.
Department of Commerce Manufacturing Extension Partnership program
and is housed within the University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Engineering. When FANUC Robotics suggested
TMAC, Gorischek made the call.
The project commenced in the summer of 2007 with
approximately five months to design the system, program the robots,
build simulations, and create the necessary tooling. One of the challenges faced
by the TMAC team was combining the aesthetics of an artistic project
with the high level of precision required on an industrial
Neiman Holiday Window project successfully unveiled to the public on
November 16, 2007. The main tree and feeder trees rotate flawlessly.
The three robots,
acting as Mom, Dad and Junior, pick and place round ornaments of
varying sizes on the rotating trees. In addition, each robot picks
up cue cards to communicate with each other. Junior even dreams of being
a graduate of UT-Arlington.
“Everything worked as planned and I’m smiling, which is a
good thing,” added Gorischek.