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Lectra set to digitise apparel manufacturing process

"Digitisation of the production chain is going to dramatically transform the entire apparel manufacturing space, believes Holger Max-Lang, newly appointed MD of Lectra Germany. Talking about the transformational journey over the decade, he said that Lectra is moving strongly in the direction of mobile production lines. For example, there are container solutions that can be integrated into a pop-up store - individual production for local sales, made possible by automation and robotics. The key question will be which functions clothing will assume in the future. Here, two areas are increasingly merging, nanotechnology and the textile industry."

Lectra set to digitise apparel manufacturing process

Digitisation of the production chain is going to dramatically transform the entire apparel manufacturing space, believes Holger Max-Lang, newly appointed MD of Lectra Germany. Talking about the transformational journey over the decade, he said that Lectra is moving strongly in the direction of mobile production lines. For example, there are container solutions that can be integrated into a pop-up store - individual production for local sales, made possible by automation and robotics. The key question will be which functions clothing will assume in the future. Here, two areas are increasingly merging, nanotechnology and the textile industry. The result is so-called smart textiles, intelligent fabrics with woven-in electrical engineering. The resulting opportunities will transform the clothing industry and production.

Innovation expanse

Fashion and textile companies are investing heavily in the digitisation of the fashion and textile sector as market pressure increases and product lifecycles decrease. With its Speedfactory and the ‘Knit for You’ storefactory concept, Adidas has created groundbreaking examples of the future. According to Max-Lang, customers are particularly interested in 3D virtual prototyping and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management). The cutting room is also moving in the direction of industry 4.0 – digital, networked and intelligent. Robotics certainly plays a role in this respect, but the same degree of automation will not be possible sooner as is the case with the automotive industry.

Biggest challenge & PLM as solution

Lectra set to digitise apparel manufacturing

The biggest challenge for fashion companies is to become faster and more agile. Big players like Amazon, but also new digital startups, raise the bar further. This is one reason why Lectra has developed its current solutions, such as Lectra Fashion PLM, 4.0 compliant. The modular solutions meet the new requirements of companies and adapt to their changing business models. A PLM in a digital supply chain links all departments of a clothing manufacturer, simplifies communication and accelerates the development and production of products. This enables fashion companies to react quickly to trends. In addition, manufacturers are becoming more agile and can offer individual products, for example by allowing customers to influence parts of the design.

Cutting Room 4.0

In Lectra's new Cutting Room 4.0, all departments of a production facility are digitally networked. In this way, it enables profitable mass production with single pieces in series. The topic also plays a major role in the apparel sector, especially in the sports industry in the field of team sports. Tailor-made clothes, but at a price of mass production. Here too, Lectra will offer the right solution.

Talking about the possibilities of the 3D design, Max-Lang elaborated that correctly implemented, prototypes are no longer necessary with the 3D simulation. This saves time and money. This approach is a major step towards the digital development process. Especially companies for women’s wear as well as men’s wear use the Lectra 3D solution Modaris, as this system offers a pool of pre-fabricated cuts. This is the basis on which designers develop their designs. All subsequent departments also benefit from this because information such as grading can automatically be implemented and passed on.

Fit & stretchability in check

For the 3D simulation of fabrics on models, information about the elasticity (chain, weft, diagonal), bending resistance as well as the weight and thickness of the fabric is digitally determined. The techniques used include FAST (Fabric Assurance by simple testing) and KES F (Kawabata Evaluation System for Fabrics). Based on this existing data, users can create their own fabrics or have them digitised by a laboratory. Lectra system already contains more than 300 fabrics.

 
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