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Innovative new Vector model boosts manufacturing productivity by 20%

News International-French

22 Dec 2016

Ultra-precision cutting head optimizes cost per part by managing challenging synthetic materials

Innovative new Vector model boosts manufacturing productivity by 20%
Lectra, a leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials, takes on the challenges of man-made materials faced by suppliers with an all-new Vector® fabric-cutting solution.

Lectra’s VectorAuto iX6 is specially designed to cut synthetics, with an ultra-precision cutting head to produce perfectly cut parts for interior and seat components, optimizing the cost per cut part. The new cutter increases cutting capacity by 20% or more compared to models currently available on the market. The increase in productivity is achieved by minimizing the risk of layers fusing, which enables a greater number of plies to be cut.

By optimizing the marker to reduce spacing between parts, the new solution also enables potential material gains of up to 3% that can save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year per cutting line.

Japanese vehicle-seating cut parts supplier Ark has already achieved increased production volume since its recent acquisition of the new cutter.

“The high degree of cutting accuracy enabled by the blade stress control of Vector iX6 will allow us to increase our production capability by nearly 20%,” observes Kiichi Mizoue, President, Ark.

The scarcity of leather continues to drive up the price of bovine hides in the automotive upholstery industry as demand outstrips supply. The surging price of leather has led a growing number of automotive suppliers to turn to imitation materials. Cheaper and more resistant to extreme temperatures and humidity, new varieties of vinyl and other synthetics are gaining popularity among consumers, especially in Asia.

However, newly developed synthetic materials used in components like headrests and armrests, present a wide range of challenges. The shapes required to produce increasingly sophisticated seat designs are gradually becoming more complex. The technical limitations of fabric cutters restrict the number of plies that can be cut due to the risk of fusion. Additionally, the extra spacing necessary to achieve small, intricate parts can result in material losses and low cutter productivity.

Lectra’s newest Vector model is designed to efficiently overcome the complexities involved in cutting imitation materials and also benefits from the advanced technology, such as predictive maintenance, which ensures a high machine availability rate of up to 98%, and Eclipse, Lectra’s patented continuous cutting functionality.

“We are pleased to demonstrate our agility and responsiveness to evolving market needs,” states Céline Choussy Bedouet, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Lectra. “This highly specialized solution meets new manufacturing requirements stemming from a recent but growing trend.”