Lectra, the world leader in software, CAD/CAM equipment, and associated services for your industry
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ORCHESTRATING PRODUCTION PROCESSES TO WORK IN PERFECTLY OPTIMIZED HARMONY
When steps become a process
Optiplan is Lectra’s cut order planning and optimization solution, the most powerful and comprehensive of its kind. Through advanced algorithms and state-of-the-art methodologies, Optiplan enables manufacturers to exercise complete control over the production process, from marker-planning, through marker-making, material estimation, and costing simulation to spreading and cutting. Spanning the entire cut order process, it gives companies total visibility at each phase of industrialization and a clear overview of the whole process. Optiplan integrates stand-alone tools for marker-making, plotting, spreading, and cutting into a unified and streamlined system, so that individual applications become more than the sum of their parts.
Organizing the cut order process and optimizing best practices
Traditionally, marker makers spend approximately 40% of their time on marker-planning, leaving 60% for actual marker-making. With Optiplan, marker-planning can be automated, thereby increasing the time available for improved marker-making. Moreover, the solution is able to select the most efficient marker combinations and also suggest new ones. Marker specifications can be visualized on-screen with all associated costs and timing. Various planning solutions can be developed and compared to ensure the best possible fabric efficiency—most users achieve 2-5% fabric savings with Optiplan, compared to their traditional marker-planning methods. In the fashion industry, where fabric can account for up to 65% of a garment’s total production costs, an increase in fabric efficiency of 2% represents a huge reduction in costs and therefore an increase in profits. In addition to optimizing the planning and making of markers, Optiplan enables users to simulate a variety of production methods using precise, rather than estimated, figures. The system generates accurate fabric, cost, and time assessments to help manufacturers organize their cutting room schedules and make decisions that optimize material and labor costs.
A flexible solution that adapts to the user’s cutting room
Because no two cutting rooms are alike, Optiplan comprises an important adaptation feature whereby the solution’s parameters are set according to the user’s specific requirements. During installation, the company’s operating costs, along with the capacity of its cutting room (number of cutters, their size and speed), are entered into the system. This information is then used in cost simulations and production planning, giving extremely precise calculations for a company’s specific situation.
Optiplan can be connected to Lectra CAD solutions such as Diamino® as well as Lectra’s automated cutting and spreading machines. It can also be used in conjunction with the vast majority of other enterprise resource planning, computer-aided design, plotting, and computer-aided manufacturing systems currently on the market. As a result, information that was once re-entered at each stage of the production process is now transmitted electronically from one application to another. This not only reduces the risk of human error, but also cuts down on repetitive tasks, freeing up time that production teams can spend on improving their methods and perfecting their work.
An Optiplan for every user profile
Lectra’s Optiplan Expert is the most advanced solution in the Optiplan range, offering the most functions and flexibility, and providing a comprehensive technological solution for a fully optimized cutting room. Expert takes cut order planning to an extremely detailed level, allowing users to plan the production process using a mix of automated and interactive modes. This version of Optiplan facilitates the production of even the most complex orders, using advanced algorithms to generate marker combinations that it would be impossible to generate manually. It also offers the possibility of printed reports, generated through a reporting system customized to the needs of each customer; the system can generate marker-making, spreading, and fabric reports in pdf, html, Excel, or text format.
However, fully aware that not every company needs or wants all the features available with Optiplan Expert, Lectra has also created two simpler versions of this leading-edge technology: Optiplan and Optiplan Pro. With the basic Optiplan package, companies have all the benefits of a technological solution that they can use manually to streamline planning. Optiplan Pro offers the possibility of organizing the cut-order process interactively. While Expert’s range of features and capacity to mix interactive and automated production planning remains the most comprehensive and advanced, having three solutions within the range allows users with varying needs and levels of expertise to choose the Optiplan that best suits their specific requirements.
A multi-faceted support network for every eventuality
To support the implementation of projects and maintain solutions in situ Lectra has developed a complete range of high value-added services that make sure customers get maximum benefits from their advanced technology solutions. Projects begin with an evaluation of needs and knowledge. The expert recommendations of Lectra’s business and solutions specialists are invaluable to companies taking a technological leap forward. Training tailored to the needs of users and delivered by instructors with years of industry experience ensures rapid and optimal use of software. Once projects are operational, Lectra offers real-time remote expertise through five International Call Centers to provide backup and keep systems functioning perfectly. Lastly, subscribing to a Software Evolution contract gives customers access to upgrades on Lectra software, ensuring a continual improvement in performance and securing investments in the long term.
Taking care of details is taking care of business
Optiplan is a highly advanced technology solution that deals with every detail of the cut order process. It has something to offer for the whole chain of development—from data entry, through marker-planning, to fabric availability monitoring. It streamlines processes and optimizes component applications such as Diamino and automated cutters like those in the Vector® range, adding value to all the solutions it integrates. Implementing Optiplan unifies individual applications and streamlines processes, even down to the finest details, so that nothing falls through the cracks. In a time when reducing costs and increasing profitability are of the utmost importance, a solution like Optiplan is not a luxury but a necessity based on sound business sense, essential for companies seeking to get on, get ahead, and beat the competition.
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OUR CUSTOMERS, IN THEIR OWN WORDS: 1154 LILL STUDIO...
1154 LILL STUDIO
At 1154 LILL Studio we produce a wide range of bags that our customers are able to customize to suit their tastes, so every product is one-of-a-kind. While we began as a small artisanal business, over the last ten years we have experienced rapid growth. We have been able to cope with such fast expansion because we have always tried to anticipate it, implementing technologies that give us the possibility to innovate and react quickly to developments in the market. When we approached Lectra, we set them the challenge of completely automating a large part of our production process: from the creation of patterns to the assembly of cut pieces. We were looking to increase our production capacity and control labor and fabric costs. After an evaluation of our needs, Lectra’s consultancy team advised us to install Optiplan as part of an integrated solution that included other applications for pattern-making and cutting.
Implementing Optiplan has enabled us to totally automate our cut order process, and the results are phenomenal. We chose the solution because we wanted to eliminate a lot of tedious and labor-intensive tasks involved in cutting room management—Optiplan has totally fulfilled our expectations. Many of our fabrics have intricate patterns and bright colors, and customers often ask for specific parts of motifs to be visible on certain parts of their bag. Taking into account these very particular fabric requirements of our products, Optiplan produces excellent markers that optimize our consumption of raw materials. The kind of markers it creates would be very costly and time-consuming to produce manually, but Optiplan takes care of it for us. It generates excellent, efficient markers which have resulted in us making fabric savings of around 30% over previous die-cutting methods.
Lectra’s solution gives us greater control over the process by which patterns become markers and eventually cut pieces. LILL’s unique selling point is the way in which we allow our customers to have a hand in the design of the product they purchase by choosing the fabrics, shapes, colors…If we have more control over the process and its outcome, that means we can offer our customers more control. Lectra solutions help us ensure that our products always meet the high quality standards that our customers expect. And the support services provided by Lectra’s teams of engineers have been outstanding. We are happy to say that in the year and a half since the implementation of the solutions, we have not once missed an order due to machine malfunction. This technology has done exactly what we wanted it to do: reduced our costs and material consumption and ensured that LILL has sufficient production capacity to face future growth and development with confidence.
Jennifer Velarde, Founder/Owner and Mike Bartnik, Manufacturing Director
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APPOINTMENT WITH STEPHEN TIERNEY, PUBLICATION DIRECTOR FOR FOOTWEARBIZ.COMStephen Tierney shares his view of today’s global footwear market.
Last year, when Lectra held a press event at its beautiful facility at Cestas, one of the most interesting comments came from Philippe Albert, the company’s senior consultant in footwear and accessories. He told us that if everyone in the world today consumed two pairs of shoes a year, the annual global footwear production requirement would be 15 billion pairs.
At the moment, the footwear factories of the world are producing 14.5 billion pairs a year, but because the world’s population is growing quickly, we could soon be in trouble unless capacity increases. However, what we have seen for much of 2009 is that footwear production is contracting.
In truth, this phenomenon began last year, in southern China.
In the Pearl River Delta region, at the end of 2007, there were 4,759 footwear factories (some of them extremely large). By the end of 2008, this number had fallen to 2,400. And while it’s true that the large, modern, mechanized, forward-looking factories have survived these closures, China’s overall capacity to help put shoes on people’s feet has gone down.
In some cases, the factories that have closed had owners from Taiwan or Korea. With labor costs rising in China and tax incentives shrinking, they decided to move their manufacturing somewhere cheaper. This could include more remote parts of China, but Vietnam has also come up frequently in conversations. That may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but in March, Vietnam’s labor minister, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, announced that her country’s manufacturing sector had lost 85,000 jobs in January 2009 alone. She predicted that the total job-losses for this year will exceed 300,000 and said the footwear industry was one of the most likely to suffer.
These numbers suggest that we are going backwards with regard to meeting the extra demand that Philippe Albert has identified. Philippe is not alone. Professor John Beddington of Imperial College, London, who is an expert in applied population biology, said in a recent speech on sustainable development that food and energy demand will grow by 50% and water demand by 30% by 2030, by which time the world’s population will be 8.3 billion.
It goes without saying that people can survive without shoes, that shoes are less of a priority than food and water. But people in developing countries don’t want to survive without shoes; they want to wear shoes when they go out and they want their children to wear shoes to school. At the other end of the spectrum, the average annual consumption of shoes in the US is eight pairs per person. In the European Union, the average is half of that, but that still means shoe consumption in Europe is high. The real growth is in the parts of the world in which prosperity as well as the population is growing; the averages for China (1.96 pairs per person) and India (1.91) are only going in one direction.
This suggests that Philippe Albert is correct; the world is going to need more shoes in the years ahead and manufacturers are going to have to invest in technology to find ways of increasing productivity.
Stephen Tierney, Editor, World Footwear (www.footwearbiz.com)
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LECTRA'S RESPONSES TO THE CHALLENGES FACING THE FOOTWEAR AND LEATHER GOODS INDUSTRIESInterview with Philippe Albert, Manager, Strategic Projects – Footwear and Luggage, and Antoine Mercier, Lectra’s Romans Cad® Product Manager.
LectraNews: With 35 years of experience with the fashion industry, over time Lectra has gained considerable credibility in the footwear and leather goods sectors. Your primary aims are to understand the challenges facing manufacturers and constantly anticipate the needs of professionals in the sector (stylists, designers, pattern makers, prototype makers, etc.). Drawing on that knowledge, perhaps you could give us some general observations concerning this market—the major changes over the last few years and the outlook for the future given the difficult economic climate?
Philippe ALBERT: The footwear and leather goods markets have changed drastically over the last few years. To fully comprehend the nature of these changes, a number of important factors must first be understood.
To begin with, industries that are linked to the fashion market need to work in the shortest possible design and development cycles. They must have the means to maintain an almost permanent potential for designing new collections, and they need to be able to manufacture increasingly complex products. Plus, in today’s tough macroeconomic conditions, the future for manufacturing is even more uncertain—it’s a sensitive subject. More than ever, fashion companies need to combine flexibility and responsiveness when developing collections. What’s more, these markets are very competitive, which means the industries have to manage and estimate costs with maximum efficiency and as early as possible in the product development cycle.
Finally, the effect of globalization has also created new challenges for these industries. On a global level, the current market conditions are such that the principal players, whether they are running design, distribution or production centers, must be able to overcome both geographical and cultural barriers and exchange all types of information quickly and reliably.
LectraNews: Designing a shoe requires particular expertise and uses costly and complex materials in a process involving many different contributors. Moreover, market pressures are forcing manufacturers to design and develop more models in less time, without compromising quality. What solutions does Lectra offer its customers to help them cope with these challenges?
Philippe ALBERT: The solutions that Lectra proposes to help companies overcome these challenges start right from the initial 3D design of models. The latest innovations featured in the Romans Cad solution for design considerably accelerate the prototyping phase, reduce the number of iterations involved in the development of a model, and enable companies to reuse and capitalize on designers’ data. Information shared in this way among all those involved in the model feasibility stage, regardless of their location, is both more precise and more consistent; decisions can therefore be taken earlier in the process. The introduction of virtual models now gives companies the ability to conduct an initial evaluation of a product prior to industrialization.
LectraNews: Romans Cad integrates applications specific to every stage in the creation of an item of footwear (last, sole, design). Can you tell us what contribution technology makes to these decisive stages in the process?
Philippe ALBERT: Through the Romans Cad solution, Lectra’s contribution to the production phases you mention has indeed been significant. In the early stages, all data used centers on the last. The last is the key element, combining the technical aspects (which dictate the fit) and the appearance of the model. The first developments of the Romans Cad 3D solution therefore focused on the solution for the last. The whole profession now acknowledges this as the most powerful solution on the market. Drawing on this strength, two other 3D solutions were developed—one for the sole, the other for design. For the design phase, we are able to work from a last of perfect quality, adapting designers’ first sketches to the last and combining them with it. In most cases, designers work in 2D and therefore the power and support of technology has opened up the opportunity of visualizing ideas in 3D and then sharing models produced in this way in real time. Users also have the ability to make corrections and adjustments. As for the sole, there are two separate aspects to the creation of this part of the shoe. The first concerns design. The idea is to adapt the procedure used for the development of the upper, that is to say the rapid creation of an image which in turn allows companies to gauge initial feedback on the sole design. The second concerns the technical production of manufacturing molds.
I would just like to add that all these solutions are even more valuable in a context of technical data management, where all data is stored in a uniquely configured database which offers efficient monitoring and management of the model development process. The applications are certainly important, but they take on a completely new dimension and give the solution real added value when used as part of this kind of system. With the Romans Cad Data Management solution, Lectra is the only company to offer this kind of product on the market.
LectraNews: Romans Cad also offers real support for product development, with modules dedicated to pattern-making and the calculation of surface area and length. Have the support of IT for pattern-making and the ability to estimate material costs revolutionized the industry?
Philippe ALBERT: While I wouldn’t go so far as to speak of a revolution within the industry, I will say that controlling costs as early as possible in the process has become of prime importance for manufacturers. Because it enables companies to take cost into consideration right from the beginning when designing a new model, Romans Cad SL is the first solution to help with decision-making and also determining profitably when considering model feasibility. In addition, this module of the Romans Cad solution provides an initial estimate of the quantities of material required and is the first step toward cost control.
LectraNews: As well as providing solutions for footwear design, Lectra also offers a solution specially for the creation of luggage and other leather goods—Romans Cad Bag. What are the specificities of these applications developed specifically for the “Bag” industry?
Antoine Mercier: Major fashion companies often propose a comprehensive range of products which includes luggage and leather goods. These items play a key role in conveying the image that companies seek to project. This is why Lectra, with the help of our partner, has developed specific applications, looking to fulfill their requirements.
The development processes for footwear and luggage are very different, but we are obviously able to build on the footwear application and benefit from that technology. We have used it as a base and incorporated various sector-specific functions such as walking pieces, gusset definition, new types of notches, and automated symmetry features. Two particular areas were given special attention: the industrialization functions I have already mentioned, which help reduce product development times, and also the development of a more user-friendly interface and terms specifically for these particular sectors.
LectraNews: A new version of Romans Cad will soon be available. What major changes have been made, and what advantages will they offer professionals in this difficult economic climate?
Antoine Mercier: The new version of Romans Cad has three major new developments. To develop a shoe, you first have to create a last. So, this version offers the possibility of working directly on an imported last based on a cloud of dots in stereolithography format (known as STL). Modifications can be made direct, thus avoiding the surface creation stage, the result of which was always an approximation. Inevitably, the quality of the result is improved.
Second, designers in the footwear sector are not enthusiastic users of 3D CAD because it generates additional constraints and thus impinges on their creative freedom. In order to make our offer more appealing, a new process enables users to create sketches with standard drawing tools, well-known to all designers (brush, pen, edge finder, etc.), on a Wacom table so that the designer’s original intention can be realized and placed directly onto the 3D last. Virtual models are thus a lot closer to reality, allowing a more informed and pertinent evaluation of the design and accelerating the development process for footwear, as pattern makers can rely on the designer’s work when developing patterns. Finally, improvements have also been made so that the application is more user-friendly, and new sector-specific automated functions have been added to guarantee greater flexibility for our customers using Romans Cad.
LectraNews: To improve the collection creation process and facilitate data sharing between the different contributors to product development, Lectra offers a PDM solution—Romans Cad Data Management, tailor-made for this sector. How does this solution fit in with the other Romans Cad applications, and what influence does it have on process optimization?
Antoine Mercier: As Philippe said, Data Management is a key element that differentiates our product offer from others on the market. The product development cycle is getting shorter and shorter. It is therefore necessary to be able to manage a flow of data of exponential volume through secure multi-site storage and transfer solutions. Another significant advantage of the tool is that it can capitalize on our customers' expertise, for example by keeping a record of lasts. It is essential for customers to be able to reuse them and to be able to search their databases for information they have used, as this can drastically reduce industrialization costs.
®: Romans Cad is a registered trademark of Stratégies SA.
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OUR CUSTOMERS, IN THEIR OWN WORDS: CLARKS, FORMAS KUNZ...
“We implemented Romans Cad as part of a move toward more collaborative development processes. Prior to using it, we often went through four or five variants of a last. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that we started moving our production to Brazil and China. Differences in climate, temperate, and working methods between sites created accuracy problems.
With Romans Cad, we are able to approve a last more quickly and then transfer it digitally that same day. Before, it took up to five days just to get a last to source, but now we can have plastic lasts with the factory within 24 hours. Recently the use of digital data, along with a change in internal practices, has resulted in a reduction of about 55% in the number of variants we produce and, where modifications are required, they’re often much quicker to revise and resend.
The main benefit of Romans Cad Last and Data Management is that we are able to group all our last data in a centralized database. We currently store information on around 3,000 lasts with 100% accurate data, and we can share that with everyone involved in the product development cycle—from designers through to development engineers and source factories.”
Neil Clarke, Unit and Collaborative Development Manager, Clarks (UK).
CLARKS SNAPSHOT >>>
“Lectra is an invaluable technology partner. Since implementing Romans Cad 3D, we’ve been able to control the accuracy of its models without ever risking our level of quality. Our company is now able to provide our suppliers and clients with digital images and technical specifications of lasts in a variety of size categories quickly and efficiently.
A lot of our key partners are working with Romans Cad 3D because the fully digitalized last files are so easily accessible to everyone. And that makes a huge difference in collaboration and means we make decisions faster and produce faster.
Lectra’s Romans Cad 3D has allowed us to deliver our lasts ahead of schedule while creating great customer satisfaction.”
Milton Mello, Industrial Director, Formas Kunz, Brazil.
FORMAS KUNZ SNAPSHOT >>>
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EXPERTIZ: 5 QUESTIONS FOR...PASCALE DE WAVRECHIN, PATTERN-MAKING & PROTOTYPING SOLUTIONS EXPERT Accelerating production and decision-making processes while controlling costs: Pascale sees a pattern emerging…
Consumer demand, growing competition, and difficult macro-economic conditions are forcing fashion companies to find new ways to speed up development processes, reduce costs, and streamline the validation of models, while maintaining their quality standards. In order to multiply collections, anticipate trends, and bring the right products to market at the right time, they have to be ever more inventive and responsive. Pattern-making and its extension, prototyping, are critical stages in the lifecycle of any product. However, these activities take on an even greater importance when the materials to be used are soft, stretchy, or shrinkable. More and more, fashion firms are turning to the latest advances in computer-aided design to help turn challenges into advantages.
LectraNews: Pascale, as Lectra’s pattern-making solutions expert, you are skilled in both traditional pattern-making methods and advanced CAD programs such as Lectra’s Modaris range. How do automated solutions change the traditional pattern-making process?
P.de Wavrechin: The introduction of CAD programs revolutionized the pattern-making process. When patterns were developed manually, pattern pieces were laboriously created using paper or cardstock, and grading and verification tasks were very time-consuming. The pattern-making phase generates a very important information resource for the rest of the production chain because the pattern represents the moment when a garment is transformed from an abstract idea into something concrete, tangible, and measurable. Since the rest of the chain is heavily dependent on the pattern development stage, the amount of time taken for this activity has a huge impact on the rest of the cycle.
With CAD programs like Modaris®, pattern makers create and modify pattern pieces directly on the screen, and the application accelerates grading and verification tasks. Pre-existing paper patterns can be scanned and digitalized into the system. Working with CAD also reduces the risk of human error. The software offers a wide range of verification tools which enable the pattern maker to check the measurements of a pattern against a dynamic measurements table.
LectraNews: Modaris is the industry standard for pattern-making worldwide—what makes it so unique?
P.de Wavrechin: Modaris allows apparel professionals to consider a garment in its entirety. It deals with everything from the creation of pattern pieces to grading, taking into consideration the physical behavior of different fabrics, and even integrating the notion of dependent pattern pieces. This concept of inter-dependent pattern pieces is unique to Modaris ExpertPro—it adds value because it eliminates repetitive tasks, freeing up time for creative or skilled work and enabling companies to re-use 80% of their previous patterns in the development of future collections. Even now, 14 years after the launch of Modaris, the dependencies concept, which is the core of the Modaris ExpertPro method, is still innovative because it is unequaled by our competitors.
Modaris 3D Fit is the logical continuation of Modaris. When working with soft materials, prototyping is extremely important precisely because fabrics move, stretch, and shrink—that’s what makes apparel production so complex. Lectra’s 3D prototyping application enables the user to simulate patterns created in Modaris on a parametric model using a particular fabric. While the objective of Modaris 3D Fit has never been to remove the physical prototype stage, Lectra’s 3D prototyping application can reduce the number of samples required, thereby lowering prototyping time and costs and reducing time-to-market.
Furthermore, a 3D prototype is an excellent way of optimizing communication among different people in the decision-making process. It is an information resource that everyone can understand—the pattern makers look at it from a technical perspective, the designers from a creative point of view. It helps unleash creativity—designers and pattern makers can try out new ideas and see them simulated in 3D without generating any extra costs for the company.
LectraNews: What does implementing a CAD pattern-making project involve and what kind of technological support services do companies require?
P.de Wavrechin: Investing in software obviously has an impact on the organization of the company’s pattern-making team. However, Modaris is easy-to-use and simple to implement. After a brief period of training with Lectra’s specialized trainers, pattern makers use the product very efficiently. For Modaris ExpertPro and 3D Fit, we take a “whole project” approach, as this is extremely advanced software that requires more planning. The time spent preparing for this software reaps impressive time and cost savings, though—customers get the best out of the program when they are really ready to adapt their working methods and look at the development process in its entirety.
When implementing a project, Lectra offers consultancy services so that customers can integrate the tool into their processes in the best and smoothest way possible, ensuring a rapid return on their investment. Before installing software, we do a complete evaluation of the customer’s patterns and their end users’ prior knowledge of pattern-making techniques and of the system. Customers usually take this opportunity to bring all their users up to the same level on the more basic modules in the software and improve existing skills before moving on to the more advanced modules. We then support and guide the customer throughout the whole process. Lectra specialists provide customized training that can be delivered in stages so that users have the time to put what they’ve learned into practice and then gradually increase their knowledge of the program.
It is also important to keep the system up and running, so we have created International Call Centers to deal with customer queries and problems as they arise. This remote support allows us to provide backup for customers anywhere in the world, though we still have a skilled team of technicians who can carry out on-site maintenance when needed. We also propose special contracts that give customers access to free software upgrades as we enhance and develop our software over time. As I said before, the pattern-making stage is extremely important in the product development process so it’s crucial that pattern-making technology be totally reliable and that any problems be fixed quickly. Fashion companies need to be able to trust their technology provider, and the ideal is to build a long-term relationship that adds value to the solutions offer.
LectraNews: What are the benefits for users and how does Modaris respond to the specific challenges of the fashion industry?
P.de Wavrechin: Given current macro-economic conditions the chief benefit is one of time savings—Modaris, and particularly Modaris ExpertPro, reduces development time by up to 30%. And, as companies seek to respond to consumer demand faster, bringing the right product to market at the right time, with higher levels of end-product quality, these solutions have even more to offer. One of the main trends we are noticing among customers is an effort to multiply collections—something which naturally results in a more restricted development time. Clearly, Modaris responds to this challenge by accelerating pattern creation without compromising quality standards, but it also facilitates decision-making and the validation of models. It is important to remember that whatever the working context, designers and pattern makers have very different profiles. By definition, these two people do not “speak the same language.” What’s more, we are now seeing a proliferation of delocalized business models (or business models where patterns are co-developed—with basic shapes established in one place and changes or grading tasks performed in other locations). Designers may be in the U.S., for example, with pattern makers in China, and perhaps grading staff in India—very different profiles and very different cultures. Communication can be slowed down considerably because of misunderstandings, time differences, cultural conflicts, or similar issues. Modaris’ electronic data-sharing and instant on-screen visuals (especially Modaris 3D Fit’s simulated prototypes) can streamline communication processes and help information flow smoothly.
LectraNews: Modaris has been created to overcome today’s challenges—what challenges do you see for the future, and how can Modaris help companies overcome them?
P.de Wavrechin: There are some clear trends emerging, enhanced by the current financial crisis—particularly in terms of production logistics and organization. Many companies have taken outsourcing policies to an extreme, resulting in business models where only design is carried out in-house. Now, as production cycles accelerate in response to an increase in the number of collections launched, part of the production process will have to be moved closer to the end consumer. However, it will still remain in zones where the costs of production are reduced. So, the changes we’ll see in the future will concern mainly logistics and collaboration. These are two important aspects to take into consideration in order to have the right product in shops at the right time. While Lectra can help customers optimize production processes, we can also see now that there is an aspect of anticipation and decision-making that is central to customers’ issues where we can also offer help. As fashion specialists, Lectra can bring added value because we have tools for this industry’s specific needs and the business and solutions experts to support that offer.
Pascale de Wavrechin holds a diploma in pattern-making from the Ecole Supérieure des Industries de la Mode in Toulouse, France. She also studied at the University of Fashion, in Lyon, France. After her training, Pascale spent two years working for various brands, such as Town & Country and Indies, part of the Garella group. She joined Lectra in 2001 to help develop the company’s pattern-making offer and associated services.
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SCHOOLS IMPLEMENT LEADING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY WITH LECTRA’S ROMANS CAD® SOLUTION FOR FASHION ACCESSORY DESIGN
Accessories have an increasingly important role to play within the strategies implemented by major fashion brands. To fulfill a growing demand for professionals in this industry, most fashion schools are keen to offer their students the possibility of acquiring specific skills in the design and development of footwear, bags and other accessories. Some of these schools, such as Modartech in Italy, the London College of Fashion in Great Britain, and the Savannah College of Art and Design in the U.S., have started using Romans Cad 2D and 3D in order to better respond to the needs of this industry and thus offer their students an extra competitive advantage.
Modartech made the choice to teach Romans Cad solutions as soon as it began offering a course in footwear design and development in 2003. As the school’s Director, Alessandro Bertini, points out, “This decision is important as we want to both protect the manual tradition on which the ‘made in Italy’ reputation is built and also anticipate the market’s evolution, all the while keeping up with technological developments.”
Through the school’s “Privilege” partnership with Lectra, the result of a solid working relationship, Modartech has developed new teaching methods and come to the fore as a leader in terms of innovation, even for footwear manufacturers. Its students now have laptop computers equipped with Romans Cad software to use for classes and also during internships. They can thus bring an extra level of expertise to companies that may not have yet embraced the concept of using technology for 2D or even 3D footwear design.
The London College of Fashion is another example of this growing trend. The school adopted Romans Cad software towards the end of 2007 and has since continued to add to its solutions. It now teaches using 25 workstations equipped with last, sole and model design software. With successful experiences and an increasing level of demand, the school continues to develop its software population and the skills of both its teachers and, by extension, its students.
When it installed Romans Cad solutions at the beginning of the year, the Savannah College of Art and Design became the first school in North America to take this technological and pedagogical step forward. “We are delighted with the long-term relationship we have built with Lectra,” said Anthony Miller, Head of Fashion and Accessory Design. “In the current economic climate, it is more important than ever for us to train our students on state-of-the-art solutions, which will both stimulate their creativity and, in a manufacturing environment, help them control costs. So, we are particularly proud to be the first school in the U.S. to offer our students the possibility of developing their designs on Romans Cad 2D and 3D design software.”
®: Romans Cad is a registered trademark of Stratégies SA.
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