Design and product development for upholstered furniture

Lectra solutions help furniture manufacturers implement production standards to improve productivity and preserve profit margins.

INCREASING CHOICE In order to respond to increasing consumer demand for customized upholstered furniture, development cycles are becoming shorter and more frequent. This renders the traditional process of repeated iterations and multiple physical prototypes unfeasible. Lectra’s product development solutions for the furniture industry accelerate the cycle by enabling several steps to run concurrently, rather than sequentially.




CONTROLLING MARGINS Furniture margins are often very tight, so accurate costing is critical. As part of a design-to-cost approach, Lectra’s DesignConcept solution enables manufacturers to calculate costings early in the development process, ensuring all products meet the required cost to value ratio. Concurrent prototyping and costing make it possible to forecast material use quickly and accurately, which gives a competitive edge when replying to tenders and purchasing material.


ACCELERATING TIME TO MARKET Design for manufacturing (DFM), an approach adopted by many furniture companies, aims to optimize the product development process to reduce costs and accelerate time to market. DesignConcept is a powerful DFM tool enabling manufacturers to reuse standard components which they have already industrialized and produced, saving time and money. Another opportunity to speed up the process occurs during prototyping. Creating a physical prototype takes time and can be very costly. Using Lectra’s 3D design software, there is no limit to the number of virtual prototypes which can be produced. These can later be used to develop other products in the range very quickly, such as taking the model of a two-seater sofa to create an armchair and three-seater.


UPGRADING QUALITY AND REDUCING THE RISK OF ERRORNon-quality issues can be costly, which is why all Lectra solutions incorporate error-reduction tools. Once a model has received final approval, DesignConcept automatically generates technical specifications and cutting plans, which can then be sent to the production department. Lectra’s pattern-making and 3D software employ a system of dependencies which creates links between pieces. Modifications made to one piece are automatically transferred to all linked pieces. The marker-making solution then automatically arranges the pattern pieces on the material, evaluating many different ‘what-if’ scenarios in order to optimize material consumption. Users can also define pattern-matching rules and leather quality zones for better finished quality.


FACILITATING CHANGEFor many upholstered furniture companies, overcoming resistance to change can pose a real issue. It is fundamental to ensure that teams are fully committed to the introduction of any new solution.
Lectra consultants work closely with customers to carry out a full diagnostic before drawing up a detailed change management project plan.
Once the solution is in place, a full range of tailored training and support services ensures that teams achieve and maintain the desired levels of performance.