Lectra helps automotive suppliers leverage Industry 4.0 opportunity


Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials, asserts its stewardship of the automotive leather industry’s 4.0 transformation with the third consecutive edition of its annual event on the digitalization of leather cutting processes.

Decision-makers from more than 20 countries assembled at Lectra’s International Advanced Technology and Conference (IATC) center in Bordeaux-Cestas recently to discuss the new business opportunities emerging from digitalization of the automotive leather value chain, from factory to consumers. Topics presented by industry experts and Lectra customers included, among others, the smart factory of the future, likely impact of the Made in China 2025 initiative and chief business challenges to overcome for automotive industry players.

Driven by cloud-based solutions, smart manufacturing and powerful analytics, the new connected economy and industrial revolution are redefining business models and manufacturing processes. The real-time communication enabled between connected objects, production lines and services boosts manufacturing flexibility while optimizing the use of available resources. As an organization at the forefront of the Industry 4.0 movement, Lectra’s aim in hosting the event is to help the automotive leather industry prepare for the changes to come by learning more about the vital technologies they need to implement, as well as adopt more collaborative, agile and efficient practices.

“Although automotive players realize that 4.0 transformation is underway, they often don’t know how to go about it,” observes Norbert Audéoud, Operational Excellence & Strategic Transformation Expert. “Reflecting together on 4.0 transformation will make the task less challenging for the makers of leather interiors, while presenting great opportunities for performance improvement and business development.”

In the opinion of Benny Daniel, Director of Consulting, Frost & Sullivan, the Go Digital event underscores the urgency for companies to plan and execute their 4.0 transformation. “The automotive industry is fiercely competitive and digitalization of the manufacturing sector will only make the landscape more uncertain. By acting now, automotive players can ensure they don’t lag behind once the pace picks up.”

From the standpoint of Henning Gathmann, Material Development, Leather, AUDI AG, new ways of doing business and running factories will also bring about new ways to meet consumer demand. “The connected economy is making it possible to satisfy consumer expectations in novel, technologically enabled ways. This event provides us with a unique opportunity to share our market vision with suppliers.”

Alberto Silvagni, head of the automotive division of the Mastrotto Group, was pleased to share insight on his company’s successful digital transformation with other automotive leather suppliers. “Competing in a connected supply chain requires a more flexible approach. Now that we’ve digitalized our cutting room, the next step for us is to increase automation elsewhere in our customer processes, to provide them with actionable information in real time.”

The event brought into sharper focus the importance of fostering interaction in the automotive leather ecosystem at such a critical time in suppliers’ 4.0 transformation. “Industry relationships are central to our success,” remarks Céline Choussy Bedouet, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Lectra. “Providing answers to broad-reaching questions like 4.0 transformation is as much a part of what we do as developing advanced technologies and specialized services, all of which create value for our customers.”