MEXICO City, Mexico — Citing it as a “solution powered to support nearshoring and the increase in made-to-order production,” Lectra, a technology company that specializes in CAD software and CAM cutting-room systems for industries that use leather or textiles, expanded the company’s Furniture on Demand program to Mexico earlier this year, and Leonard Marano, president, Americas, said that the expansion is allowing furniture suppliers to take advantage of Lectra’s turnkey solution for more efficient workflow.
“The furniture industry has undergone a major transformation post pandemic as more and more products are being made to order and customization continues to grow in importance for consumers,” Marano said in a previous interview. “As a result of this increase in demand, customers in all markets are rethinking their supply chain and turning to Industry 4.0 solutions such as Furniture On Demand, an answer to the economic complexities currently faced by the industry all the while improving speed, quality and traceability in the entirety of the manufacturing process.”
Marano explained that Lectra has an office in Mexico City that handles sales and customer support, as well as a “world-class software training facility at the Canaive in conjunction with the Mexico City Chamber of Commerce.” He added that from an operations standpoint, Lectra has distribution throughout Mexico where the company stocks critical parts and consumables to quickly fill customers’ needs.
“We have hundreds of companies in Mexico utilizing Lectra solutions,” Marano said. “Most are doing traditional mass production; however, we do see it slowly moving toward more customization and on-demand production thus the expansion of the Furniture on Demand to Mexico.”
Officials said that Furniture On Demand leverages Industry 4.0 technology in order to further streamline processes for Mexico based manufacturers by automatically capturing styles, materials and components information of the product, directly from the customer’s order and assisting in the production process from start to finish. Officials noted that a sampling of 4.0 features includes:
- Automation handles repetitive everyday tasks. Manufacturers are now able to automate the pairing of multiple orders for max fabric yield, the cutting of plain fabric and fabric management, helping increase the overall speed of production .
- The digital fabric library can instantly pull order fabric and its specifications for quick processing.
- Order system integration quickly pulls all pieces of the order — pattern, fabric, configuration — and sends to cutting in a matter of minutes.
- Optimized cost per piece: Next generation part nesting and automated markers with real fabric width use the power of cloud computing to ensure maximum fabric yield, quality and savings. By manufacturing after order reception, furniture companies can avoid overstocking their inventories and reduce waste, all the while increasing their sustainability efforts. Companies will also be able to actively combat labor shortages currently facing the industry by limiting the dependence on expertise thanks to digitalizing manual tasks.
“In the U.S., we have customers that are ranging from 5% to 20% (cost savings) regarding material and overall efficiency,” Marano said. “The real power of the solution is when a customer connects it their ERP to automatically pull and process orders eliminating labor and processing time. Many times, this can reduce a process that may take up to a week down to minutes.
“In addition, the Lectra Platform digitalizes the cutting room and automates a lot of the steps required to ensure that the right parts are cut properly from the right fabric as quickly as possible,” he said. “When a customer is presented with Furniture On Demand, we work with them to understand their processes, cost structure and data to put together a business case that is very specific to them that quantifies the savings and return on investment.”
In addition to cost savings, Lectra’s Furniture on Demand solution can also help manufacturers address sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives, Marano said.
“The Furniture on Demand cuts energy consumptions roughly in half with initial studies that includes clients and the solution does not use paper or plastic,” he said. “To date, 95% of our components for the Cestas production site come from European suppliers. As the only company in our sector with three manufacturing sites (in China, the U.S. and France), our focus is to manufacture a majority of our solutions locally and ensure that the transportation phase is green as well.
“To reduce our CO2 emissions, we group deliveries, select the most carbon efficient routes, and favor maritime transport,” he concluded. “In 2023-2025, we will go further. We will be taking a systematic approach to our eco-conscious practices by defining criteria and objectives for each component in our products throughout its life cycle, including end-of-life recycling.”