With the latest versions of DesignConcept, manufacturers in the automotive and industrial fabrics industries can estimate production costs as early as the design phase.
Paris/Bangalore – Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to the soft goods industries, announces the launch of new versions of DesignConcept Auto (V4R1) and DesignConcept TechTex (V4R1), dedicated to the automotive industry and to manufacturers using industrial fabrics.
DesignConcept Auto and DesignConcept TechTex are Lectra's flagship solutions for textile-based product design and development. Equipped with this solution, users can create virtual models, run feasibility analyses, develop templates, and estimate costs, resulting in reduced time-to-market of finished products.
One of the many significant benefits of these new versions is their automatic marker-making module which calculates estimates of fabric consumption and related costs according to the customer’s business model. These calculations are carried out during the design phase and hence very early in the design and development process.
With DesignConcept Auto and DesignConcept TechTex, Lectra alone offers the automotive and industrial fabrics industry this particularly innovative approach.
The new automatic marker-making module prov ides project leaders with valuable and detailed information about the different fabric savings possible for each design option, thus allowing them to make the wisest decisions. When this module is used in conjunction with feasibility analyses, companies equipped with DesignConcept can shorten production cycle times through perfect project management with respect to the business model chosen initially and to the company’s main criteria—cost, quality, time-to-market.
With the new DesignConcept Auto and DesignConcept TechTex offers, costs are no longer imposed but foreseen and managed.
“We developed these new versions in order to offer a novel approach to product development, giving designers more responsibility by providing them with improved visibility over the economic implications of their decisions,” said Daniel Harari, CEO, Lectra. “This means they can make a more direct contribution to their company’s performance.”
DesignConcept Auto: a response to specifically address the needs of manufacturers in the automotive market
Taking the recent changes in the automotive sector into consideration, Lectra engineers have developed concepts that accelerate decision-making to help cope with the increasing customer demand for greater numbers and heightened complexity of interior and seat models. Equipped with DesignConcept Auto (V4R1), designers can offer up to five times more virtual models than before, using the simulation tools, while accessing necessary information for quality evaluation and corresponding cost management.
“With DesignConcept Auto V4R1 we have finally been able to enter a new phase of synchronized prototyping and costing. Now we can modify designs while verifying the related cost implications. This also means we can consider more designs,” said Katuyuki Matsushita, General Manager, Engineering Division, Toyota Boshoku (Japan).
DesignConcept TechTex: a major advantage for manufacturers who process industrial fabrics
Constraints linked to environmental protection and reduced energy consumption have led to an increase in the number of industrial fabrics products. In the aeronautics industry, saving a few grams per piece may be a deciding factor for end-customers. With the explosion of prices for raw materials and crude oil, DesignConcept TechTex (V4R1) has become essential for large-scale composite product design, especially for reducing the weight of finished products while maintaining satisfactory mechanical properties. DesignConcept TechTex drastically reduces development cycle times with its flattening algorithm, the only one of its kind on the market. DesignConcept TechTex thus makes it possible to create more products for lower costs. In a sector currently experiencing significant growth, Lectra alone provides a global solution, through its CAM offer, from 3D design to production of soft structures.
“DesignConcept TechTex handles complex shapes much better than we expected,” said James Colegrove, Composite Materials Engineer for Trek Bicycle Corporation, an American company which designs and manufactures a wide range of touring and mountain bikes. “We were impressed with how it put the shapes together and with the high quality of the parts. DesignConcept TechTex makes it much easier to collaborate with the industrial designers and develop stylish bikes while ensuring they can be produced to deliver the outstanding performance that Trek customers expect.”
New developments pushing the limits of virtual design
DesignConcept Auto (V4R1) and DesignConcept TechTex (V4R1) offer manufacturers other major advantages. Both solutions allow better control of development costs by shortening the prototyping phase, improving the rendered image and virtual simulation, and analyzing feasibility according to the characteristics of the fabric. Feasibility analyses, aimed at the best compromise of quality, price, and time-to-market, are guided by objective criteria including evaluation of the fabric’s tension and distortion, its resistance to constraints, material consumption, etc.
Finally, manufacturers can now enter their own materials (textiles, leathers, etc.) and the characteristics of those materials into the DesignConcept Auto and DesignConcept TechTex library.
DesignConcept and Vector by Lectra: when optimization and production combine
To reduce their material consumption, manufacturers must first evaluate the performance of their production tools. Lectra’s VectorAuto and VectorTechTex cutter ranges, designed for the automotive and industrial fabrics industries, yield two to three times greater productivity than standard models on the market and result in fabric savings of up to 5% or more.
In order to estimate production material requirements, DesignConcept takes the manufacturing process into account, optimizing shapes, their rotation constraints, and inter- pieces margins. Contractors can thus quickly estimate their return on investment and evaluate the advantages of producing with Lectra solutions as opposed to the competition.
Associating DesignConcept Auto or DesignConcept TechTex with the VectorAuto and VectorTechTex ranges of automated cutters constitutes a real competitive advantage.
DesignConcept: Compatible with Windows Vista
As with all new Lectra solutions, DesignConcept is compatible with Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system.
In line with the Lectra’s strategy of accompanying customers, DesignConcept is associated with a range of high value-added professional services provided by Lectra’s own business and solutions experts.
Lectra is the world leader in integrated technology solutions that automate, streamline, and accelerate product design, development, and manufacturing processes for the soft goods industries. Lectra develops the most advanced specialized software and cutting systems and provides associated services to a broad array of markets including fashion (apparel, accessories, footwear), automotive (car seats and interiors, airbags), aeronautics, marine, and furniture. Lectra serves 20,000 customers in more than 100 countries with 1,550 employees and $297 million in 2007 revenues. The company is listed on Euronext Paris.
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