PLM Picking Up Steam


Gerber Unveils PLM Solution for Fashion Market

Gerber Technology has developed a new PLM solution, Fashion Lifecycle Management (FLM), which the company reports is designed to meet the specific needs of the fashion market. FLM, which the company calls a concept to P.O. solution, combines Gerbers WebPDM 5.1 product development management software with an apparel PLM workflow solution.

Holly Beum, director of software product management, said Gerber set out to develop a PLM software tailored to the fashion industrys unique requirements, which are significantly different from those of discrete manufacturing industries, such as automotive and aerospace manufacturing. Gerbers Fashion Lifecycle Management solution complements and integrates fully with WebPDM and includes image collaboration, project management functionality, product specifications and versioning and integrated workflow.

Gerber FLM allows its users to track the progress of fabrics, trims and approvals and share that information globally, which improves task management and allows managers to track processes so that they can more easily identify bottlenecks and adjust workflows throughout the supply chain.

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Fila, Tae Kwang Select PTC for Company-Wide PLM

Fila, designer and marketer of mens and womens luxury sports apparel, accessories and footwear, has adopted the PTC retail, footwear and apparel solution for enterprise product lifecycle management. Fila will use the solution to reduce time-to-market and product costs while improving product quality and information exchange.

Initially, the company will focus on line planning, materials, technical packs, calendar and workflow management, implementing PTCs solution for its footwear and apparel operations in the United States, Italy, Hong Kong and Guangdong, China.

Kristin Kohler, vice president of global product/general manager, Fila, said the goal of this implementation is to align various processes in the organization to successfully deliver against the challenges caused by consolidation in the industry, which is creating more competition among fewer manufacturers for increasingly choosy customers.

Tae Kwang, a Korea-based contract factory for Nike Inc., also has adopted PTCs PLM solutions for collaboration with its plants in China and Vietnam, as well as integration with its enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. This is an expansion of Tae Kwangs relationship with PTC, which began with the companys selection of PTC Windchill in October 2002.

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Lectra Honors Design Faculty

Lectra presented three awards for a faculty design competition that it co-sponsored at the annual meeting of the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) in November.

The Lectra Outstanding Faculty Designer Award went to Mee-Sun Choi from Dongshin University in South Korea for her garment made from hand-painted, nonwoven paper. She was awarded a trip to Paris, including a visit to Lectras headquarters and an invitation to attend the Premire Vision fabric exhibition.

For her research on the use of 3-D body scanning technology for the creation of garments designed to resist exposure to hazardous materials, Jinhee Nam, from Oklahoma State University, received the Lectra Innovation Award for Faculty Research.

Finally, the Lectra Innovation Award for Teaching went to Wanda Brown and Rinn Cloud, both from Florida State University, for their collaborative project on the use of digital technology to teach apparel construction. The university has adopted this course, which integrates traditional teaching methods and online technology, into its design curriculum.

Each of the three latter winners was awarded a $1,000 prize.

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Yunique Solutions to Deliver eWarna Color Functions

PLM solutions provider Yunique Solutions is working to integrate eWarna color management technology into its software by the second quarter of this year.

An agreement reached in late 2005 between the two technology firms paved the way for Yunique to market and deliver online color collaboration tools powered by eWarnas patented Online Color Exchange (OCX).

The color management functionality will become a component of Yuniques plmOn solution. This integration will eliminate the need for a separate color approval application, the companies report.

eWarnas on-demand web services will allow Yunique plmOn customers to store, retrieve, compare and share digital color information in the eWarna OCX. Using plmOns collaboration and workflow tools, users can then communicate digitized color standards, receive/submit color submissions (lab or bulk dips) through industry standard file formats, set approval tolerances and keep detailed records of color approvals.

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PLM Picking Up Steam

Wilsons Leather to Streamline PLM with NGC

Wilsons Leather has selected New Generation Computing Inc.s (NGC) product lifecycle management (PLM) technology, e-PDM, Internet Product Development Manager. Wilsons Leather implemented NGCs e-SPS web-based sourcing and production system in 2002.

Wilsons Leather has installed e-PDM at its Minneapolis, MN, headquarters to help develop products efficiently and quickly. The software expands upon traditional product data management software and offers merchandising, design, product development, sourcing and manufacturing professionals the advanced tools needed to better manage the entire product lifecycle, NGC reports.

e-PDM will be a wonderful addition to the e-SPS modules that have enabled us to get products into the hands of our customers faster, said Jeff Orton, CIO, Wilsons Leather.

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Mango Selects Lectras PLM solution

Womens apparel retailer Mango has selected Lectras new PLM solution to manage its collection development processes and optimize the collaborative work of all participants in the value chain on an enterprise level.

The solution will be implemented in close collaboration with Mangos specialized teams and will initially be used by more than 800 Mango employees and suppliers dedicated to the design and development of the 70 million garments and accessories the company produces each year.

At Mango, our activity goes beyond design, manufacturing and marketing; it is the creation of a concept that arises from the interrelation between a quality product with a distinctive design and a coherent, unified brand image, said Elena Carasso, Mangos e-business director.

Carasso said that Lectras PLM solution will allow the company to align its collections with the companys economic and strategic objectives while synchronizing the activities of those in collection development. It will also help define priorities, allocate resources and manage multiple concurrent workflows. Also, said Carasso, it will enable us to increase customer satisfaction by accelerating our collection rhythms and integrating new trends more quickly.

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Rhodes e-Tailors Connects Stores to Manufacturers with RETAILOR Shop 3D

The Calgary, Canada-based fashion house Rhodes e-Tailors Inc. has implemented RETAILOR Shop 3D from The Human Solutions Co. The solution links the Calgary shop with the European apparel manufacturers Odermark and Scabal, which are producing custom clothing for the retailer.

The RETAILOR portal links the retail trade with various manufacturers of ladies and mens made-to-measure clothing. The portal is offered in three versions, which differ primarily in the way they take measurements. The high-end model, RETAILOR Shop 3D, measures customers digitally in the store with a 3-D body scanner. This system also offers the retailer guidance in helping the customer to make decisions regarding garment details, such as the type of cloth, the cut of the garment and the type of buttons. All data is then transmitted online to the manufacturer.

With the installation, Rhodes e-Tailors became the first Canadian firm to use the RETAILOR technology.

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Jackson to Lead Design for Calvin Klein Division

Calvin Klein Womens Better Sportswear, a division of Kellwood Co. under license from Calvin Klein Inc., has hired Chris Jackson as vice president of design.

Jackson most recently served as design director of the DKNY womens collection, where he was responsible for the overall design direction for all womens DKNY categories for nine years. Prior to DKNY, Jackson held major design posts at Nautica, French Connection and Anne Klein.

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Chinese Institute Chooses OptiTex

The Suzhou Art & Design Technology Institute in China recently acquired 45 computer-aided fashion-design work stations from Petah Tikva, Israel-based OptiTex Ltd.

China is currently the companys largest target market in Asia and is OptiTexs second-largest market worldwide, said OptiTex West Asia manager Saar Machtinger.

Fifteen Chinese educational institutions have already installed similar programs, said Machtinger. OptiTex CEO Ran Machtinger said that the company sees vast growth potential in Asia, particularly in China and India.

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Uniform Maker Elbeco Names New Head of Product Development

Elbeco Inc., a manufacturer and wholesaler of branded uniforms for public service agencies, has appointed TJ Virk as its new director of product development.

Virk, who previously was employed with resort wear firm Key West Collections LLC, will oversee Elbecos product development and merchandising activities, with a focus on expanding the firms new product initiatives and broadening its sourcing and supply chain capabilities.

Reading, PA-based Elbeco has introduced a number of new products in the past 18 months, utilizing some of the most recent innovations in fabric technology.

TJ Virk brings a unique set of experiences from both within our industry and from outside that will enable him to offer new ideas and perspectives to our business, said Elbeco president David Lurio.

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