Lectra hosted some 350 fashion and sewn products executives from around the world this past month at its world headquarters in Bordeaux, France, for Lectra World 2007, an event dedicated to unveiling a host of new products, ranging from cutting and design to PLM technology.
The technology firm has focused heavily on research and development (R&D) during the past eight years to bring the new products and new version releases to fruition. It spent about 8.7 percent of its total revenue on R&D in 2006, for example, and hired an additional 32 new associates in software R&D. In total the firm has 220 R&D engineers and technicians, representing 15 percent of its staff.
The most buzz surrounds Lectra's move into the PLM marketplace. Although this officially occurred more than 18 months ago, Lectra is releasing its third version, Lectra Fashion PLM V1R3.
"What makes Lectra PLM unique is its connection to design," said CEO Daniel Harari.
Lectra reports that its newest PLM version, which is a 100 percent web-based solution, has more functionality and scalability and more bandwidth relative to the integration with design functions.
This relates in particular to the product development and workflow management applications, which are specific to collection development process management. For example, pattern design applications are integrated with the product development application.
The product development application also allows for collaboration among those involved in all specific processes related to the sourcing of fashion products and related fabrics, to include synchronization and management of multiple bids, prototype review and cost simulation. Functions also include the ability to define and validate such quality tests as colorfastness and flammability.
Other new product releases included:
- Modaris 3D Fit , a 3-D virtual prototyping solution for pattern makers, designers, product developers and marketing and sales teams. Associating fabric information (with a library of 120 fabrics and their mechanical characteristics), 2-D patterns and 3-D virtual mannequins (standard and configurable), Modaris 3D Fit enables simulation and realistic visualization of garments in 3-D, with their various fabrics, motifs and color ranges. It allows garment fit to be checked for ease, balance, sewing lines, proportions in various fabrics and sizes, and the fine-tuning of product specifications.
- A new range of VectorFashion cutting solutions features an intelligent maintenance plan that provides self-diagnostics and activity reports, launches preventive alerts and connects directly with Lectra call centers. The VectorFashionFX is designed for prototype cutting and other flexible cutting needs, offering non-stop cutting capability while the spread is automatically loaded in the production area. The cutting system's advanced operating software optimizes the blade path to guarantee the quality of cut pieces, even those with edges at a tangent, Lectra reports. The VectorFashionFP is appropriate for first-time users of automated cutting because of its user friendliness, the firm says. The VectorFashionMH is geared formass production of garments, regardless of the complexity of shapes or fabrics to be processed. The intelligent software at the heart of the system analyzes each action to optimize raw materials consumption. The VectorFashionM88 is designed for producers who cut by hand. Pieces are placed side by side in spreads up to eight centimeters thick. The VectorFashionMX addresses the need for speed and quality at high volumes. Lectra says the system can cut complex pieces with no buffer zones between cut pieces. Dedicated models are available for both denim and lingerie.
- Easy Grading ,an automated grading application, is now included in Lectra's Modaris and PGS pattern-design solutions. Lectra says it speeds the grading process by up to 70 percent. The operator selects a graphical representation with grading information (a "mask," or template) by product type from a customized library. After selecting a measurement chart, the operator loads the pattern pieces and positions them onto the mask either manually or automatically. The grading is then performed with the click of the mouse.
-- Susan S. Black
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