Lectra machine plant

How Lectra is upgrading its fabric cutting machine plant to industry 4.0 standards

Lectra machine plant

October 2021. The global leader in fabric cutting machines and software is fitting its plant in Cestas, near Bordeaux (Gironde), with industry 4.0 technology. “The cutting machines we sell have been industry 4.0 compatible for a long time. For example, they have sensors to track cutting rates or blade wear and tear. Our goal now is to apply this industry 4.0 approach to our cutting machine production process”, says industrial operations manager Eric Lespinasse. In an assembly plant like Lectra’s, it’s not about automating production but improving flow management.

Therefore, “much of our manufacturing activity involves managing our supply and distribution chains”, continues Lespinasse. It is also worth remembering that Lectra works with 280 suppliers (including 220 in France, which accounts for 80% of sales), and that the Cestas plant has to supply spare parts to 34 subsidiaries worldwide.

Moreover, in 2020, consumable and spare part sales made up a quarter of the company’s 236 million or so turnover, putting them on a par with machine sales or maintenance contracts. The remaining turnover derived from individually sold software.

In the consumables and spare parts packaging area, the change is substantial. The order picking process is fully digitised. A poka-yoke system is used that involves checking the weight of parcels and scanning product bar codes in the warehouse to prevent any errors. “We’re selling a premium service. If we’re delivering to the wilds of Cambodia, we can’t afford to forget any parts”, says Eric Lespinasse.

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