Innovative leather cutting for furniture upholstery

Worldwide
Published:  29 March, 2014

Since its introduction in 2012, Lectra’s VersalisFurniture leather cutting solution has redefined the process of leather cutting for the upholstered furniture industry. Lectra’s technology, experience and expertise have brought cost savings and efficiencies, and continue to adapt to the needs of furniture manufacturers.

Unlike the majority of its competitors, Lectra, headquartered in France, has moved away from the business model of being a simple commodity supplier. The customer challenge defines the solution, and Lectra works closely with customers to analyse their processes and organisation, identifying possible improvements, before proposing the solution, which will bring maximum benefits.

Users of the Versalis report average leather savings of 5%. Given the high cost of leather this could equate to savings of hundreds of thousands of Euros every year, depending on the scale of the manufacturing operation. This is due largely to the complex algorithms used by the Versalis software and the inclusion of a highly accurate scanner.

In addition, for companies using hides, which cannot be physically marked, such as natural leathers, identifying flaws and quality areas can be a challenge. Versalis uses an electronic pen, which leaves no trace on the hide itself. The process is voice-aided and takes into account all characteristics linked to the leather. The flaws identified are instantly visible on screen and are saved for subsequent analysis.

Lectra’s Leather Reporting software provides precise and reliable information tailored to users’ key performance indicators such as yield evolution and fluctuation, variations in leather quality, comparison with supplier data, and analysis of hides allocated versus hides consumed.

Being able to check the quality and surface areas of hides as soon as they arrive enables customers to raise any issues very quickly with suppliers, and to know exactly the amount and quality of hides they have in stock at all times. For customers willing to make major changes to the way they manage hides, Lectra has created an offline process, whereby hides are scanned in advance, separately from the main cutting process. This saves time and removes the bottlenecks, which sometimes occur.

The VersalisFurniture is available with one or two cutting heads. For furniture manufacturers, especially those using small pieces in making recliners and sectionals, multiple cutting heads enable them to optimise system use. It also includes an automated hide analysis solution, operation management and optimisation software.

The thickness and resistance of hides used in furniture varies over the surface, but Versalis can adapt the behaviour of the blades by mapping the flatness of the cutting table to modify the penetration of the blade into the leather. As a result, the system maximises both quality and productivity

Lectra has a range of service contracts tailored to the use of the Versalis. These automatically deliver software upgrades as soon as they are available.

Customers see a high return on investment, with payback in just a few months. They are able to produce more, with less. There may still be some resistance to change, but once manufacturers see the scale of savings they are able to make, they are convinced.

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