SOURCE: Lectra

March 02, 2007 12:44 ET

LECTRA Launches Its Newest Generation of Automated Cutting Solutions -- the Most High-Performance on the Market -- Dedicated to the Automotive Industry

PARIS -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 2, 2007 -- Lectra, the world leader in production solutions for automotive equipment manufacturers specializing in the development and manufacture of airbags, automotive seats and interiors, announces the launch of its newest range of VectorAuto cutting solutions, specially dedicated to the needs of car makers and their suppliers. The VectorAuto provides a powerful, intelligent solution to the needs of manufacturers, including the needs to improve flexibility, reduce the cost of production and material consumption, and ensure consistent and predictable quality, all within a secure and reliable process.

"This new generation of automated cutters relies on more than 20 years of intelligent cutting room expertise and strong partnerships established with the leading companies of the automotive industry," said Daniel Harari, Lectra CEO. "It represents a genuine technological leap forward, with more powerful and more intelligent solutions."

Three new lines that provide unmatched performance

The VectorAutoFX is the most advanced response to manufacturers' need for flexibility. Versatile and reliable, it is the ideal solution for short deadlines and small series production. Like the complete Vector Auto range, the FX also ensures maximum productivity using the capability to cut non-stop while the material is automatically loaded in the cutting area. All of the VectorAuto systems incorporate an dvanced operating software that optimizes the blade path in order to guarantee perfect quality of cut pieces. The software adapts the system's behavior to the requirements of various material types and ensures the best cutting path to achieve accuracy and quality even on the most complex patterns. Cut parts of impeccable quality can then be produced and made available quickly.

Developed on the success of Lectra's MP technology, the VectorAutoMH and VectorAutoMH8, with their high performance and excellent cutting quality, are the standards in the mass production of car seats and interiors, regardless of the complexity of shapes or fabrics to be processed. The intelligent software at the heart of the VectorAuto range analyzes each action to optimize raw material consumption and guarantee flawless results. Large manufacturers benefit from a reliable solution that is user friendly and easy to maintain. The VectorAutoMH and MH8 safeguard production and minimize the risk of process interruptions that lead to costly delays and penalties. Designed for high volume cutting, the VectorAutoMH and MH8 offer cutting time optimization that is far superior to that of other systems available on the market. They streamline the cutting process and eliminate bottlenecks that can occur in the cutting room.

The VectorAutoMX represents an incomparable technological leap, providing levels of production speed and cutting quality never before achieved. Large manufacturers find in the VectorAutoMX an ideal response to increasing orders, reduced lead times and the need to optimize production. The search for constant improvement is at the heart of the system, which proposes a solution for increasing its own yield. Unprecedented cutting room flexibility as well as raw material savings are achieved due to the surprising speed with which the VectorAutoMX is able to cut the most complex patterns with little or no buffer between cut pieces. Even the largest orders can be handled swiftly, enabling manufacturers to multiply the various orders to be produced while respecting lead times.

The VectorAutoMX9, is the ultimate solution for automotive suppliers who are accustomed to working either with die cutting or with extremely high volumes. As car makers make decisions regarding auto interior designs later and later in the development process to stay close to consumer trends, it is becoming critical to have manufacturing tools that allow programs to be put into production quickly and efficiently with the flexibility to modify the model if needed. Die boards often require five to six weeks to be produced or modified, while the VectorAutoMX9 enables suppliers to accommodate design and cutting changes in a few minutes. This allows car makers to more easily address quality or competitive issues, and allows their suppliers to be more reactive to their needs.

Software intelligence in the service of preventive action

Confronted with accelerating cycles of consumption, manufacturers face new pressures to produce more volume, faster, and cheaper than ever before. Lectra has gone a step further in order to help its customers meet their new challenges with the new intelligent VectorAuto range. The maintenance plan integrated into the piloting software enables it to act proactively; using warning alerts, actions can be taken even before failures occur, thus limiting the need for intervention by Lectra technicians and guaranteeing maximum availability of the cutting system. In order to make the cutting system integration within the production site more efficient and reliable, its piloting software offers performance and activity reports. The system's intelligence provides a revolutionary response to manufacturers' demand for reliable solutions in a context in which delays are penalized.

The new Vector range at the heart of the intelligent cutting room

The VectorAuto range provides answers adapted to the specific needs of customers. The software guarantees traceability and optimization of manufacturing costs. While Lectra equipment and software perfectly integrates cutfiles created with other CAD software, the VectorAuto achieves maximum productivity and material savings when connected with Lectra's planning, nesting and spreading solutions. VectorMethod generates cut specification sheets in coordination with a bar code reader integrated with the VectorAuto cutters to secure the production process against human error. The piloting software delivers detailed analyses of the cutting room with production reports.

"Because we work in close cooperation with our customers, Lectra's innovation policy has enabled the company to develop a complete, coherent solution which ensures productivity, flexibility and a secure process, the most important requirement of the automotive business," said Roy Shurling, Director of Lectra's worldwide automotive and transportation markets.

About Lectra

With 1,500 worldwide employees and EUR 216 million in 2006 revenues, Lectra is the world leader in software, CAD/CAM equipment and related services dedicated to large-scale users of textiles, leather and industrial fabrics. Lectra addresses a broad array of major global markets, including fashion (apparel, accessories, footwear), automotive, aeronautical and furniture. Lectra is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange.

For more information, please visit www.lectra.com

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