SOURCE: Lectra

February 02, 2007 12:36 ET

Lectra Revolutionizes Automated Cutting With Its New-Generation Vector Offering, the Market's Most High-Performance Solution

PARIS -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 2, 2007 -- Lectra, the world leader in software, CAD/CAM equipment and related services dedicated to the fashion, automotive, aeronautical, marine and furniture industries, announces the release of its completely renewed Vector range of automated multi-ply cutting systems. The new-generation Vector offering, which is now available, provides an effective response to the new needs of manufacturers, particularly for optimizing productivity and quality, reducing costs, and improving cutting flexibility and reliability.

"The goal that I presented to our research and development teams was clear: to completely rethink and redevelop our range of cutting systems—which were already the market leaders—in order to offer our customers an entirely new generation of automated cutters which are more powerful and more intelligent," said Lectra CEO, Daniel Harari. "The new-generation Vector sets new standards of cutting speed, quality and reliability. The R&D investment of EUR 12 million reflects the high stakes involved. This new generation constitutes a genuine technological leap forward. It is the fruit of more than 20 years of cutting room experience."

A major technological revolution

The new generation Vector represents more than three years of R&D—involving the efforts of more than 80 engineers with an average experience of 15 years at Lectra—combining a large-scale collective effort and a strong project management culture. The new Vector's manufacturing processes have been rationalized, and the improved productivity derived from accelerated cutting capacity enables companies to maintain the manufacture of high value-added sub-elements in-house rather than sending them out to sub- contractors, thereby permitting greater control over costs, quality and the entire production process.

This technological revolution is grounded in Lectra's long history with cutting solutions, which began with the company's first models in 1985 and was steadily enriched by successive innovations in the ensuing years, making the Vector the leading reference for automated cutters.

The system's piloting software has been totally rethought to prevent the risk of error and facilitate usage. An inexperienced operator can thus operate the system with minimal training. Customizable, and with an interface that is available in more than 20 languages, it is highly accessible and provides several guided, automated processes. Its precision enables a reduction of space between cut pieces that has never before been achieved, thereby ensuring unprecedented flexibility of production processes as well as significant material savings.

"With the new VectorFashionFX, we are now able to produce larger quantities of perfectly-cut garments with the same amount of raw material," said Marino Buonavita, production manager of Italian menswear specialist, Textura, one the Lectra partner companies that has tested the new solution for several months.

A completely renewed offering, specifically adapted to each market and manufacturing process

Capitalizing on the previous generation of Vector cutters, the new Vector was conceived to respond to the specific needs of all markets: the new VectorFashion for the apparel market, the VectorAuto for manufacturers of automotive seats and interior components, the VectorTechTex for companies working with industrial fabrics (fibreglass, Kevlar, etc.), and the VectorFurniture for upholstered furniture manufacturers.

The new Vector was also conceived to respond to the specific needs of each manufacturing process.

For companies producing in small series for rapid delivery, Lectra proposes the Vector FX and Vector FP versions. Flexible and reliable, the FX version guarantees high cutting speed and perfect quality to ensure quick delivery of products to retailers. Dedicated to new users of automated cutters, the FP version offers ease of use and high-quality cutting, making it the ideal investment for companies still cutting by hand.

For companies engaged in high-volume production, the high performance and exceptional cutting quality of the MH version—which is capable of cutting plies of compressed fabric up to 8 centimeters thick—make it the new market standard. The M88 line was developed for producers who have not yet automated their production; it reduces operating costs with an energy-saving function and an intelligent "blade saver" system.

The MX version, which offers unparalleled productivity, is the result of a major technological advance. It provide an ideal response to the challenges faced by manufacturers charged with producing large volumes in a short amount of time—such as automotive and fashion companies—namely, increasing quantities and a broader variety of orders as well as the necessity to optimize their organizations and production sites.

Intelligence in the service of performance

Manufacturers face strong pressure to produce more, faster, and more cheaply. With the new generation Vector and the major innovations in its service offering, Lectra deepens still further its commitment to helping its customers overcome their challenges.

In order to optimize its integration into the cutting room, the new Vector's piloting software provides an integrated maintenance system which monitors performance and provides alerts whenever potential problems are detected. The warning system enables corrective action to be taken even before failures occur, thus limiting the need for intervention by Lectra technicians and guaranteeing maximum cutting system availability. The piloting software also automatically generates performance and activity reports which feed the company's information system and serve as a base of cutting room audits.

The system's intelligence provides a revolutionary response to manufacturer's demand for reliable solutions in a context in which delays are penalized.

"I am especially proud to present this new offering, which represents a fantastic opportunity for us as well as for our customers," concluded Daniel Harari. "The close, long-term relationships that we establish with them, and the spirit of innovation that characterizes Lectra, is the source of our added value and the reason why Lectra is, more than ever, a perfect partner for building the future."

About Lectra

With 1,500 worldwide employees and $260 million in 2005 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.

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