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Experts in the Automotive Cutting Room

MEXICONOW Staff Report

Lectra provides integrated technology solutions and associated services for industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles & composite materials. As the global leader in design and cutting room solutions for the automotive industry, Lectra has partnered with Tier-1 automotive suppliers for over 20 years around the world to help them achieve efficiency gains throughout their production processes and sustain their competitive advantage over the long term.

Applying a methodology that combines industry best practice expertise, innovative technology and services, Lectra accompanies its customers on their path to operational excellence.

Lectra’s expertise in automotive interior manufacturing enables suppliers of car seat covers, automotive interiors and trim, and airbags to achieve their long-term operational excellence and cost reduction objectives. Lectra’s expertise and advanced cutting solutions for fabric and leather seating, interior trim and airbag manufacturers can maximize productivity, quality and profitability.

The Company helps its automotive customers to achieve operational excellence through process optimization and change management. Leveraging expertise gained from working across the automotive supply chain for over 20 years, Lectra has developed a consulting offer tailored to the needs of companies operating in one of the most lean-conscious industries.

Process optimization, continuous performance improvement and sustainable results are fundamentals of lean methodology that Lectra applies to its integrated cutting room, enabling companies to stay one step ahead on the road to operational excellence. This is to adapt to current and future market changes – such as standardization, the rising price of raw materials, and the growth of emerging markets – OEMs and automotive interior and seating suppliers need to develop resilient and agile supply chains while finding opportunities for improvement throughout their operations. 

Lectra’s end-to-end approach, which includes improvement of KPI’s like OEE (Operational Equipment Effectiveness), helps suppliers optimize the entire process, from prototyping to cutting. With Lectra’s knowledge, suppliers can reduce material consumption and improve operational margins using a variety of levers like optimized nesting and improve the accuracy of all production phases, from spreading to offloading.

TACHI-S Mexico is a subsidiary of Japan´s largest independents seating supplier that has 4 plants in Mexico. Lectra worked closely with Tachi-S teams to determine the underlying causes of high
running costs and low performance, and understand the company’s main production challenges.

Tachi-S Mexico improved production capacity, and reduced operational costs and quality defects with the help of Lectra consultants.
Tachi-S Mexico
Luis Soria is a Senior Corporate Purchasing Manager for Tachi-S Mexico and explained it this way: “Tachi-S´ objectives in Mexico are to strengthen our position within the Japanese automotive industry, and build relationships with new premium brands entering Mexico following the boom of our automotive industry.”

Tachi-S has a 50-year history as a company that creates inspiration. Tachi-S works with major automakers as an independent seat maker, delivering 2.4 million seats to the global market each year. “The challenge that our customers are requesting is to provide products that meet the quality levels that they expect. The specific market in Mexico is structured for exports, so the quality is the most important factor in our products” said Luis Soria, who is Senior Corporate Purchasing Manager for Tachi-S Mexico.

Tachi-S Mexico had forecast a sustained growth as a group up to 45% and during the last few years the group has more than doubled its growth in Mexico, said Luis Soria. “We have grown from 2,000 employees in Mexico to 5,000, making us the largest manufacturer of car seats in the country and thanks to Lectra, we have also been getting into the market of individual seat covers for customers”. Magdalena Regalado, who is Deputy Engineering Manager for Tachi-S Mexico stated: “Our improvement project benefited from Lectra´s experience in the automotive cutting process and our strong relationship between the two companies from many years ago”.

Magdalena Regalado continued with this to mention: “The assessment methods we used were a Value Stream Map to identify our process and our opportunities for improvement along with an overall analysis for the efficiency of our equipment with the DILO analysis to identify the causes behind the limitations of the process”. 

The results in the first phase are an increase of 16% of the efficiency on the cutting process, the yield of three materials that improved by 50%, 120% and 137% respectively, and the other result is that their production volumes increased from 550 to 825 car seats per day. 

For the second phase, Tachi-S Mexico reported the following results: The production increased to 1,000 car sets, surpassing their goal of 980, along with an improvement in the performance of their product quality process.
Tachi-S Mexico
Luis Soria is a Senior Corporate Purchasing Manager for Tachi-S Mexico and commented that Lectra contributes with technological development and expertise that has helped his company to reduce operating costs by almost 20 cents per set as well as to be more efficient in the delivery of their products. 

As a conclusion, Lectra is the world leader in integrated technology solutions that automate, streamline and accelerate product design, development and manufacturing processes for industries using soft materials. Lectra develops the most advanced specialized software and cutting systems and provides associated services to a broad array of markets including fashion (apparel, accessories, footwear), automotive (car seats and interiors, airbags), furniture, as well as a wide variety of other market sectors, such as aeronautical and marine industries, wind power and personal protective equipment. Lectra serves 23,000 customers in more than 100 countries with 1,500 employees. For more information on Lectra’s automotive solutions, please visit demandmore.lectra.com.