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Sumisho Airbag Systems increases production capacity by introducing the new FocusQuantum® OPW solution by Lectra

The Japanese supplier specialized in side-curtain airbag cushion manufacturing seeks to gear up production capacity to meet rapidly growing global demand for advanced airbag products

(PresseBox) (Paris, ) Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials, is pleased to announce that the Japanese side-curtain airbag cushion supplier Sumisho Airbag Systems is implementing a highly efficient laser airbag cutting solution, FocusQuantum® OPW.

Sumisho Airbag Systems is the only Japan-based manufacturer of one-piece woven (OPW) airbag cushions, and one of the world's leading providers in terms of quality. The company weaves and cuts technical textiles for airbags that are produced for global automobile brands based in the U.S., Germany and Japan among others.

Anticipating new orders from customers, Sumisho Airbag Systems is forecasting a significant increase in production volumes. The company already had an installed base of eight Lectra Focus® HP OPW laser cutters when it approached Lectra. The supplier was seeking to boost capacity without increasing its manufacturing footprint, while being able to meet stringent cutting quality standards.

Following benchmark tests conducted at Lectra's International Advanced Technology and Conference (IATC) center in Bordeaux-Cestas, France, using production parameters and material provided by Sumisho Airbag Systems, the manufacturer determined that the FocusQuantum OPW solution delivers more production capacity than the previous generation of laser cutting solutions. Company representatives were especially impressed by the high level of cutting quality, as well as the potential of the solution's new SmartCutting process, which prepares OPW fabric using pre-production software that enables cutting path correction in real time.

Based on these results, Sumisho Airbag Systems has decided to implement Lectra's FocusQuantum, a comprehensive solution including an airbag laser cutter, a pre-production software suite and collaboration in project mode with Lectra consultants to ensure proper production, minimize risks and meet further demand for volume increase.

One of the decisive factors in Sumisho Airbag Systems' decision was Lectra's strong presence in Japan, with a full support structure to guarantee responsive turnaround times and prompt delivery of parts. With seven call centers across the globe and teams of specialized field service engineers in all countries where airbags are produced, Lectra helps its customers achieve maximum machine availability and productivity through quick intervention. In addition, remote monitoring and predictive maintenance enabled by smart services allow for optimum uptime.

"Consumer expectations in the area of vehicle safety continue to evolve at an accelerated pace," says Akira Kanehachi, President & CEO of Sumisho Airbag Systems. "To meet our customers' growing demand for advanced airbag designs and to reduce overall cost, it is important for us to invest in the right technology and equipment."

"Airbag manufacturers today are grappling with complex new business challenges," states Daniel Harari, Lectra CEO. "Now, more than ever, they need to ensure that quality remains at the heart of the road safety value chain while minimizing overall cost per bag. FocusQuantum OPW is a compact solution enabling significantly greater productivity per square meter of manufacturing footprint, while at the same time ensuring the highest possible level of quality through advanced software and laser cutting technology.

® Focus and FocusQuantum are registered trademarks of Lectra.

About Sumisho Airbag Systems

Established in 2004 in Matsuura City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Sumisho Airbag Systems produces and sells side-curtain airbag cushions. The company's shareholders are Sumitomo Corporation, one of the leading worldwide trading and business developing companies, Suminoe Textile Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of interior materials for the automotive and building industries, and Asahi Kasei Corporation, a producer of technical yarn for airbags.

About Lectra Deutschland GmbH

Lectra is the world leader in integrated technology solutions (software, automated cutting equipment, and associated services) specifically designed for industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles, and composite materials to manufacture their products. It serves major world markets: fashion and apparel, automotive, and furniture as well as a broad array of other industries. Lectra's solutions, specific to each market, enable customers to automate and optimize product design, development, and manufacturing. With more than 1,500 employees, Lectra has developed privileged relationships with prestigious customers in more than 100 countries, contributing to their operational excellence. Lectra registered revenues of $264 million in 2015 and is listed on Euronext.

For more information, please visit www.lectra.com

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