Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Automated Computer Based Lay Planning and Interface to Leather Cutting for Footwear SMEs

Upper leather accounts for up to 40% of the cost of a shoe and a substantial proportion of the leather skin ends up as waste on the cutting room floor. It is an expensive material and a small improvement in the utilization of the material can make a large improvement in the overall profitability of a footwear manufacturer. For example, for a typical footwear SME, each 1% improvement in material utilisation will provide an annual saving of around 25k EURO.

The aim of this project is the development, for leather shoe upper parts, of an automated lay planning system which can interface to manual cutting systems and offers the scope for linking to numerically controlled cutting systems. It is computer based, targeted specifically at the requirements of SME manufacturers and aimed to cope with their product mix, shoe order quantities, size distributions and range of materials. In this way it is targeted at and particularly relevant to SMEs. It brings pre-planning and computer technology into the traditional area of leather cutting.

The key elements of the system are the ability to:

- Input pattern data via digitizer, scanner or downloaded from CAD systems.

- Enter production information relating to particular order size distributions.

- Store skin geometry complete with lines of tightness, fault areas and quality zones.

- Lay play automatically the patterns onto the selected skins taking cutting constraints into account.

- Provide a cutting plan in the form of a pressman's guide.

- Provide geometric data for controlling a numerically controlled cutter.

Reported by

United Kingdom
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