Lectra’s strategic customer Global Safety Textiles (GST) chooses Focus Quantum® OPW airbag cutting solution in China
Leading independent supplier of automotive airbags worldwide deploys the new technology following six months of successful in-depth testing
Daniel Harari, Lectra CEO, and Christophe Dervyn, Global Safety Textiles (GST) CEO, are pleased to announce that GST has chosen the Lectra Focus Quantum® solution for mass production of one-piece woven (OPW) airbags in China, to meet the increasingly stringent requirements of global tier-1 automotive suppliers.
Lectra shares a very close relationship with German group GST, the leading independent producer of textiles and cushions designed specifically for the airbag industry and supplier to the majority of airbag manufacturers. Following six months of successful testing of Lectra’s new generation of airbag cutting technology in a real production environment in Poland, the group has now decided to acquire a Focus Quantum OPW for immediate implementation in China.
To address GST’s main business challenges and meet their demanding manufacturing specifications, the group evaluated Focus Quantum OPW’s performance together with Lectra in the pre-launch phase of the revolutionary new technology. The extensive testing enabled GST’s experts to certify Focus Quantum as a proven platform for the mass production of airbags. The collaboration has enabled GST to gain a competitive advantage by significantly lowering overall cost per airbag and tripling production capacity compared to the performance of the previous generation of Focus cutters.
Designed to conform to the contours of individual vehicle models, OPW side-curtain airbags ensure effective occupant restraint in the event of multiple impacts in a rollover accident. The nature of the complex weave makes fabric distortion commonplace, however, requiring complex intervention in the program sequence. When deployed in combination with Focus Quantum Suite, Focus Quantum OPW enables airbag manufacturers to benefit from Smart Cutting to easily and effectively manage cut orders even when dealing with highly distorted materials. The Smart Cutting functionality was a major factor in GST’s decision, as it contributes to increased overall process capability and quality approaching zero defects for these life-saving devices.
For Uwe Zimmermann, GST COO, the two companies’ shared culture of R&D-driven innovation lies at the heart of a mutually beneficial partnership of trust. “We have long anticipated the launch of a new generation of laser airbag technologies from Lectra,” remarks Uwe Zimmermann. “Naturally, we jumped at the opportunity to test it on our premises and provide input to improve and perfect the new solution. Lectra is the leading authority on operational excellence in the cutting room. Because of our open relationship, we were able to achieve a shared vision enabling both companies to assert their industry leadership.”
“GST’s leading position in the automotive industry makes it the ideal partner to validate the core technology of the Focus Quantum platform,” adds Javier Garcia, Global Sales Director, Automotive, Lectra. “Because airbags are subject to increasingly strict quality control to ensure passenger safety, it is essential for Lectra to maintain its close working relationship with innovative companies like GST. Together, we can incorporate road safety into the airbag value chain.”
Focus Quantum is Lectra’s comprehensive airbag solution range, combining high-performance laser cutters for both OPW and flat airbags, as well as a purpose-built software suite and a full range of value-added professional services covering implementation, change management and support, to ensure operational excellence in the cutting room. Acquisition of the new Focus Quantum OPW marks the entry into GST’s installed base of their 40th Lectra laser cutter worldwide, and their fifth in China. Other GST plants equipped with Lectra laser cutters include Germany, Poland, Romania, the United States, Mexico and South Africa.