THE FUTURE OF FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY
CHALLENGES IN TRADITIONAL FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY
A traditional approach to leather footwear manufacturing is rather challenging and unpredictable.
• Each hide has its own geometry, flaws, scars, and variations in thickness. This accounts for mostly manual character of the work.
• Harmful and dangerous manufacturing processes: foul reek, dust, noise, machine injuries.
• Increasing dependence on staff skills that are very difficult to pass on to other workers. The permanent race for new models requires new skills that cannot be acquired at once.
• Human errors while creating new products that occur on all stages, from designers to sample manufacturing.
1. Low flexibility This means inability to switch between two different products fast enough, as well as dependence on high manufacturing scale and the requirement to run at full load.
2. An increasing dependence on skill proficiency. Both promotions and sharing experience with other co-workers is expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, in some regions and in some industries there is a permanent shortage of qualified workers.
3. Various restrictions. In the conservative footwear production workers are being pushed to their limits. But physical limitations, coupled with an obsolete management and outdated technologies lead such companies to reaching their limits quite fast.
4. High production cost. The higher is the complexity of technological operations, the more expensive is the human labor, mainly in the developed countries. The transfer of production to Asia is losing its sense because the region is developing very fast.
5. Quality issues. The more a human worker is involved into the manufacturing process the higher is the risk of technological deviations. Human cognitive characteristics, lack of skills, fatigue and lack of motivation inevitably lead to failure.
6. Environmental issues. The conservative manufacturing is fraught with a high injury risk, as well as toxicity of manufacturing processes due to highly aggressive chemical reactions, ionizing radiation, the use of hazardous bio organisms at extremely high and low temperatures.
7. High infrastructure costs. The traditional footwear manufacturing facility occupies space rather inefficiently. This is because of the low density of processing chains, safety zones and amenities, as well as strict air ventilation and lighting requirements set for production sites involving human labor. All these lead to high investment and operation costs of infrastructure facilities.
IMPLEMENTATION OF INDUSTRIAL ROBOTIC AUTOMATION
Based on business nuances, we form the workgroup of experts. The workgroup consists of both in-house ICOL R&D staff and third-party experts who are deeply familiar with the business domain. The team travels to the facility (production or logistics center), wherever it is, and investigates problem technological processes on the spot. At this stage, we collect data to develop the most efficient breakthrough solutions.
Thanks to the expertise of own R&D center along with the network of the technological partners, we develop the groundbreaking solutions that lead our clients to get success. The stage includes architectural design, as well as hardware and software development.
The last project stage is manufacturing and installation of the required industrial equipment, its launch, and engineering setup. The stage also includes staff training and user acceptance testing.
Of course, we also hold all the warranty liabilities.