Lectra boosts iSi Automotive’s airbag manufacturing capacity
Austrian supplier equips Thailand plant with FocusQuantum® FT6K to meet global demand
Committed to innovation, iSi Automotive develops pioneering vehicle safety products, including modular airbag systems and patented airbag inflator technology. Headquartered in Austria and serving international customers, iSi Automotive produces airbag cushions meeting the highest quality standards at two major facilities in Thailand and Mexico. Faced with increased demand from customers worldwide as airbags are made mandatory in emerging markets and new applications spur continued growth elsewhere, the supplier needed to expand its manufacturing capacity.
A Lectra customer since 2011, iSi Automotive already had two Focus Airbag cutters in operation at its plant located in the eastern province of Chonburi. To take its cutting room to the next level, the company began looking into an expansion of its installed base of laser airbag cutting equipment.
Following benchmark testing at the International Advanced Technology & Conference Center (IATC) in Bordeaux-Cestas, Lectra’s FocusQuantum FT6K laser cutting solution for cut-and-sew airbags demonstrated the potential to improve the customer’s cutting process and deliver superior productivity. Material savings were identified thanks to the solution’s powerful automatic nesting and highly precise cutting with zero buffer between parts. Overall, a more favorable total cost of ownership compared to the customer’s own Focus Airbag cutters convinced iSi Automotive to opt for Lectra’s next-generation airbag solution.
In recent years, Southeast Asia has grown into an airbag textile manufacturing hub. With iSi Automotive’s acquisition of a FocusQuantum FT6K, the Thailand facility is now equipped to stay apace of demand. Lectra’s presence in the region will furthermore enable the customer to benefit from Lectra’s strong worldwide support structure.
“Having worked previously with Lectra, it seemed natural to turn to them once more, this time to implement their latest laser airbag cutting technology for flat fabric” states Dietmar Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer, iSi Automotive. “With the FocusQuantum FT6K now in production, we have every assurance we can meet future requirements.”
“We have a long-term relationship with iSi Automotive, based on a common vision of excellence,” notes Javier Garcia, Senior Vice-President, Automotive Sales, Lectra. “Our expert support teams in Southeast Asia have enabled us to meet the customer’s stringent requirements in Thailand for quality and performance to support their strong manufacturing growth plans in the region.”