Ideas, impetus, innovations: the footwear production of the future
Record attendance at the 2018 DESMA house fair: for two days, 780 trade visitors and 54 exhibitors made Achim the centre of the global footwear industry
Achim, 19/20 September. Long queues in front of the “FitStation” at the DESMA Innovation Centre: shortly after the DESMA house fair was officially opened on 19 September, countless visitors lined up to have their feet scanned for a pair of customised shoes. After the scan and subsequent analysis of the soles of their feet, the “FitStation” transmitted the data directly to the production plant. Thanks to the latest multi-section injection technology (MSI), it was possible to produce a personalised shoe that was individually tailored to fit the wearer, inclusive of the selected colours and design. “The data was collected on the first day of the fair and transmitted to a DESMA production plant in Belgium, so that we were able to present the finished shoes to the amazed guests the very next morning,” said Adrian Strauss, Head of the DESMA Innovation Centre.
Automation and customisation were just two of various key topics that DESMA presented to the footwear industry during the two-day fair. “We want to give our customers every possible support to raise efficiency, reduce costs and improve quality,” said Klaus Freese, DESMA Managing Director. The professionals gladly accepted this invitation: with 780 visitors from six continents, this year’s fair broke all records. 54 exhibitors from the entire industry, from material suppliers to design service providers, from component manufacturers to shoe producers showcased their products and services, once again topping all the previous fairs.
One of the first to have his feet scanned was Jack Liu from the Taiwanese shoe manufacturer Sherwood. The company has been a DESMA customer for many years and uses numerous DESMA machines at its production plants in China, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. “I have come here to learn about the latest trends, such as automation and Industry 4.0, and to hear how DESMA is preparing to address the challenges of the future,” said Liu. “Attending the DESMA house fair is a must for our company,” he added. His colleague Gi-Der Lien from Chinese producer OSI appreciated the opportunity to catch up with old friends and establish new business connections. Lien belongs to the generation of engineers who were already working with DESMA machinery back in the 1970s.
The trends towards automation and customisation in the mass production of footwear, new materials and shoe weight reduction were also focal issues for the experts from adidas AG. Harald Habermann, Vice President Product Operations, responsible for innovation, new technologies and product tests was pleased to see so many material suppliers at the fair. Georg Krebelder, in charge of in-house training at Adidas, was particularly interested in the new technologies and fields of application presented by DESMA. Both of them praised the opportunities to network and exchange ideas and information with old and new contacts at the fair. “Practically no other event in Europe gives you the chance to meet so many experts at the same time as the DESMA house fair,” they stressed. adidas Vice President Ulrich Bauer also emphasised the “personal character” of the fair. “Every two years, the global footwear world comes to Achim to network. This is the place to meet everybody who is anybody in the footwear industry.”
This includes leading material suppliers such as BASF, Texon, Huafeng, Huntsman and Henkel. This is important, because state-of-the-art materials are vital for the practical implementation of trends like PU direct soling and increasingly lightweight shoes. “Achim is a meeting place not only for the footwear industry, but also for the polyurethane professionals,” explained Indira Gupta from Dr. Gupta, a company which specialises in publications for the polymer industry, including PU Magazin, one of the leading information forums for the polyurethane business.
Christian Decker, Technical Director at DESMA, highlighted another characteristic feature of the DESMA house fair. “The industry does more than just get together at the fair. This is where the professionals come to discuss innovations and completely new technologies.” At the Innovation Centre, DESMA presented its “FitStation”, the new multi-section injection technology and the “2018 Concept Shoe”, which combines design, new materials and technologies as well as integrated manufacturing in one product. The Technical Director also announced the company’s plans for the near future, which include the construction of new premises with a 12,500-square-metre production area and an additional 4,500 square metres of office space. “We want to offer our customers not only shorter delivery times but also better products and top quality. That is why we are already investing in the future.”
Over the past few months, DESMA had already increased its production capacities and inventories, doubled its production areas and optimised its workflows in order to achieve a drastic reduction in delivery times. “By doing so, we have succeeded in achieving lead times of less than one year again,” stated DESMA MD Klaus Freese. Attendees at the fair pricked up their ears at this news.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE 2018 HOUSE FAIR
Local and foreign exhibitors have presented their products and services. Our strong partners, equipped with the competencies and know-how of injection technologies as well as knowledge about market development and future trends, have informed and
advised visitors on the fair over all things that have to do with shoe production. In addition, presentations and demonstrations from our experts were detailed about what is new and trendy.
LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN ACHIM!