Laser cutting increases airbag production capacity at Sumisho

Side-curtain airbag cushion supplier Sumisho Airbag Systems (Matsuura, Japan) is implementing the FocusQuantum OPW laser airbag cutting solution from Lectra (Paris, France), which provides integrated technology solutions for companies making fabric products. Sumisho is the only Japan-based manufacturer of one-piece woven (OPW) airbag cushions.

Anticipating new orders from customers, Sumisho is forecasting a significant increase in production volumes. The company already had an installed base of eight Lectra Focus HP OPW laser cutters when it approached Lectra seeking to boost capacity without increasing its manufacturing footprint while being able to meet stringent cutting quality standards.

Following benchmark tests conducted at Lectra in Bordeaux-Cestas, France, the manufacturer determined that the FocusQuantum OPW solution delivers more production capacity than the previous generation of laser cutting solutions. Company representatives were especially impressed by the high level of cutting quality, as well as the potential of the solution's software that enables cutting path correction in real time.

Based on these results, Sumisho Airbag Systems has decided to implement Lectra's FocusQuantum, a comprehensive solution including an airbag laser cutter, a pre-production software suite, and collaboration in project mode with Lectra consultants to ensure proper production, minimize risks, and meet further demand for volume increase.

"Consumer expectations in the area of vehicle safety continue to evolve at an accelerated pace," says Akira Kanehachi, president and CEO of Sumisho Airbag Systems. "To meet our customers' growing demand for advanced airbag designs and to reduce overall cost, it is important for us to invest in the right technology and equipment."

"Airbag manufacturers today are grappling with complex new business challenges," states Daniel Harari, Lectra CEO. "Now more than ever, they need to ensure that quality remains at the heart of the road safety value chain while minimizing overall cost per bag. FocusQuantum OPW is a compact solution enabling significantly greater productivity per square meter of manufacturing footprint, while at the same time ensuring the highest possible level of quality through advanced software and laser cutting technology."

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