PARIS — November 28, 2017 — Implementation of the technologically advanced FocusQuantum laser airbag cutting solution has enabled HMT to consolidate its number-one ranking position on the thriving airbag market in China.
An Ambitious Growth Strategy
China-based automotive airbag supplier HMT New Technical Materials was among the first companies to acquire FocusQuantum OPW for one-piece woven (OPW) fabric. Founded in 2002, the company underwent tremendous growth in a short period, and now ranks number-one in market share in the Chinese airbag market.
HMT devised an ambitious new growth strategy at roughly the same time Lectra launched the revolutionary new laser airbag-cutting platform FocusQuantum, comprising production preparation software, advanced cutting technology and value-added consulting services designed to enable manufacturers to achieve optimal quality and increased capacity.
Implementation of the technologically advanced solution has helped HMT to gain a competitive edge on the thriving airbag market by considerably augmenting production capacity and driving down the overall cost per bag. The company has since followed up with three more units — a second FocusQuantum OPW and two FocusQuantum FT 6K.
Rapid Ramp-Up OF Production Capacity
Lectra has supported HMT’s business growth since the publicly traded company first began manufacturing airbags. Equipped with Focus Airbag OPW and three Focus Airbag XHP, HMT sought to substantially increase its airbag manufacturing capacity. “We are determined to build the largest airbag production base in China,” remarked Charles Zhang, general manager, HMT. “That’s why we want the best equipment.”
“We needed a technology partner with the industry leadership to support us into the long term as we expand our operations. With FocusQuantum, Lectra is revolutionizing the way airbags are produced. They are the only company with the technology and local support in China to help us ensure quality as we increase production. They also provide the airbag cutting expertise to support our growth strategy.”
Based on the customer’s objective of quickly ramping up capacity to lower costs, Lectra benchmarked two OPW programs. HMT provided two different types of airbag fabric to perform benchmark tests. Favorable results meeting the customer’s lower cost target convinced HMT to implement a first FocusQuantum OPW before later acquiring a second unit along with two FocusQuantum FT 6K.
Consolidation OF Competitive Advantage
Perfect control of quality and automated cutting processes enabled by FocusQuantum OPW were decisive factors leading to HMT’s final choice. The field-tested expertise and proven methodology of Lectra’s project-oriented approach ensured smooth implementation for each FocusQuantum. A service contract signed with Lectra enables HMT to benefit from ongoing preventive and predictive maintenance and customer care.
“With OPW, performance improvement is 2.6 times greater compared to the previous generation,” observes Berlin Liang, Plant Manager, HMT. “That considerably reduces our costs of cutting. FocusQuantum’s SmartCutting can perform multiple base point positioning to achieve greater cutting accuracy. FocusQuantum also uses more advanced marker making software, which can save on material. According to our data, there’s been an improvement of around 0.5 percent in the utilization rate for multi-ply fabric.”
By driving down costs and consolidating its competitive advantage, HMT rapidly expanded its OPW airbag cushion activity in China. Implementation of FocusQuantum OPW and FocusQuantum FT 6K has been instrumental to HMT’s business growth.
Posted November 28, 2017