The Portuguese footwear industry wants to remain at the forefront of technology. For this, the CTCP (Portuguese Footwear Technological Center) has put forward a digital manufacturing center which, according to Leandro de Melo, “has the function of technically and technologically supporting companies in the footwear and leather goods cluster in the process of transitioning to new levels of innovation and competitiveness”.
“Over the last few decades”, explained the Director General of the Footwear Technological Center of Portugal, “the Portuguese footwear industry has distinguished itself internationally from its competitors by its capacity to respond quickly, particularly to small orders”.
“It is now a question – he continued – of accentuating this strategy”. “We are able to be even faster, flexible”. For this, the creation of a Digital Manufacturing Center, composed of three doctorates, allows “the Technological Center to lead companies towards the development of innovative products, tested in a work environment, for a quick response to market requests”. A strategy that gains special relevance when “new products, new raw materials and even technological innovations appear on the market that need to be previously validated before being presented to the market”.
In practical terms, this new service consists of a “digital innovation and manufacturing” service, which seeks to point out paths for the footwear and leather goods industry in innovation and experimentation with new technologies, new manufacturing methods, customization techniques, materials and components. For this, and with a strong component of industrial research and technology demonstration, “based on a permanent search for the best and most innovative things, it presents the industry with a set of tools and results to be incorporated into its day-to-day activities and bring more value for your product”, explains Leandro de Melo.
In addition to technical and scientific knowledge, this service provides “tools such as additive manufacturing (3D printing) and material reuse, digital printing, laser cutting and engraving, CNC machining, automation and collaborative robotics, are available to the sector for new projects, ideas and challenges to be developed together and with the full support of the team”.