Industry 4.0: Portuguese Footwear at the forefront
The Portuguese Footwear industry has already invested 30 million euros in the “Roadmap for Digital Economy” (FOOTure 4.0).
According to Leandro de Melo, the major investments are currently associated “to the creation of new ways of interacting with clients in the digital and networking context, improving flexibility and responsiveness, business intelligence and sustainability”, as well as training.
FOOTure 4.0 has as a goal to make Portugal “a major international reference for its sophistication and creativity, by reinforcing the exports of a national, sustainable and highly competitive production, based in knowledge and innovation”.
The aim of the project High Speed Shoe Factory is to conceive, develop and implement a new footwear factory model able to respond within 24h and is one of the most advanced projects at the moment. According to the General Director of the Footwear Technology Centre of Portugal - CTCP, is proposed “the replacement of the traditional processes of cutting, sewing, assembly and finishing by an organizational model of a single production flow, based on automated distribution systems integrated with automated cutting systems and online automated control of processes and products flows”. This system will be conceived as a “single session” with complete flexibility and multifunctionality.
With this project, an increased response capability was reached, which allowed “the single production of each pair of shoes, able to eliminate stock and respond to online sales, small orders and stores restocking, and fast sample production and new products’ tests for new collections”.
External promotion is a priority
The Portuguese footwear industry has already invested over 95 million euros from the Community Support Framework (the total approved amount was 140 million euros), with the goal of making this Portuguese industry “the worldwide leader in regard to the relation with its clients, through customer satisfaction with the product, the quick response and the service”.
Overall, under the APICCAPS and CTCP’s coordination, projects that involve 278 companies were presented, which represents a business volume of 1.100 million euros and is accountable for approximately 14.000 jobs.
These projects, which represent an overall investment of 140 million euros, are within the Strategical Plan of the Portuguese Footwear Industry. Within the next two years, the remaining 45 million euros will be concluded.
The external promotion, with 52 million euros, represents the largest share, since 2014, followed by individual projects (49.7 million euros). Companies have mainly invested in “new equipments” (14 million euros already invested), “international promotional and marketing actions” (13 million euros already invested) and “development, collections and brand registration” (4.5 million euros already invested).