By Digital Output Staff
On the heels of a successful virtual event in 2020, Gerber Technology, a Lectra Company brought back ideation this past October. The conference boasted over 1,700 registrants at the time the first session took place on October 19, 2021. Over three days, ideation held 48 sessions over four market tracks—fashion, sign and graphics, technical textile, and furniture—with the help of 40 industry-related speakers.
Above: ideation hosted a fashion show at the Gerber Innovation Center.
ideation kicked off with a welcome from Daniel Harari, CEO, Lectra. The company acquired Gerber in June 2021 and this year’s ideation was the first combined event, calling back to the business’ new hashtag—#strongertogether. Harari made note of how positive the acquisition of Gerber has been for both companies’ individual customers.
Specifically he referenced their similarities and how this made the acquisition so successful. “Both of us have an innate desire to innovate, unmatched research and development capabilities, and place the customer at the heart of everything,” shared Harari.
Seconding Harari’s sentiment, in a separate session, Lenny Marano, president, Americas, Lectra, disclosed some quick facts about how both companies share a deep knowledge in the industries they serve and their independent solutions. In 2020, Gerber and Lectra had a combined revenue of $427M. They have a presence in over 100 countries, reached by a global network of subsidiaries, agents, and distributors. In the U.S. alone, there are close to 400 employees, seven offices, and three innovation centers.
Harari and Marano’s welcomes served as excellent stepping stones into the next three days’ events, preparing registrants for the wide breadth of topics and commentary to come.
Sign and Graphics Track
In the sign and graphics track, Mark Bibo held a session, Advancing Technology for Wide Format, which shared the latest trends in wide format as well as new opportunities related to its Gerber MCT Cutter line. The device is well known for its versatility—offering laser, router, and knife cutting all in one. It is equipped with TigerVision software.
Bibo announced several new updates to the digital finisher. One is the inclusion of the Tiger GT Digital Controller, which provides “significant performance gains for input and output data.” It will provide faster processing power especially for knife cutting and routing procedures. Another addition is a five kilowatt router with an automatic tool changer, outfitted with six positions.
Bibo noted that while the Gerber MCT Cutter was originally designed for sign and graphics applications, it is now being used in industrial, aerospace, marine, and furniture applications.
Fashion and Furniture Tracks
Sponsors like Kornit Digital presented on topics like the microfactory in the fashion track. Specifically, Achieve Sustainable, Single-Step Microfactory Production on Demand, looked at how Kornit’s digital printing innovations work hand in hand with Gerber design, workflow, and cutting tools.
The session’s presenter cited that two-thirds of all transactions will be conducted via ecommerce by 2025. On demand printing and the microfactory are ideal for this scenario. Furthermore, Kornit research states that 30 percent of what is produced in fashion is not sold, which results in excess production. The on demand nature of digital is even more attractive to reduce eco footprints.
In response, Kornit took on the challenge to tackle ecommerce via digitalization. The company is doing this by digitizing the entire process from end to end and hopes to implement digital in mainstream fashion. Some of the ways it is achieving this is through its MAX Technology, XDi technological innovations, and KornitX.
Product lifecycle management (PLM) software for the fashion industry was the topic of Next Generation PLM. Alev Seyit, YuniquePLM product manager, Gerber, took us through some of the 72-plus new features released in 2021—most of which were based off of customer feedback. The biggest announcement here—partner permissions. YuniquePLM now offers shared access. This will roll out in a phased approach. The first phase took place at the end of October when version nine of the solution debuted.
How Automation Helps Furniture Companies Meet Custom Requests was a session in the furniture track hosted by Kristen Ritter, on demand product manager, Gerber. She shared how to make personalized upholstered furniture using the Gerber microfactory—with an inside look at the end result in the Gerber Innovation Center in NY on the 19th floor of the Starrett-Lehigh Building.
According to Ritter, the benefits of the microfactory include tackling stock challenges, material savings, shortened lead time, and sustainability. The process included styling a chair, choosing the colors/patterns, uploading images for a custom designed pillow, and then choosing the ideal dimensions. In real time, she uploaded the order straight to the Gerber Innovation Center. All of this is possible thanks to Gerber’s AccuMark system.
Besides the various sessions, ideation also held a fashion show at the Gerber Innovation Center. Patreq Holmes, creative director, Patreq hosted the event, which opened with a showcase of his own collection—completed at the Gerber Innovation Center using the full ecosystem of products.
After Holmes’ collection was shown, he announced the winners of ideation’s first-ever Pitch Competition. There was a tie, with FRWL by Nicole Lee and Virago Lorica Segmentata Collection by F.A.B.R.I.C. coming in first place. Nicole Lee’s collection’s goal was to “bring inclusivity to the biking community at large.” She used Gerber AccuMark to develop the pieces and credits the software solution with allowing her to be “agile with the style.”
F.A.B.R.I.C.’s collection was inspired by the “armor women wear” and more generally how they react to life’s battles. Gerber AccuMark was used for patternmaking, fabric was printed on a Kornit printer, and cut using a GERBERcutter Z1.
Overall, the three-day conference was full of insightful commentary from Gerber/Lectra executives and product managers, customers from both companies, and the added advantage of input from sponsors.
“With many repeat ideation attendees, as well as many new ones, the success of ideation continues to grow. This truly is the place where the industry meets to discuss what is next and how technology will help,” shares Ketty Pillet, VP of marketing, Americas, Gerber.
For anyone who missed the event, all of the sessions are available to stream on demand. Look for more information about ideation 2022 at the beginning of the new year.
Dec2021, Digital Output