Lectra, a world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials, recently hosted an event to feature the latest technology for the furniture industry at the Furniture Makers’ Hall in London.

Attracting a mix of upholstered furniture manufacturers, trade and press, the event focused on current market trends and explored how furniture companies can keep pace with this dynamic and increasingly competitive market.

Lectra says that manufacturers in the UK are increasingly turning to technology to enable the production of greater volumes, whilst reducing costs. Creating efficiencies in order to meet these production demands, whilst offering more choice to the consumer, is critical to a company’s ability to improve its bottom line. The event examined how technology can generate efficiency gains in the furniture manufacturing process, from design and product development, to production.

“The UK is one of the few countries seeing a significant rebound in the upholstered furniture market and we forecast that it will continue in this growth phase, 2% each year, until at least 2018,” confirms Giovanna Castellina, leading expert from the Centre for Industrial Studies (CSIL). “Competition in this sector remains stiff, with developing countries continuing to invest in new manufacturing facilities, as well as improving their design capabilities,” she continues.

Such a global threat has led to UK companies turning to more agile methods to seek quicker and more effective new product development cycles in order to remain responsive to consumer demands. DesignConcept Furniture, Lectra’s 3D virtual prototyping solution, was highlighted at the event to show the audience how to significantly shorten lead time: up to 30% in preparing design reviews and 50% in physical prototyping.

“Regardless of the scale of a business or the volume of production, the right technology, support, and expertise is absolutely critical to ensuring speed to market, an effective design to cost and design to manufacturing model, and ultimately a profitable and competitive business.

“Lectra is proud to be able to support so many furniture manufacturers in the UK, Northern Europe and also globally,” explains Jean-Patrice Gros, director of Lectra Northern Europe and UK.