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INESC TEC and KYAIA in project that assures “agile and flexible” management of sewing lines

The name is SmartSL 4.0 and it’s the most recent project in partnership between INESC TEC and Kyaia.

Smartsl 4.0 presented to the Portuguese prime minister

The goal is to assure an “agile and flexible” management of sewing lines in footwear factories, increasing productivity and reducing the intervention of human operators. On 15 July, the SmartSL 4.0 was presented at Kyaia’s factory in Paredes de Coura, an event that featured the Portuguese prime minister António Costa and the presidents of INESC TEC and Kyaia, José Manuel Mendonça and Fortunato Frederico, respectively.

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What is the SmartSL 4.0?

The SmartSL 4.0 solution incorporates advanced algorithms for balancing and sequencing production, as well as graphs and a web interface for efficiently managing sewing and pre-sewing production lines, making the allocation of people to posts more dynamic.

“With this solution, it is possible to produce small batches of customised shoes in an environment with different models. That way we can reduce stock and deliver orders more quickly. The level or performance in the production line is calculated automatically, without operator intervention, assessing in real time the goals that were defined”, stated Rui Rebelo, researcher at INESC TEC’s Centre for Enterprise Systems Engineering (CESE) who presented the software to the delegation of the Portuguese Government.

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The SmartSL 4.0 is a significant advance comparatively to existing solutions in the market which apply to the industry 4.0 paradigm. It was developed at INESC TEC over the last 12 months as part of a contract-program between Kyaia and INESC TEC where the goal was to promote research and technological development activities for the footwear sector. The solution will allow production capacity to increase by 10 to 15%.

The INESC TEC team that participated in the development of this solution for Kyaia is composed of researchers Ana Isabel Marques, Diogo Mendes, Luís Costa, Pedro Ribeiro and Rui Rebelo.

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From selling shoes to exporting technology

The SmartSL 4.0 will also be implemented in the Kyaia factory in Guimarães. However, the solution will not just be implemented in the company's factories. The group, which holds the famous footwear brand Fly London, wants to put the software on the market.

According to the president of Kyaia, Fortunato Frederico, the technology will be at the disposal of the footwear industry, and the goal is to export it.


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Kyaia and INESC TEC – partners for almost 20 years

Despite being partners for almost 20 years, about a year ago INESC TEC and Kyaia signed a contract-program to promote research and technological development activities particularly in the areas of planning and logistics, chain management supply, product customisation, production organisation and business management systems.

“This protocol gives new impetus to the long-standing collaboration between Kyaia and INESC TEC, a collaboration that has actively contributed to an increase in productivity in the footwear industry through the development of new production methods and innovative systems”, Rui Rebelo concludes.

Photo credits - Kyaia

The researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC and UP-FEUP.

INESC TEC, July 2016

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