Lectra is supplying a FocusQuantum laser airbag cutter with project management to tier-1 supplier Key Safety Systems (KSS).

Lectra said its system's productivity - claimed to be the highest on the market - and claimed best-in-class process capability were major factors leading to the KSS decision. The fully integrated hardware and software system will enable the airbag supplier to meet stringent quality standards at the lowest possible cost per airbag. The system's high fabric utilisation rate and enhanced level of cutting quality will enable KSS to minimise fabric waste.

KSS was already a Lectra customer in North America and China. Lectra said its "mature support structure in the Balkan region", where it oversees other large automotive customer installed bases in Macedonia, provides customers responsive turnaround times.

"Rigorous project management and intensive support provided by Lectra's industry experts will enable KSS to safely launch production within a very demanding time-frame," it said.

With the acquisition of the airbag laser cutting and nesting technologies, KSS is set to expand production capacity in Macedonia where it manufactures cut-and-sew airbags for the growing European market.

"Leading vehicle manufacturers worldwide count on us to produce high-performance safety systems that are increasingly more compact, and feature enhanced design meeting evolving environmental and safety requirements," said Bogdan Petruca, plant manager, KSS. "With our new FocusQuantum, we will be able to continue meeting customer expectations while gaining considerable competitive advantage with the control and capacity it delivers."

"In the airbag business, profitability is determined during production," said Céline Choussy Bedouet, chief marketing and communications officer, Lectra. "At a time when the worldwide airbag supplier ecosystem is regrouping from top to bottom, the unmatched productivity and cutting accuracy of FocusQuantum offer the assurance of quality approaching zero defects, even when handling large production volumes at high speeds."