Lectra, the fabric and leather cutting equipment supplier, said it was supplying equipment to help with output for iSi Automotive's steadily growing airbag business.

iSi Automotive makes vehicle safety products, including modular airbag systems and patented airbag inflators.

Based in Austria and serving international customers, iSi Automotive produces airbag cushions at two factories in Thailand and Mexico.

Faced with increased demand from customers worldwide as airbags are made mandatory in emerging markets and new applications spur continued growth elsewhere, the supplier needed to expand its manufacturing capacity.

A Lectra customer since 2011, iSi Automotive already had two Focus Airbag cutters in operation at its plant located in the eastern province of Chonburi and began mulling an expansion of its laser airbag cutting equipment.

Following benchmark testing at the International Advanced Technology & Conference Center (IATC) in Bordeaux-Cestas, Lectra's FocusQuantum FT6K laser cutting system had potential to improve iSi's cutting process and productivity.

Material savings were identified thanks to automatic nesting and precise cutting with zero buffer between parts. A more favoorable total cost of ownership compared existing airbag cutters sealed the deal.

In recent years, southeast Asia has grown into an airbag textile manufacturing hub. iSi Automotive's new cutter means the supplier's Thailand factory is now equipped to meet demand.

Lectra said its presence in the region will enable iSi to benefit from its worldwide support structure.

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