FWN - Elapsed time vision to production

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Overview - Elapsed Time From the Vision Of A New Shoe To When Production Begins

Shoe making process from conception/vision (consisting of design and creation of factory specs) to the start of production takes 11 months. It is expected that shoe making process will take two months from the vision of new shoes to the beginning of production and if "time-consuming aspects of design cycle abated," could conceivably take just one week going forward. Technologies like virtual prototyping, 3D printing, Haptic Feedback technology and Geomagic Freeform are technologies that contribute to changes in the elapsed time. See our findings below.

Average elapsed time from vision to the start of production of a new shoe

"Slow, labor-intensive, and low tech" are some features known with the way traditional shoes like sneakers have been made. Shoe designing has constituted the known changes in elapsed time of shoe manufacturing, from vision to production. This is because the manufacturing steps and processes have not changed significantly over the last ten years. Traditionally, shoe making process from conception/vision (consisting of design and creation of factory specs) to the start of production takes 11 months.

Changes in the elapsed time

According to Morgan Stanley, "Technology and automation are already beginning to upend that model." This model refers to the traditional model described above where it takes 11 months to visualize and design a new shoe. Research on June 6, 2017, into the way Nike and Adidas are reinventing their product-making processes, showed that a "tectonic shift" in the industry is already in the works and in the early stages. This is an indication that there are already changes in terms of the average elapsed time from the vision of new shoe to its start production-wise. Since technology and automation betters the "slow, labor-intensive, and low tech" features of the traditional model, the average elapsed time has reduced/decreased then.

Expected changes in the average elapsed time

It is expected that shoe making process will take two months from the vision of new shoes to the beginning of production and if "time-consuming aspects of design cycle abated," could conceivably take just one week going forward.

Factors affecting the changes in the average elapsed time

Technology and automation have been identified as the major driving force influencing the elapsed time — currently and going forward.

1. Virtual Prototyping

With virtual prototyping, photo realistic 3D images can be created. This eliminates the need for numerous physical prototypes and samples. Material simulations can also be carried out by designers to check how a shoe would fit. Nike's partnership with NOVA ("the powerful technology platform from animation studio DreamWorks") leverages this technology which allows brands to greatly shorten their design timeline.

2. 3D Printing

3D Printing also allows the printing of soles of prototypes in a matter of hours, skipping the tooling steps required to make molds for soles which could take a month. Adidas is leveraging on this technology to mass-produce 3D printed soles, moving swiftly from design to printing without any need for prototyping.

3. Haptic Feedback Technology

This technology is "developed to provide the sensation of your foot hitting the pavement." This technology is used in the design review stage that skips the creation of samples/prototypes for testing to understand the feel of the shoe when worn.

4. Geomagic Freeform

This technology uses integrated Computer Added Diagram (CAD) tools that aid shoe designing and idea creation by producing 2D models from which 3D models are made. "Without FreeForm, this process would have taken much longer, up to a month or more."

conclusion

To wrap up, shoe making process from conception/vision to the start of production takes 11 months. It is expected that shoe making process will take two months from the vision of new shoes to the beginning of production and if "time-consuming aspects of design cycle abated," could conceivably take just one week going forward. Technologies like virtual prototyping, 3D printing Haptic Feedback technology and Geomagic Freeform are technologies that contribute to changes in the elapsed time.
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