China and Spain both focus on Industry 4.0 to fight the challenges of the footwear segment

China and Spain both focus on Industry 4.0 to fight the challenges of the footwear segment

China is trying not to lose footwear manufacturing operations. Spain is trying to incentivize reshoring. The field onto which the challenges of the footwear segment are being fought is Industry 4.0. The point is: how to maximize innovation and automation to reduce costs and remain competitive. And so both Madrid and Beijing are investing resources to take steps on this front. Let’s see how.

The shoe challenge in Spain

46 entities, private or not (among which is the national footwear association FICE), are participating to the Eco Challenge in Spain. The 170-million-euro project presented its candidacy to receive European financing. The goal is to create a 4.0 plant able to reduce the manufacturing cost of a single pair of show by as much as 30%.

El Economista reported that Ezequiel Sánchez (previous general director of Tempe) is the head of the project. The idea is to use 3D Bonding technology to eliminate the majority of stiches, simplifying the footwear production process significantly.

Olso the technology will be integrated with other methodologies that are being developed, by other Spanish entities, with the goal of generating n increased level of competitivity along the entire chain, including robotics.

The pilot plant called Lab Factory will open its doors in Elche this upcoming September. Final objective: 2026, with 24 million pairs of shoes made, and the creation, regardless of automation, of 8.000 jobs.

China’s answer

From China, meanwhile, comes the news that Juyi Group is creating a high-tech production unit that extends for 550,000 square meters in the Lucheng district. According to local media, the site required an investment of 307 million USD and will integrate AI, IoT and digitalized logistics. Construction began in December 2020 and should be completed by the end of 2021.

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