UITIC, International Technical Footwear Congress (Porto, 16-18 May), gives directions over manufacturing in the future

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Marten Hoon, analyst at Deloitte, opened UITIC 20th edition, which went on in Porto for two days. Yet, actually, his speech also gave the audience some valuable hints to understand the gist of the event and get right directions: innovation, that is, readiness to take up “exponential technologies and emerging business models”, is not just a principle to apply, but also an attitude. Getting into a context of innovation goes hand in hand with accepting new tools and standards. It is not just that though. It is also important to fully understand such innovative opportunities and pinpoint needs and priorities to keep up with new processes if needs be. Perfect timing is of paramount importance. The International Technical Footwear Congress, held in Porto on May 16-18, went through all the most relevant and rising issues of the footwear industry worldwide. Environmental sustainability and social responsibility, processing of materials, process innovation, industry automation along with its combination with manual work, staff training and apprenticeship for young employees, retail. Professionals, entrepreneurs and researchers introduced, before over 500 people, the new frontiers of development in the footwear cluster. Focusing, as well, on leather processing, as highlighted by Francisca Aran Ais, from Spanish Inescop, while presenting a new laser plasma technology for finishing. Looking, likewise, at leather potential circular development: such is the aim of French CTC, which are implementing a project to recycle leather, obtained from shoes, otherwise bound to disposal in a treatment plant, to generate energy in the tannery through oxidation in a thermal treatment plant. Just a few notes for the future and current technologies. UITIC gave some tips for industry in the future.

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