Technical Footwear Congress and Factory Visits

This congress will bring together experts and decision makers who all play an important role in the worldwide footwear business, such as brands, retailers, footwear manufacturers, that present their vision to the future.

The networking opportunities and the visits to some of the most technological advanced companies can bring innovative solutions to cope with the future consumers’ needs and prepare what will become the new technological age.

FROM FASHION TO FACTORY: A New Technological Age

Modern digital technology has transformed consumer behavior, as well as sustainability matters including: environmental, fiscal and societal, all of which when combined, will irrevocably alter the entire footwear industry. Frequently, new consumer trends emerge and the importance of fashion becomes preponderant in every markets (safety, sports, children, senior…).

Since the first gathering of the UITIC Congress in 1970, there has never been such a boundless period of technological transformation as today, similar in amplitude to that of the 19th Century industrial revolution. Previously discarded organizational and technological practices have emerged again under a new modern context. Customization within design and manufacturing, once thought virtually extinct, now dominates the industry, requiring production tools along with an always more important flexibility and reactivity.

Advances in computing, chemistry, robotics and material science technology will continue to exponentially increase, at such a rapid pace that our current growth period will appear stagnated. The footwear industry, the foundation of fashion and our consumers, manufacturers and providers of logistical services will all be deeply impacted.

Sustainability must be one of the highest priorities for the footwear industry in order to remain competitive. To prolong sustainability in this dynamic market requires companies to be agile, innovative, and technologically proficient, while forming closer relationships with the consumer. 
Staff have to be prepared to these new issues, new jobs, and new management methods. The footwear industry won’t be able to succeed this technological mutation, if it has not taken into account this crucial dimension.
With this in mind, the 20th UITIC Congress is pleased to present innovative solutions to cope with the future consumers’ needs and prepare what will become the new technological age.

  • SESSION 1 - New products, New services linked to consumers’ needs

    To understand the needs of the markets including the niche markets, consumers’ needs, and to propose an answer to it with new products, new materials, new concepts. Innovative, realistic and concrete solutions are expected, particularly on the following subjects:
    • Consumers’ needs analysis.
    • Monitoring of the factors shaping fashions.
    • Permanent market research consumer-oriented.
    • Connected products.
    • Customization.
    • Innovation in footwear design.
    • Innovation in new services linked to the footwear market.
    • Innovative materials.
    • Integrating monitoring and control technologies into footwear.
    • Artificial intelligence to drive fashion and understand consumers.

  • SESSION 2 - Intelligent development and manufacturing: towards a technological revolution

    To deal with these major economic, technological, organizational challenges, industrials have to rethink their tools.  New technologies are indispensable means to provide more improved, secure, flexible, reliable, competitive tools. They constitute a vast field of improvement in the overall competitiveness of the company. It is essential to reduce the times of innovation, design and production, through the massive use of models and digital data exchanges. These topics could be proposed:
    • Intelligent factories (Industry 4.0).
    • Smart Robotics in manufacturing processes.
    • New CAD-CAM platforms, new PLM,  and new ICT peripherals.
    • Multiple and advanced applications of additive manufacturing (3D printing and others). 
    • Modelling and simulation tools (product or process performance). 
    • Assistance to operators :cognitive (through AR and VR) or physical.
    • Concrete and innovative solutions to improve flexibility and reactivity. 
    • Process data gathering and analysis (footwear big data and analytics).

  • SESSION 3 - Sustainability, supply chain transparency and regulatory trends impacting on factories

    Taking into account that consumers and distributors’ expectations on societal and environmental aspects will more and more impact footwear factories.
    Clean and safe factories, implicated into their industrial ecosystem, thrifty in raw materials and energy, controlled supply chain, whatever the supplier’s rank, will be essential for all the footwear manufacturers.
    This session will include all papers concerning these topics:
    • Ecology & shoes integrating “eco-materials”.
    • Sustainability of factories.
    • Labeling systems and market/consumer confusion.
    • Standardization and certification.
    • Prevention of environmental risks.
    • Supply chain management.
    • Traceability ( leather, materials, components, shoes).
    • Durability and quality of products.
    • Life Cycle Assessment, recyclability.

  • SESSION 4 - Logistics, Advanced retail and marketing

    The development of e-business and its impact on logistics and distribution, personalized product development, new sales concepts, organization of the supply chain to anticipate market requirements. Innovative, realistic and concrete solutions are expected, particularly on the following subjects:
    • New consumers and new distribution channels.
    • Next generation of 3D configurators and Augmented Reality.
    • Innovation in distribution systems.
    • Improved integration and management of the value chain.
    • Innovation in logistics system.
    • New communication tools for companies.
    • Retail driven on demand manufacturing.
  • SESSION 5 - Human centered factories and a new way of management

    The new technological age in which we are entering, will impose deep evolutions regarding man’s place in footwear industry. It needs a human-centred factory, in order to better take into account collaborators’ expectations all along their active life and better attract talents it needs. Digital revolution will strongly impact the skills required and new jobs will emerge.
    Innovative, realistic and concrete solutions are expected, in particular on the following subjects:
    • Evolution of the initial training.
    • New methods for skill development.
    • New ways of management to improve motivation.
    • Increasing attractiveness for the footwear industry.
    • New know-how required for advanced design and manufacturing.
    • New training tools (e-learning, virtual reality….).