Software That Replaces Auto Trimmers

Published by Naseem Muaddi on January 22nd, 2012

The way car companies manufacture car seats and seat covers is becoming increasingly complex. Gone are the days when automakers hired professional fabricators and upholsterers to design, pattern and sew vehicle seat covers. Today, all a company needs is an engineer and a computer.

Case in point: Vistagy – a leading provider of specialized engineering software that’s determined to revolutionize the auto trim industry with a computer program called Seat Design Environment (SDE).

SDE is a CAD-integrated application with automotive-interior-specific tools for seat design. This software has streamlined the prototyping process, reduced costs and shortened time-to-market demands all while meeting requirements for seat comfort, style and safety.

The program allows engineers to create 3D seat models and generate 2D flat patterns for seat covers without ever having to touch a car seat. The software is so advanced that it automatically adds seam allowances, notches for panel alignment and displays adjoining flat patterns in an exploded view. SDE even digitally simulates how a seat cover will fit to identify potential issues, such as wrinkles, early in the design process, eliminating the need for multiple prototypes.

SDE enables all levels of the manufacturing process – such as trim cover, foam and mechanical – to work in harmony by allowing for special instructions to be created, shared and updated easily. Engineers are able to edit directions for material behaviors, grain directions, sew lines, attachments and retainers (including hog rings, Velcro, listing pockets, plastic extrusions and clips).

The benefits of using SDE software are obvious. It makes the interior design process of car manufacturing less costly and more efficient.

Unfortunately for us, however, it also eliminates the need to hire professional interior fabricators and trimmers. In our place, automakers can hire a single engineer who’s proficient in SDE software to design seats; and a team of low-skilled (and low-paid) machine operators to install the covers.

We warned you in June that Robots Will Replace Auto Trimmers. While that headline was written tongue-in-cheek, it doesn’t appear to be far from the truth.




4 Responses

  1. I could sure use that right now on all these custom cars we do. I know my hired man would love a pattern for all the designs I make him do. Just wonder how long it would take to be proficient with the program? I’m no digital dinosaur but I have some limitations, (two fingered typing and such). I am always open to learning new ways to be creative and innovative. The old adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” doesn’t apply here. I always told my kids “Can’t means won’t” Roy.

    • Jacoby says:

      I sure could use it too – but that’s assuming us small timers can even even afford it.

      The next generation of auto trimmers has their work cut out for them. They’ll have to compete with manufacturers that make quality covers quicker and cheaper than we do.

      Will our craft die? Probably not. But it’s definitely changing and we need to keep pace with it.

  2. EDWARD says:

    NO THE UPOLSTER SHOULD GROW ACCORDING TO GOVERNMENT STATATICIACHENS ABOUT 4% IN THE USA. IF YOU CUSTOMIZE, THIS CANNOT PROFECIATELY BE COPED , BECAUES EACH CUSTOM JOB IS DIFFERENT . IF YOU CHECK LEATHER HYDE COLORS OFTEN YOU WILL NOTICE THAT THEY DONT ALWAYS HAVE EXACTLY WHAT YOUR LOOKING FOR. SO THERE WILL PROBABLY BE LESS OF CERTAIN MATERIALS ON OLDER VEHICLES LIKE A 1994 MIATA WITH A NUTMEG LEATHER INTERIOR. ALL YOU CAN FIND PRE MADE IS BLACK AND TAN. NO NUTMEG. I WANT TO SEE A COMPUTER LUG IN A 1960’S MODEL CADILLAC SEAT IT PROBABLY WEIGHS IN ANT 200 LBS. DESIGN IS IN OUR HEADS IN WHAT WEVE SEEN DONE AND DREAM TO DO.NOW AS FAR AS THE COMPUTER BEING ABLE TO SPIT OUT A PAPER PATTERN ON SEAT PATTERNS THAT WOULD BE COOL ENOUGH , KEEP YOU FROM HAVING TO CUT THROUGH EACH PANEL FOR PATTERNS.OR FROM HAVING TO KEEP CARDBOARD ONES FOR THOSE YOU DO A LOT . ALTHOUGH I HAVE SEEN THESE NEW PRINTER THAT ACTUALL CREATE AS THEY PRINT IN SOME TYPE OF SILACA SAND BUT I CANT SEE ONE PRINTING A SEAT IN LEATHER he he.. IF YOUR IN WITH A MECHANIC OR BODY SHOP THERE ARE GREAT SOFTWARE SYSTEMS THAT TELL YOU STEP BY STEP HOW THE AUTO COMES APART AND HOW IT SHOULD GO BACK TOGETHER. THIS WOULD BE A GREAT TOOL BUT PROBABLY EXPENSIVE I WOULD ASSUME JUST BY THE NUMBER OF AUTOS THAT ARE PRODUCED EACH YEAR. THE SOFTWARE WOULD HAVE TO COVER EACH YEAR EVERY MAKE OF CAR PRODUCED THAT YEAR AND GO BACK IN TIME AS FAR AS THE FIRST AUTOS, TO BE COMPLETELY USEFUL TO A TRIMMER. THAT WOULD BE A LOT OF MEMORY FOR EVEN THE BEST COMPUTERS.

  3. Roy Sells says:

    Do you have a contact number so I can call and talk to someone? Thank you


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