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Industrial modernization is a positive distinguishing feature of Brazilian footwear

Technological innovations and the modernization of processes and machines are factors that make Brazil stand out regarding the competitiveness of the global footwear manufacturing industry. Industry 4.0 – with process automation, the introduction of robotics, the incorporation of internet resources, and Business Intelligence – promotes more efficient, faster production flows. The three technological resources that highlight this cycle are cloud computing, big data, and the internet of things.

Ramarim, a brand of women's fashion and comfort shoes headquartered in Southern Brazil, bets on automated processes and high training of employees to navigate towards Industry 4.0. According to export manager Tatiana Müller de Oliveira, investments in new technologies and process improvement exceed 5 million reais per year: the modernization ensures the attraction of new customers, constant improvements in quality, reduced lead time, and increased productivity. Nowadays, Ramarim exports to over 50 countries. The main international destinations are Bolivia, Ecuador, Kuwait, Reunion Islands, and Israel. Exports account for 15% of the factory's production output.

Investments in equipment to modernize the industry are also constant at Rafarillo, a company located in Southeastern Brazil that has been supplying the men's segment for 30 years. The most recent developments were the purchase of machinery from China to improve performance and agility in the production process and also investments in developing the Power BI technology for the sales department. With this, the company obtains quick information in a visual graphic form, which assists in sales planning, action plans, and even relevant data in closing the orders with customers, instantly updated on various platforms, even mobile environments, according to Murilo Cintra, Rafarillo's sales director.

The laser cutting machine is one of the highlights among the modernization of machines that promote improvements in products, according to Igor Peraro, Rafarillo's national sales manager. The equipment avoids waste and provides speed in the construction of samples, providing the sales team with new products with great agility and superior quality. The company exports from 10% to 15% of its production output, which represents 90,000 to 100,000 pairs, to 23 countries, according to its export manager, André Ferreira. Nowadays, the main markets are countries in Latin America, with prospection in the European market.

One of the key factors for the competitiveness of Dakota, a company headquartered in Southern Brazil, is precisely the modernization of all its manufacturing plants. Recently purchased stud-setting machines that ensure precision, tools that streamline processes, cutting tables, and direct injection of soles are investments that aim to better production technology, improve processes, and streamline product delivery to customers, according to Charles Werb, of Dakota's export department. Along with equipment and machinery, the concept of Industry 4.0 also reflects the role of people in this scenario. At Dakota, production lines give way to production networks, in constant communication and feedback. The concept of task evolves to co-creation. The brand, which exports to 30 countries, especially Latin America, develops the female universe through six own brands. The volume shipped to international customers amounts to 500,000 pairs/year.

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