Decathlon, owner of the Caperlan tackle brand, has implemented a new digital manufacturing solution to optimise its supply chain – and one of its first successes has come in the fishing market.
Challenged with creating new fishing weights, the global retailer has used a new 3D Systems technology known as Figure 4 to gain a major competitive edge in speed, precision and versatility.
The idea came from Decathlon team member and carp fishing expert Gautier Destrebecq, who recognised that the company’s competition offered only a limited choice of freshwater fishing weights.
However, Destrebecq realised that the company’s mould supplier did not have the ability to create his master patterns. And producing new ones would have meant finding a new supplier, taking Decathlon outside of its typical start-to-finish timeline of one month for projects like this one.
So Destrebecq turned to Decathlon’s internal laboratory and 3D Systems Figure 4. Using a transparent and rigid plastic engineered to withstand ultra-high temperatures, the system printed the fishing weight sinkers in two days and shipped them to the supplier.
In addition to accelerating the time to market, producing the mould patterns in-house reduced costs and achieved a greater level of innovation. According the Destrebecq, he was able to achieve goals that are impossible using a traditional approach.
Gregoire Mercusot, a materials engineer at Decathlon’s laboratory in Lille, France, says the Figure 4 technology has given the company a major competitive advantage in the market.