Handmade shoes used to be far more valued than mass-produced shoes since the former were largely dependent on craftsmanship whereas the latter used to come out of product lines. Some manufacturing techniques are now backed by specialized machines to shorten the time to create shoes. Mass production of technical shoemaking has begun to see highly automated lines. However, the latest technology used by top brands in shoe making does make these pricier than hand made ones.
A lot of companies not only invest heavily in automation but also in research and development effort for bringing out a better product. As an example Nike employs electrical bonding to fill the factory with robots that operate 20 times quicker than human workers. Brands like Adidas have already created a completely automated facility in Ansbach, southern Germany.
For many specialized activities, modern shoe production mainly relies on subcontracting. A shoe manufacturing technician, for example, designed an outsole, yet outsole tools are made elsewhere, and rubber parts are also acquired elsewhere by a rubber molding firm. The components are then inspected by the shoe factory to verify that the top and outsole are correctly fitted.
Shoes can be made from a variety of materials. The choice depends on a number of factors, such as durability, price, market demand and the use of shoe. Some of the most common materials used for making shoes are leather, synthetic leather, textiles-natural or synthetic and foam.
Material for shoes is cut and marked
Cutting and marking are the initial steps in the manufacturing process at a shoe factory. A cutting press, commonly known as a clicker cutting machine, is used in the factory. Clicker presses are a common component in all shoe manufacturers, and all shoe pattern elements require a die.
A computer-controlled drag knife cutter is modern cutting technology. The material is held in position by a suction table, and the blades cut all of the pattern components. For extensive customization, this technology is critical. When shoe components are cut, they are treated, and the alignment mark and logo are screens printed on the part. Screen printing, high-frequency welding, or embroidery can all print the logo on the cut portions.
Application of a shoe logo
You may need to brand the shoe pieces once you've cut and marked them for assembly. Screen printing, embroidery, or heat welding add the logo.
Stitching seams on top of the shoes
Sewing machines come in various shapes and sizes, including posts, long sleeves, and short sleeves. Hundreds of sewing machines are available, with the number varying depending on the complexity of the shoe design. The machine's architecture will also be altered to accommodate the precise processes necessary to make each shoe's design.
Heel forming device for shoe manufacturing facility
After you've completed stitching, it's time to shape the toe field and heel counters. The thermoplastic counters in the toe and heel are warmed by these machines, which then clamp the shoe to fix the shape.
With the top nearly finished, we may desire a one-of-a-kind stitching device to finish it. With the Strobel stitching device, the shoes get their final finishing touch. This tool is used to sew the bottom material to the top and keep it in place. The backside of the material, or "sock," is marked with alignment traces to ensure that the top is straight and no longer twisted. The top is now ready for finishing and assembly.
The method of making shoes
It's time to bring out the heavy machinery now that the shoe is ready for assembly—the basic assembly line measures around 100 yards in length. A steamer is located towards the beginning of the line to soften the shoe uppers and prepare them for last. The uppers are drawn down firmly onto the shoe lasts using the lasting machines.
Toe lasting machines
The toe-lasting machine is the most important piece of lasting gear. The higher is grabbed by this mechanism, which physically pulls it down around the last. The machine pushes the upper into place while simultaneously injecting hot glue to secure the uppers to the last. After the toe lasting is finished, the waist and heel of the shoe may be pushed into position either by hand or by machine. The lasted upper is placed into the first of the line's tunnels following the ongoing operations. These tunnels are cooling tunnels that shrink the top part of the body, causing it to stick to the lower part even more tightly.
Footwear Primer and Cementing Line for Shoe Manufacturers
The lasted uppers and outsoles are now on the same conveyor line, receiving two coats of primer and cement each. The pieces are re-positioned on the line and sent through a heat tunnel to dry after each treatment.
It's time to put the sections together once they've been properly primed and coated with cement. A worker takes the upper and lower halves of the shoe and fits them together. A pressing process ensures that the bonding surfaces are entirely in touch once the pieces have been fitted.
Pressing the outsole
The bottom, sides, and heel of the sole and upper are compressed together during pressing. The remaining top with the bottom attached is frequently placed in a chiller unit to cement the bond. The shoe is de-lasted by hand or machine once removed from the chiller unit. Depending on the shoe's design, there may only be a few procedures remaining. A shoe might be channel-stitched using a particularly large sewing machine that can stitch through the rubber outsole as well as the entire upper.
Finally, the shoe may go through a drier oven and UV light tunnel to guarantee that mould does not form while being transported.