LMA – Leandro Manuel Araújo SA (Portugal) was created in 1995 at Rebordões, Santo Tirso. LMA is recognized by its visionary spirit and by the constant search for high-tech, which made this company avant-garde in a range of sectors in the textile world. LMA invests in new products and technologies. This spirit of innovation has enabled the company to establish itself in the global market, also keeping up to date with the latest international trends and technologies thus ensuring its presence in the most important fairs of the textile industry in the world. For this purpose, it has a specialized development team work.

LMA is a company that produces multidirectional textile subtracts with lots of applications: since functional sports, to protection clothing, outdoor advertising and decoration, until automotive and industry areas.

In the European textile sector, LMA is the unique company that holds the technical capability to produce all textile structures. Manuel Barros, LMA CEO, corroborates such essential feature adding that he “always speaks of four different types of execution of textile substrates: circular knitting, warp knitting Ketten; Raschel warp knits and woven fabrics”. The main goal is just one: to always be focused on continuous improvement actions of goods and services, to take each customer a satisfied partner.

Beyond these technical skills, the research and the development of new products and the constant design and color innovation this company still has other unmistakable priorities. Having this target in mind, LMA created Alitecno, a brand that aims to uniquely identify the commercial origin of the products developed by the company to the customer in order to differentiate and distinguish LMA from further similar tissue in the market.
This way, LMA intends to proceed with technical investigation focused on the articles that have been produced, insisting on the high performance of each one. To achieve this level the company’s standard is to bet on the best raw materials and new combinations in order to create a collection of articles made from natural and synthetic fibers of high performance.

In Manuel Barros perspective, “innovation has a simple goal: trying, all the time, to anticipate the needs of our customers and using them to develop new products. Behind this all-inclusive mindset underlies a basic principle: trying not to do the same old thing”.
LMA develops its activity based on main beliefs such as the involvement of the employees, suppliers and customers in order to achieve objectives and goals meant to rationalize the use of resources; reducing costs and improving the company’s results; making efforts to increase the employees’ satisfaction and abilities through motivation, information and training, for which purposes it takes into account an appropriate training program and the development of attractive and safe working conditions.

Protection: a growing sector
As mentioned above, LMA develops products in different areas so that, as Manuel Barros says, “they came naturally, as the result of the gained experience over the years, which obviously implies much more intense and laborious degrees of the labor demand, dealing both with the quality of our human resources and the partners at the production level”, generating a set of enormous advantages, particularly in terms of stability and security in the organization’s management.
LMA’s bet on protection clothing is very important because it is considered a growing area. In this logic, LMA has developed, in partnership with University of Minho, a resistant to cutting protecting clothing to be used in the wood area. The company has already developed protection clothing for German police and for firefighters and army. However, as far as investigation and innovation are concerned, it is accepted that there is still a large investment to be done.

A further value on innovation and development sector
Manuel Barros believes that “the best way to keep us updated in this area is setting up a good partnership with Universities and Textile technology centres”. LMA has already a great and close relationship either with University of Minho or University of Beira Interior. However University of Minho is, according to LMA CEO, “one of the most important partners when you consider the ‘state of the current art’ in textile solutions”.
The main reason of this partnership – taking advantage of all the academic “know-how” of UM – is closely related to LMA’s liability to innovation, especially by making it easier to the company to anticipate and recognize the customer’s needs which later are going to be taken in account in the development of new products.
The ultimate goal is to make these R&D into potential business, turning them into profitable products that will make customers satisfied, thus ensuring the economic viability of the organization.

The projects developed under this partnership are focused mainly in the area of technical knitwear, in what mechanical, thermal or microbiological protection is concerned. In Manuel Barros’s opinion, this partnership is extremely important because it brings extra value to the innovation and development sector. On the other hand, it (the partnership) “allows us to be on line with the newest innovation in the sector, as well as to identify other possible requests. Furthermore, UM embodies a vital importance as far as this R&D validation is concerned: it is not enough just to identify the needs, most of all you need to check and consolidate in laboratorial terms if the desired requirements have been achieved in the developed samples”, says Manuel Barros.

Date: July/2016
Interviewed: Manuel Barros, Excutive Director - LMA


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