ICOL Smart Factories are a living example of the footwear industry of the future. Every single manufacturing stage is encapsulated into a self-sufficient robotic unit. The interaction among different units is fully coordinated and automated.

Here are some significant features ICOL Smart Factories have:
– Incredible automation: a system consisting of 4-5 working  areas is served by a few technicians.
– Manufacturing stages are fully independent from each other: you can implement them alternately without interfering with the remaining ones.
– A seamless integration of the design and manufacturing stages: the production of each new footwear model can start immediately.
– AI and Computer Vision: this technology makes it possible to achieve high precision, produces few rejected pieces and offers the highest possible yield.


Defect detection is a process of analyzing the leather’s surface to identify the flaws and nuances.

1. The multiskill portal scans the leather to find flaws.
2. Then a robot equipped with a hot melt adhesive greasing system puts cement over the leather’s edge. Then, the portal rolls out the plastic film upon the leather.
3. Once the film is cemented, the robot cuts the odd film, stepping a bit inside from the very edge.
4. The robots then roll the leather on and put it on the AGV mobile cart. The leather comes to the next manufacturing stage.


With a printer, the robot marks leather with dash-and-dot lines, forming a contour of a vamp part. The robot can also mark leather with commodity, size, or any else captions.


A full-color printer can paint a leather with any drawings. One leather may contain components of different models.


The laser stamping and engraving cell is aimed at burning the necessary patterns and perforations at the leather surface. The system allows you to locate components of different shoe models in a single leather.


The leather must be rotated from the front to the back side during the production process. We’ve developed a special invertator device for this. The mobile AGV carts puts the leather roll to the invertator, which rotates it. After that, the roll is sent for further processing.


Edge skiving is a lowering of the material’s thickness over the edge. This is necessary for high-quality stitching or gluing of parts together. The robotic manipulator, equipped with an abrasive cutter, processes the edges of the parts laid out on the skin, without cutting through the edges to the end, preserving the integrity of the skin for further manipulations and transportation.

Traditionally, woven or nonwoven fabrics, leather, or pelage are used as lining materials. They are sewn on or glued to the upper components' insides. ICOL Group has developed and registered a brand new lining installation technology named ICOL Polycomposite Layer Sputtering (IPLS).


1. During the lining installation process, a robot equipped with a special injector sprays special composite compounds on the upper components’ insides.
2. Once the compounds are polymerized, they become stiff and impart the required properties to the footwear. It can be the desired level of thermal insulation, breathing, water penetration, absorption, or comfort. The injector used for spraying the compounds is a proprietary ICOL Group device, as well.
3. This type of lining is far more immune to abrading, bending, and stretching than the traditional lining materials.
4. The IPLS technology makes it available using up to 6 different compounds within one producing step, as well as sputtering multiple layers to a single component, and varying the layer thickness.
5. The polymerization of the compound runs in special ovens. After that, the components are sent to the next step.


1. At the final stage, a roll of components comes to the cutting table.
2. Robots cut components in accordance with the digital nesting arrangement. The technology solution is pantented under the name ICOL Intelligent Screening &Cutting (IICC).
3. The cut components are then transferred to the table of the mobile cart and sent to the next stage.


ICOL Smart Factories use a variety of unique proprietary technologies:

– robotized cutting centers
– automatic sewing machines
– carousel racks
– lining layer sputtering
– tensioning claw members
– robotized adhesive lasting machines
– diaphragm presses
– claws
– technological equipment
– software

Our proprietary AGV mobile robots handle all the inbound logistics tied on ICOL Group.

Each ICOL Group product is developing within a single ecosystem.


The ICOL Smart Factory is a brilliant result of the painstaking teamwork of roboteers, chemists, coders and scientists, coupled with best-in-class technologists, designers and marketers working with footwear brands and manufacturers.

For each product development cycle, a mandatory step starts right after R&D. We always build a fully functional Proof of Concept, deliver it to one of the biggest European footwear factories and kickstart the production. Then we test the product thoroughly and comprehensively in the real context.


The ICOL company is heavily involved in the digital transformation of every single company from the very start. We’re assisting our clients even after the successful launch.

1. Our experts conduct audits of the transformation planning and help find the best fitting scenarios.
2. Depending on the need, we get leasing companies involved in funding the projects.
3. We’re in touch 24/7 during the start-up stage and after.
4. You can get even more advantages becoming a part of the ICOL Ecosystem.

Send us a line to find out more about the program.