Framework of Integrated Technologies for User Centred Products

Framework of Integrated Technologies for User Centred Products

FIT4U (Framework of Integrated Technologies for User Centred Products) is a Collaborative Research Project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme
FIT4U project aims at responding to the growing demand for consumer oriented product personalization by conceiving an Engineering Framework, meant as the set of tools and manufacturing technologies necessary to consumer centred product and process design and innovation in safety and sport footwear and accessories, particularly gloves.

Main results developed by the project are:

new technologies and devices for consumer virtual profile creation and product personalization;

innovative 3D integrated design tools and solutions dedicated to personalised consumer centred shoes and gloves ;

innovative high-performing materials.

new technologies for the fast production of differentiated lasts, footbeds and of new modular soles, and new process engineering tools based on lean production concepts.

PROJECT FULL TITLE: Framework of Integrated Technologies for User Centred Products
DURATION: 36 months
STARTING DATE: 1st July 2009
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE: Theme 4 – NMP – Nanosciences,
Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies – Call FP7-NMP-2008-4.0-7
Total Budget: 5.709.500€
EU Contribution: 3.984.125€


Ongoing social and economic globalization processes will offer major challenges on the global market for consumer oriented manufacturing sectors. In particular, the shoes and gloves markets are expected to grow within the next 5 years, and the market niches for high value added shoes and gloves are expected to grow even faster. As a consequence there is today a unique opportunity for the European Footwear and Sport Industries to improve their competitiveness on such market segments.

To face such a challenge the present project will develop a new engineering framework for both products & processes integrating: new technologies and devices to integrate the consumer in shoes and gloves conception, specification and design; innovative 3D knowledge based integrated design tools; micro devices providing shoes and gloves with innovative sensing functionalities; innovative high-performing materials with self-adaptive capabilities; adaptive production processes and technologies.

The expected outcome of the proposed project will be an integrated technology framework for the engineering of fully personalised shoes and gloves based on a 3 to 5 days time-to-market criterion. Such a framework will be validated and assessed on pilot production lines, and new differentiated consumer-centred shoes and gloves will be delivered as fully engineered prototypes.


Ongoing social and economic globalization processes will offer major challenges on the global market for consumer oriented manufacturing sectors.

To face such a global competition challenge new competitive strategies based on new consumer centred products capabilities and on new industrial paradigms must be conceived and developed, particularly in relevant manufacturing sectors characterised by rapid market dynamics and large numbers of SMEs.

FIT4U project aims at responding to such needs by conceiving an Engineering Framework

i.e. methods, tools and technologies will be developed, necessary to consumer centred product and process innovation – addressing footwear and accessories, particularly gloves, for specific market segments as professional-safety, free time, and sport.

Such market segments have been identified by the stakeholders of the European Technology Platform on Footwear Products and Processes and of the European Platform for Sports and Innovation as core pulling segments.

Pilot implementations in industrial settings demonstrating feasibility of new concepts and solutions as for shoes and gloves will be developed with reference to two specific market segments: safety/professional for workers – particularly addressing wide applicative sectors like construction and metal – and sport – considering running and outdoor/trekking.

Economic, social and strategic impacts for the European value chain, in particular for SME manufacturers, will be:

the capability of addressing the high value added global market segment for consumer goods with high-growth potential;

the improved quality of life of consumers in the targeted applicative sectors, through the availability of affordable, personalised products;

advanced technologies and knowledge-based products will support competition as well as fight against counterfeiting so preventing relocation of activities to other areas of the world.


Specific addressed RTD topics will include:

new technologies and devices, based on tools for virtualization of consumer profile and requirements, as well as acquisition and computation of relevant consumer feet metrics by means of novel biomechanical sensor network, will be conceived to integrate the consumer in shoes and gloves conception, specification and design. This will enable the creation of a knowledge base for responding to consumer need in terms of fitting/comfort/functionalities in targeted segments;

innovative 3D knowledge based integrated design tools and solutions dedicated to personalised consumer centred shoes and gloves as for biomechanical aspects, based on measured consumer data and virtual profile. The product will be designed embodying identified parameters for comfort and fitting, taking also into account technological constraints derived from materials;

innovative high-performing materials to optimally fit consumers physique and ergonomics, whilst guaranteeing comfort and health/ safety through features like breathability, antifungi etc., specifically conceived from a common development process and targeting shoes and gloves in the professional/safety and sport segments;

new production technologies and process engineering: at shopfloor level a new fast production machine for differentiated lasts and footbeds and a new modular sole will provide SMEs means to quickly realize product based on comfort and fitting, endowed with high performance for safety and sport applications; on a larger scale, growing complexity of consumer product differentiation and optimization in production lines will be addressed through dedicated tool for lean production concepts.

Back Pain When Walking

walk in the cloudsNumerous scenarios could cause neck and back pain, consisting of excessive weight, bad position, incorrect physical body technicians, joint inflammation, disc injuries and also nerve entrapment. Some neck and back pain is even worse when resting, while others really feel even more discomfort when standing, turning and also flexing. Some clients additionally experience a worsening of pain in the back while strolling. The primary step in taking care of neck and back pain is recognizing the source to ensure that the ideal therapy could be begun.
Factors to consider

Regardless of the source, pain in the back could make strolling unpleasant. Adjustments to the discs in the back from regular deterioration could cause degenerative types of joint inflammation. Muscle rigidity and also disc injuries likewise could position stress on the sciatic nerve, which could trigger pain in the back while strolling. It is necessary to have the source of neck and back pain effectively assessed, as a disc injury requires a various therapy technique compared to a muscle inequality. Strolling could be contraindicated up until the underlying issue is dealt with, or a program of reinforcing and also flexing could assist to ease signs, states the National Institute of Neurological Conditions and also Stroke.


Unless suggested by a physician to stay clear of workout, strolling and also various other kinds of workout are frequently advised to assist relieve signs and symptoms. When the back, stomach, hip as well as leg muscle mass are solid as well as versatile, much less stress is positioned on the back.

On top of that, weight-loss may be component of the total therapy strategy due to the fact that being obese areas extreme pressure on the back, alerts the National Institute of Joint inflammation and also Bone and joint as well as Skin Conditions. Strolling for 30 to 45 mins on a daily basis is a great way to lose additional pounds. Collaborate with a medical professional or physiotherapist if merely beginning to find out ways to stroll properly as well as in such a way that will certainly not make neck and back pain even worse.

Enhance Assisting Muscular tissues

Working out the muscle mass that assist the back for 15 mins 3 times a week could aid to decrease discomfort, mentions the National Institutes of Wellness. When initially beginning to work out and also stroll, anticipate some back discomfort, yet workout must never ever make the neck and back pain even worse. Beginning gradually as well as raise the strength slowly.

Workouts such as the bridge posture, legs and arms lifts on all fours, grinds, midsection flexes, back expansions, bows as well as lunges could assist making the back, abdominals as well as legs more powerful. As the muscle mass that assist the back develop stamina, strolling ought to come to be a lot more comfy. Collaborating with a specialist or fitness instructor is the very best method to obtain begun due to the fact that working out the upside-down could make neck and back pain even worse.

It additionally is essential to maintain muscle mass versatile, considering that strict muscular tissues could draw on the reduced back as well as trigger discomfort. Baseding on the Mayo Center, the best flexing program could assist to both convenience pain in the back and also stop it from repeating. The most effective time to stretch desires strolling, when muscular tissues are cozy.

Handy stretches consist of embracing the knees to the breast, going down both knees sideways in a back spin, and also pushing the back as well as prolonging one leg at once directly. Flexes consistently need to be done gradually and also held for at the very least 30 secs, without bouncing.

When neck and back pain flares as well as makes strolling tough, the Joint inflammation Structure recommends making use of either warmth or cold. Using warmth prior to strolling or taking a very hot shower could assist to unwind the muscle mass as well as make them much more responsive to work out. After strolling, use ice to aid soothe discomfort and also swelling. When neck and back pain is serious, attempt strolling in the water to assist take stress off the back and also loosen up the muscle mass.

Integrating tai chi or yoga exercise workouts in between strolling could aid maintain muscular tissues loose, as well as both show leisure methods to handle discomfort. Some clients additionally discover alleviation by obtaining massage therapy or acupuncture therapies.

Put on encouraging footwears made for strolling and also make use of great position and also physical body technicians. Back supports may assist, however they additionally could make the muscular tissue weak if put on way too much, so speak to a physician or specialist prior to utilizing a support. Making use of a walking stick, strolling stick or posts could be valuable as they could take stress off the back and also legs.