Technology fairs are a much anticipated hunting ground for interventions to improve productivity and upgrade machines with new-age solutions. AAMA-TEX 2014, which saw exhibits by more than 150 companies from 18 countries, was a major draw for Asian garment manufacturers. Adding an extra edge, was the Li & Fung (Kohls Sourcing Group), organizing a two-day Global Quality & Lean Conference, bringing together around 300 leading and highly reputed garment manufacturers to the event.
Conspicuous with their absence were many major players such as Duerkopp Adler, Pfaff, Juki, Brother, Pegasus and many more… Even the Chinese presence was majorly from two companies: Typical and Zoje. It seems that companies are now happy to present themselves at the regional level.
Visitors from India included teams from Texport, Shahi, Welspun and Gokaldas Exports, while Sri Lanka was represented by Mas Holdings and Bangladesh by Standard Group, among few others. Gautam Chakraborty, CEO and Arun Saha, GM of Gokaldas Exports were seen interacting with Enrico Guerreschi, CEO, Vibemac, specialist in denim wear manufacturing technologies, and Anshuman Dash of H&H Bonding and Welding machines. “Such fairs present an opportunity to update our knowledge and we look for not only new technologies but innovative interventions that can support our operations without adding too much to the cost as replacing machines is not also viable,” said Gautam.
While the visitors were kept busy with the technology, the participants took the opportunity to interact with their agents/representatives and principles, planning for the future. It also gave them a platform to share notes and discuss new trends in the market.
Few of the participants had some interesting technologies that they shared with the StitchWorld team, some of which are discussed here…
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[tab title=”Vibemac consistently at the forefront of automation for denim jeans manufacturing”]
The three decades old specialist in making automates for denim jeans, Vibemac, owned by the Guerreschi family, has adamantly kept the production of its machines in Italy, renouncing a profitable delocalization to a country with lower costs, to maintain the high quality of products and clients’ support. The key features that have characterized Vibemac machines, showcased at the AAMA-TEX fair, are their sturdiness in offering the flexibility of operations, the minimum time required to change the setting of a machine and that too without any technical help because the common settings are already programmed and stored for easy and quick recall by the operator.
In line with the labour reduction promised, the most recent innovation from the company has been the versatile 100-Puller-A attachment for the feed-off-the-arm machine, which is an extra back puller device to track the fabric faster and with better quality results compared to a standard sewing machine feed-of-the arm needle feed. The basic need for developing this puller was to alleviate the three operations on a casual trouser or denim, the back yoke attachment, the left and right back rise and the in-seam of the trouser. These operations involve a huge number of plies and are more complex to stitch.
Not only does this puller increase the production efficiency by 20% in combination with a servo motor but it also adds on to the quality of the garment as it cuts down on any feed that chews or damages the fabric. With the assistance of its soft back belt, the automatic direct pressure on the presser foot endows the best possible quality on any kind of fabric from the lightest to the heaviest. The pulling speed can be easily altered by an unskilled operator by just moving the lever up and down.[/tab]
[tab title=”Focus Garment Tech confident of growth with its new range of automates for denim jeans”]
Having made a name for itself in the Asian apparel manufacturing sector by making available the suitable automations to the garment manufacturers, the four decades old Focus Garment Tech has gone ahead to offer automatic sewing machines for denim jeans manufacturing, by collaborating its ‘Nisho’ brand of sewing machines with the Chinese sewing machines pioneer Supreme. The range includes SNM-6700-AESM auto-edge serging machine, SNAV-100DPC pocket creasing machine, SNAS-2201G-JPPSSN double needle machines for back pocket decorative sewing, SNOL-254 belt loop setters, SNAS-2210G-JS-SN/DN automatic J-stitch sewing machine, SNAS-3020G-PS-SN/DN single and double needle back pocket setters. Saving majorly on labour, the auto-serger from the company is equipped with an automatic sensing device for identifying all kinds of irregular curves in the edges and overlocking the edges accordingly. The back pocket decoration machine from the company can make designs with two colour threads simultaneously and an operator can handle three such machines at a time. The J-stitcher and back pocket setter are also capable of sewing with twin coloured threads at a time.
As a sewing machine provider, Nisho has expanded its portfolio to offer chainstitch, double needle lockstitch machines, feed-off-the-arm sewing machines, blind stitching machines, zigzag sewing machines, button holing and sewing machines, overlock, flatlock, interlock sewing machines along with specialized quilting machines for manufacturing outerwear jackets. Besides offering sewing machines from Nisho, Supreme and Uzu, Focus also offers cutting room solutions from KM, fusing machines from Hashima and finishing machines from Nisho and Nissin.[/tab]
[tab title=”Typical relying on its diverse portfolio for growth”]
Xi’an Typical Industries, proud owners of Typical and Vetron sewing machine brands are among the handful of companies who have not only captured the Chinese market in sewing technologies but also the international market of automates through its European subsidiary. Over the last few years, Typical has invested heavily in R&D and is also acquiring technical know-how to offer many new technologies and workstations. The quest for leading edge in R&D has led to the formation of the German subsidiary of the company in Kaiserslautern, employing German engineers and staff from famous European sewing machine manufacturers and working only on the R&D. The same might of the company was represented at the AAMA-TEX fair in Singapore.
Typical development, the revolutionary X-feed system addresses the issues of the inter-ply slippage, puckering and rope effect along with the seam-line which are missed out by the drop feed, needle feed and unison feed, ticking off the defects like puckering from the quality reports of the manufacturer. Stirring a revolution in the stitching technologies, is its GC 6760, a direct drive, semi-dry head, single needle lockstitch machine that can switch the unison feed from top to bottom. From the pattern tacking, electronic button holing and bartacking machines, Typical is now offering its latest technology where a bartack machine can be transformed within 10 minutes into a button-stitching machine.
Vetron offers the first of a kind machine with no pulley and a 5-step motor to control thread tension, presser bar, presser foot, under-bed trimmer and machine feed. Presently, long-arm sewing machines are being developed for products like high quality tents and parachutes for extremely cold areas. Developing such machines for garments is the company’s next target but it would still take one or two more years.[/tab]
[tab title=”G.Pro’s Lean Mover a ‘Do-It-Yourself’ overhead material handling system”]
IT solutions, specially designed for the garment industry, assist in the process of decision making by capturing and channelling critical data for business operations. G.Pro Technologies, a leading Malaysian technology provider with over 15 years of specialization in IT solutions for apparel manufacturing, has put on trial its new Lean Mover overhead material handling system. Shattering the inflexible and rigid nature of the overhead material handling systems, the Lean Mover system from G.Pro is a one-of-a-kind material handling system which can be structured and restructured according to the changing needs of a sewing line, because it is made up of building blocks, the modular power tracks available in six diverse shapes and robotic transporter.
Claimed as the ‘Lego Experience’ for the sewing industry, the Lean Mover due to its modular power tracks, can be reduced in size or increased as per the line size, making it even suitable for sewing lines handling smaller quantities. Through its software, the Lean Mover offers all the advantages of real time data in terms of line balancing, piece rate calculation, quality issues, total output and operator-wise performance. The system also makes available SMS and mobile application based alerts. G.Pro claims advantages in terms of 30% improvement in operators’ productivity, lower unit production costs, minimal material handling time, lower WIP and shorter through-put time.[/tab]
[tab title=”Morgan Tecnica equipped with flexible range of cutter and spreaders”]
Morgan Tecnica, Italy, a leading manufacturer and provider of integrated solutions to manage all areas of the cutting room, has seen an impressive growth rate of 15-20% year-on-year with its various offerings to the market. The company prides itself for many innovations such as its specialized cutter for denim and lingerie, the Morgan Next 70, which is claimed by the company to be the most flexible machine in the entire range. It has extremely low power consumption and is fully digitally controlled. The vacuum control by digital inverter allows the best flexibility in cutting any thickness of lay from single-ply to 7 cm compressed, with almost any kind of material. The Morgan Next 70 delivers the highest performance in terms of productivity, quality and reliability, together with one of the lowest maintenance cost in the market. Digital active control of the blade bending in real time allows the best cutting precision even on high thickness lays and hardest materials. The machine is available in a standard version of 4,500 RPM and a HM 6,000 RPM version for hard and difficult materials.
Morgan Tecnica is also offering the opportunity to view cutter data in real time over the web, using the on-board computer touch and one of their latest and innovative software applications. This solution provides the company with the possibility to keep production process under constant control and detect the eventual critical areas so as to take immediate action to improve it.[/tab]
[tab title=”H&H certain of growth for its welding & bonding machines”]
Foreseeing the growth of stitchless apparel and sewn products, H&H introduced to the market its range of welding and bonding machines, the AI-001 and US-501. The AI-001 is a hot air sealing machine with a maximum welding speed of 60 feet per minute, which the company claims is 30% faster than its competitors. The machine has a 3D electronic nozzle positioning system and a differential speed top/bottom roller. The machine can also perform variable speed seam sealing and is really ergonomic in its use. What really makes the product stand out among the competition is the machine’s ability to handle stretch fabric and narrow tapes, while consuming 5% less tape. Similarly, the US-501 ultrasonic welding machine is capable of handling stretch fabrics. With the ability to cut and bond the fabric simultaneously, the machine ensures zero fraying of the edges and the thickness of the fabric before bonding can be fed in the machine.[/tab]
[tab title=”TSM eyeing the Indian market with its already successful range of cutters and spreaders”]
Taiwan Spreading Centre Enterprises, owners of TSM brand of spreading and cutting equipment, has been manufacturing cutting room equipment since 1989. TSM has found success for its NA-600 spreader, nine of which have been installed at the manufacturing facility of Bangladesh-based Standard Group. The company has more than 100 spreaders running in Bangladesh. Specialized for knit fabrics, the spreaders are equipped with features like dual material feeding, edge alignment, tension controller, static eliminator, extension roller for knit fabrics and a special cloth bar. The company has recently unveiled its new TC-7000 automatic multi-ply fabric cutter. The cutter is equipped with features such as auto-rotating six-drill punchers for drilling holes of various sizes, knife cooler, to prevent fusing of fabric edges due to heating of the knife and a punch waste cleaner for collecting waste while the fabric is being cut.[/tab]