One surely feels gleeful when welcomed by countless claps and ecstatic salutation with repeated voices ‘Welcome to Jack’, in the background. Since 2016, Jack Sewing Machine Co., Ltd., a leading sewing machine manufacturer of China, has been welcoming hundreds of guests from all across the world.
As part of Apparel Resources media group, we have been privileged to be a part of all the three editions of the meet. The 3rd ‘Overseas Distributor Meet’ in October 2018 witnessed around 1,000 customers, industry experts and distributors as well as the team of Vibemac (an Italian pioneer of Jeans automation which was recently acquired by Jack).
Day -1: Signing ceremony and intelligent manufacturing presentations…
The meet revolved around the theme ‘Jack Leads in Garment Intelligent Solution’. The first day started with a conference where signing ceremonies of Jack-Vibemac as well as Jack-Xuhao collaborations took place.
Jack bought 80 per cent stake in Vibemac for a total of EUR 23.2 million (US $ 28.6 million) in early 2018 and, since then, this collaboration has been making headlines for all good reasons. “We are positive about this merger as China itself is the largest denim manufacturing country in the world and we believe Jack’s strong channel advantage in China is surely going to help Vibemac get its due recognition in the Chinese denim market,” commented Carlo Guerreschi, Founder, Vibemac after the signing ceremony.
The other acquisition by Jack was that of Xuhao, a renowned name in China due to its strong shoe and leather products manufacturing solutions and the merger is expected to help Jack expand in these segments. “As we are targeting to diversify, Xuhao will help us understand what all kind of technology solutions shoe and other leather products need so that with our strong R&D, we can further innovate Xuhao’s sewing machines,” informed Vincent Guo, Vice President, Jack Group.
China has been facing tough local conditions, so it is now gearing itself up to imbibe smart technology to counter the increasing wages and rising tariffs to US. This point was discussed at great length among the industry experts.
He Dongdong, CEO, IROOTECH opined, “The garment industry in China is moving away from low-cost manufacturing; instead it is targeting to build smart factories within to combat cost challenges.” IROOTECH is a Shanghai-based IoT solution provider which is currently catering to transport and automotive industries but, with the rising attention of smart manufacturing within apparel sector, the company will soon start providing IoT solutions to this industry as well.
Speaking on the same subject, Yang Jinchun, Vice Chairman of China Garment Association, expressed that the rising cost of apparel manufacturing in China was a major concern and over the last few years, despite the EU, USA and Japan growing in their apparel import, China has been witnessing negative trend in these major markets. “The situation will further worsen if necessary steps are not taken. Smart manufacturing is the key which should include data collection, integrated resources and continuous innovation in order to revamp garment manufacturing within the country,” opined Jinchun.
“Intelligent sewing is one of the many aspects to make manufacturing ‘smart’ and that cannot be overlooked in the process,” said He Ye, Chairman of China Sewing Machinery Association (CSMA). She further explained that by 2017, China had around 800 sewing machine manufacturers and most of them are not innovating the sewing processes, therefore, the garment industry has actually not been able to catch up with the changing trend. So, to transform companies within China, CSMA carried an intelligent sewing factory and technical service alliance project in 2017 on 20 manufacturing companies from clothing, automotive, home textiles, shoe and interior sectors.
The project included the revision of relevant standards in the field of intelligent sewing and, with the help of this project, CSMA found some bottlenecks and constraints that need to be removed. “Weak foundation of software and hardware; lack of professionalism and traditional way of looking at problems were common issues observed in all 20 factories,” said He Ye. However, with strategic route, training as well as proper root cause analysis of the problems, the factories have started transforming into intelligent factories. He Ye commented, “We have organised teams to conduct regular benchmarking analysis of status quo of the industrial intelligent sewing research and development.” It’s worth mentioning here that 10 factories, till October 2018, completed successful evaluation after the project, while the remaining 10 are soon to be evaluated.
Ruan Jixiang, Founder, Jack Group, while concluding the ceremony, in his passionate presentation, disclosed the role of Jack sewing machines to help China attain ‘intelligent future’ for its garment industry. Ruan came up with two plans: Technical and Business development. “Deskilling of workers, quality in garments, flexible production and fast delivery are the needs of today’s garment industry which we aim to achieve in our technical plan, while our business development plan includes strategies which are designed to implement technical plan on a broader scale,” explained Ruan.
Keep watching the space for more exclusive coverage of the event…