Apparel Industry is becoming ‘4.0-ready’

by Apparel Resources

25-November-2017  |  9 mins read

Image Courtesy: ima.it

Technology providers are readily bracing up themselves for a digital transformation. Texprocess Germany 2017 was a platform for the same where each and every exhibitor was talking, deliberating and discussing about Industry 4.0 and how it will change the future. Even the products/technology on display were claimed to be in line with Industry 4.0 with a thrust to connect people to machines. This was a significant means to communicate with each other in order to decentralize the decision-making process, provide instant technical assistance and thus help create ‘Smart Factories’!

The term Industry 4.0 is the culmination of many jargons and concepts that are being circulated – Internet of Things (IoT), additive manufacturing, man-to-machine communication, machine-to-machine communication, SaaS, smart manufacturing, artificial intelligence – each concept is an integral part of the term. Even as these waves of change continue to shape up a competitive scenario, manufacturers must also identify and decide where to invest in the new technologies in order to sustain in the race.

Luciand P.I. Sardini, President (L) and Mirella Sardini, Director, IMA Italy

Many new machines and software at the show had unique propositions for the future. IMA Italy, the cutting room solutions provider in the industry, picked up Internet of Things as a means of presenting Industry 4.0 to its clients. Shifting focus from developing better cutting room solutions, the company introduced a new software that can connect all the machines. Owing to the digital technology incorporated, the software will not only connect the machines but will also give a feedback of each machine. Irrespective of geographies, the manufacturer is now able to monitor in real-time, each and every machine in any factory, on his mobile phone. Not only monitoring, the software also empowers the manufacturer to ask for maintenance directly through the software. Moreover, the data is stored on Microsoft server, thus ensuring the safety of the data. “Today, data collection, analysis and dissemination of information so analysed to improve performance are as important as the technology itself, so we are focusing on supporting our customers to run their factories/machines on a digital platform in a more informed manner,” said Mirella Sardini, Director, IMA S.P.A.

It is increasingly being recognized that when machines become faster, production also becomes faster, so controlling and monitoring the process cannot be done in the traditional way. Morgan Tecnica, cutting room machinery and software premier, locks Artificial Intelligence in its upgraded and completely redesigned high-ply automatic cutting machine – Next 2. Behind this intelligent machine are the sophisticated algorithms that allow best self-handling of processes such as sharpening cycle and real-time speed control. Available in versions 5, 7 and 9, Next 2 can self-detect all the operating anomalies by drastically reducing breaks and machine stops. Equipped with sensors, it can automatically manage the path of machine to ensure cutting quality and machine performance higher than 15 per cent compared to the other machines.

Manik Chowdhury (L), MD of Eastman Technocrafts with Morgan Tecnica team
Manik Chowdhury (L), MD of Eastman Technocrafts with Morgan Tecnica team

Another product compatible with Industry 4.0 concept is Ply 1 – Morgan Tecnica’s latest single ply cutting machine. Revolutionizing on-demand manufacturing, it is one of the fastest single ply cutters with a speed of 180 m/min. It can also reach 3G acceleration. It functions like digital printing – developing cut plan, mixing the sizes, patterns, then printing it through digital print. Beneficial for sportswear industry, Ply 1 can manage the orders until the cut parts for even very small custom-made orders. Furthermore, electromagnetically driven, the cutter does not have any pulley and belt and there is no rack & pinion driven attachment, only linear movement. “This is the fastest technology for single ply in the market and as fashion requirements move to made-to-measure, this technology will be a must-have for retailers/manufacturers,” argues Anandkumar D, MD, Morgan Dynamics.

TUKA3D Designer Edition allows designers to show their concepts virtually in three easy steps: Build, Look and Present. Build – a virtual garment building feature that lets designers build new styles from virtual assets; Look – allows assess of print repeats and placements in true scale on a real garment body; and Present – allows showcasing final concept with images.

The ultimate goal of digitalization and automation is enhanced production capacity. Martin Group, the Italian leader in manufacturing of fusing machines, presented a fusing machine that has feeding belt to improve large production capacity. When the accessories are not needed, it can be taken out and be used like standard fusing machine. The machine uses software which is able to analyse various production steps and generate data that can be used to optimize production chain, control costs, improve working process also with remote control on mobile phones, tablets, computer. On the other hand, the company offers automatic stacker device which requires no labour in picking up of pieces. Conquering the hike in labour costs, the stacker can be used on all machines and on other brands as well. “While the European market is really appreciating the machine, Indian manufacturers too have shown interest and we are looking to do good business in India with this fully automated fusing machine,” states the company.

If a manufacturer is happy with a machine’s performance and results, he would definitely love it. In order to make manufacturers fall in love with the machine, technological improvements are necessary. Under the tag line, “LOVE IT or LOVE IT”, Veit offered intelligent process solutions. Veit Fusing 4.0 technology enables control of fusing process from anywhere in a network where the machine can communicate with other machines. The company’s FX Diamond fusing machine along with this technology allows it to maintain the fusing results consistent at all times by monitoring and intelligently adjusting all process parameters.

Another 4.0 technology, Veit Pressing 4.0, facilitates ironing machines to be integrated into the customer’s own company network. The machine can report on maximum pressure, process times and ironing programs used. This technology delimits the material flow investigation and the communication between the product and the machine.

Technological breakthrough in the jeans making process is also allowing manufacturers to meet the increasing demand for greater productivity and expected quality efficiently. Being a market leader in the technology of jeans manufacturing, Vibemac was seen showcasing its range of machines. The model 1010V4 DCS, equipped with an automatic loader-unloader system, increases productivity by 25 per cent; the machine allows even an unqualified operator to manage three machines simultaneously. Apart from embroidering the pocket, 1010V4 DCS can stitch pockets with a single or double colour thread, apply labels, patches and Velcro, stitch flaps, make darts and pleats.

Vibemac also offers 2516V4 DCT, an automatic back pocket setting machine, which aims to eliminate labour cost as a component of flexible jeans products as well as increase productivity. 2516V4 DCT applies any kind of pre-passed patch pockets on jeans with the ability to stitch any shape of pockets. It is possible to sew darts and pleats, apply labels and sew flaps with this machine. “It can store 512 pocket patterns in the internal memory and USB flash memory stick,” informs Farhadur Rahman Jewel, Manager of Vibemac, Bangladesh.

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