Texprocess 2019, held in Frankfurt (Germany) from 14th to 17th May, saw participation of a total of 317 exhibitors from 34 countries who showcased the latest processing technologies and sewing systems as well as an array of IT and logistics solutions. The increased number of exhibitors from past editions reflects the strong growth in the global apparel and textile industry.
The four-day long event had a number of activities that kept visitors engaged in understanding the innovations and technologies through seminars and demonstrations. It can be stated that Texprocess was also all about digital solutions for the apparel and textile sector – from fully networked production lines in the form of micro-factories and machines capable of autonomous learning to cloud-based collaboration between designers, product developers, manufacturers and retailers across the globe.
Texprocess Innovation Award
Among the exhibitors showcasing their cutting-edge innovations were Duerkopp Adler, Vibemac, Eastman Machine Company, Juki, Morgan Tecnica, Efka, Richpeace, Bullmer, Gerber Technology, Euromac, Assyst GmbH and Vetron. Keeping pace with the industry trends, the exhibitors displayed a wide array of their products and some of them even utilised Texprocess as a platform to launch their much-awaited technologies; two of them – M-TYPE DELTA and VETRON VIPER even bagged Texprocess Innovation Award by the jury members.
M-TYPE DELTA sewing system made by Duerkopp Adler AG was the one which impressed jury with its industrial-sewing concept. DELTA can be integrated into a fully digitalised sewing production line for automotive interiors, home upholstery, leather goods and technical textiles. Using digital solutions to the maximum extent, the machine guides the operator and continuously augments its functions and ‘knowledge’. The award to DELTA system was given in ‘New Technology’ category.
The second award in this category went to Vetron Typical Europe GmbH for VETRON VIPER, an ultra-lightweight sewing system made using carbon components. The system weighs a total of 6 kg, including yarn corps and drive motor, which means a smaller and more cost-effective industrial robot can be used in the sewing process. Thus, the solution is compact, flexible and easy to install and remove.
Micro-factories grab the attention
This edition of the world’s leading trade fair will be remembered for its approach towards ‘Micro-factory’ which garnered massive positive response from the visitors. Digitisation, networking and Industry 4.0 played a major role in the event. Texprocess 2019 featured five micro-factories – Digital Textile Micro-Factory; Smart Textiles Micro-Factory; World of Digital Fashion; Modern Innovative Seat Design; and Pixel to Product. Gemini CAD was overwhelmed to see the response of its own micro-factory ‘Pixel to Product’ with which the company was able to clearly show the benefits of made-to-measure garments and the end-to-end workflow that takes place to produce them.
Partners in various micro-factories presented during Texprocess 2019
Digital Textile Micro-Factory – Assyst (CAD/Design), Mitwill (Material), Caddon, ErgoSoft, Mimaki, Zünd, Juki, Veit (Finishing), Vuframe (AR/VR), HS Albstadt (3D) Schoeller Textil AG (Material)
Smart Textiles Micro-Factory – ITA, Gerber Technology (Cutting), Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), VETRON TYPICAL, Wear it (Product Design) and ZSK (Embroidery)
World of Digital Fashion – Browzwear Solutions (Visualisation), Software Dr. K. Friedrich (CAD), Fision, Bullmer, Gertsch Consulting and Mode Vision
Modern Innovative Seat Design – KSL, RING, VEIT and ZSK
Pixel to Product – Gemini CAD Systems
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming an integral part of auto-cutters
All the cutting solution providers unleashed their best of cutting technologies in the event and a common thread among all was the use of AI and machine learning tools in their products. Bullmer, Gerber, Morgan Tecnica and Eastman shared that their machines can sense possible breakdown in advance which can help users better manage their production with less maintenance time. Federica Giachetti, President, Morgan Tecnica shared with Apparel Resources, “We imbibed industry 4.0 in our cutters a decade back when this concept was not known to people in apparel and textile industry. Sensors in our cutters can automatically diagnose possible upcoming defects and warn users in advance so that they can take preventive measures.”
Technical advanced features of any machine are complemented with their ease of use and Gerber Technology is never behind at this. KERI, Paragon cutter’s Knowledge Experience & Reference Interface, guides the users through the cutting process to enable them to learn operating quickly. Based on the concept of AI, KERI also learns from operators over a period of time so that in future, users can rely on built-in intelligence.
“Data is of foremost importance to a factory. However, instead of examining heaps of data, managers need precise data and that’s where KERI comes into play. KERI can generate a concise report including parameters like total cutting time, idle time, total units cuts, machine run time, etc.,” explained Sajith Kumar, Vice President, IIGM who takes care of Gerber’s market in India.
Innovation in yarns and threads
A number of yarn and thread suppliers made their presence felt in Texprocess including AMANN Group, A&E, Madeira, Coloreel and Durak. AMANN Group unveiled its ‘intelligent thread’ which is made up of ‘smart yarns’ and can be used as sensors to transfer media. AMANN has made it possible to integrate ‘conductive technology’ through smart threads in daily life products such as car seats, home textiles and even in clothing. “These threads can sense the finger movement and work as conductive material in order to light up the lamps or bulbs at home and people can get rid of weight of plastic,” elaborated Barbara Binder, Head of Global Marketing, AMANN Group.
In another innovative display, AMANN showed how its conductive thread can help innovate the forward and backward movement of a car seat. On car seat handle, a textile switch is there which is made of highly conductive silver thread. Whenever a person presses this switch, car seat moves forward or backward sensing the touch of fingers.
Swedish technology company Coloreel attracted a lot of visitors to its booth for its instant thread colouring technology. Coloreel technology enables high-quality colouring of textile thread on-demand and the first product based on this technology is a groundbreaking unit for industrial embroidery machines. By instantly colouring the thread during production, it enables unique designs and vastly improves overall production efficiency. According to Coloreel team, “We use Coloreel Studio, a newly developed software, for colourisation of embroidery design. The programme is the link between digitisation software and the Coloreel unit. The user can use the same DST file that the user loads into his/her embroidery machine.”
Visitors made Texprocess a successful event
Visitors are the most significant part of any trade show and Texprocess was not an exception. Other than the countries of Europe, the event witnessed visitation from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Turkey, Colombia and Ethiopia. It’s a well-known fact that labour cost in garment manufacturing is rising worldwide and manufacturers want more uniformity in product quality with minimum wastage. The manufacturers who visited the event looked for some technology which can fulfill both these requirements. Sujeewa Imbulgoda, Director (Operations), Artistic Milliners, Pakistan who seemed quite content with the kind of technologies that were up on display told Apparel Resources that he attended Texprocess in 2015 and now comparing it to the 2019 edition, he found the trend has changed from traditional to automation and currently, technology suppliers are moving on to imbibe more robotics in their technology.
“We are one of the leading denim suppliers of Pakistan and I am looking forward to some automats for denim manufacturing as well as some cutting solutions which can reduce human efforts and give product quality as desired,” averred Sujeewa. He got in touch with Vibemac, Jam International and SipItaly for denim automats, while he preferred Gerber, IMA and Tukatech for cutting solutions and took his discussions to the next level with them, finalisation of which might be done in the next few weeks.
Faruq Ahmed, Managing Director, Teen Age Modern Fashion Ltd., Bangladesh and Maniwanen Marimutu, Chairman, PT Busana Group, Indonesia too expressed their opinions on the same lines as they visited the fair to find automats that can reduce human efforts and improve their efficiency, productivity and quality.
Not just exporters, there were visitors from universities and educational institutes as well and they learnt how well the industry is moving to adopt industry 4.0 concepts. Endorsing the same, Dr. Evridiki Papachristou, Researcher and Fashion Engineer, University of Crete, Greece said, “I visited Texprocess, the most important international event on industry 4.0, digitisation, latest technology and new ideas and came back quite inspired. I was very impressed by the well-structured and organised exhibition area and the different approaches that this technological trade fair was covering.” Evridiki also enjoyed networking, demonstrations of new versions of the most influential software companies in fashion industry and of course the press conferences. “The vibes from everyone I met were positive and the energy progressive. I will definitely visit again in 2021 with more time to visit other halls as well,” she averred.