Italian jeans automation pioneer Vibemac has always demonstrated value innovation as a part of the growth strategy. Having spent four decades in developing breakthrough jeans manufacturing automation, the company knows the well-developed markets inside out and is working accordingly to expand its reach in emerging markets now. The recent garment technology exhibition Texprocess in Germany yet again proved to be a strong platform for Vibemac where it garnered massive response from the visitors who flew in from regions such as Europe, Middle East, South America, South-East Asia and Africa. “It was quite a busy event for us as we saw some serious visitation from our existing markets as well as from the markets which seem promising to us,” informed Giovanni Menegalli, Regional Sales Manager, South East Asia, Vibemac during Texprocess ’19.
The main highlights were the seminars held twice a day to present the latest in cutting edge technology for five pocket jeans automation. Demonstrations were given for new solutions such as the V800.1 (Automatic side seam serging unit), V250 (Fully automatic pocket setter), V261 (Automatic feed of the arm unit) and V300 (Automatic continuous waistband unit). Apart from these seminars, Vibemac introduced the upgraded loading station for the back pocket hemmers units. The units, like the V700LDR, can now be equipped with an automatic feeding station which consists of four loading docks. A specialised loading device can transfer the pockets to the transport belt through a robotic arm. And, once the pockets are hemmed, an un-loader automatically stacks the pockets, in order, on the storage disk at the end of the transport belt.
At Vibemac’s booth was also present a ‘secret room’, for which the access was granted only to VIP customers. Inside it, Vibemac displayed the most important innovation of the company, the first feed of the arm unit, 100 per cent Made in Vibemac. This unit is made in special edition with blue and yellow colour details, to celebrate Verona, the hometown of Vibemac with the colours of its own flag. Its key characteristics are highest speed in the world, differential feed dog, innovative hybrid oil system and much more.
“Smart design allows one operator to handle 4 or 5 machines simultaneously,” stated Alberto Guerreschi, CEO, Vibemac adding that Vibemac never asks its existing buyers to invest in whole new technology as its team is efficient and trained enough to upgrade the old machines according to the product that manufacturers are making. Retrofittable upgrades are a key concept at the heart of all innovations which are rolled out. The premise is to offer the customer a possibility of upgrading technology in the machines which are already on their factory floor. “The upgrade is what we did in our creasing ability as well, for the pocket setters. Older customers can now retrofit the new fully automatic creasing stations on the machines they have bought over the last few years. What is most interesting is the fully automatic pocket setter’s ability to maintain a very low internal allowance on the pocket inside folding. This ability sets the new Vibemac solution apart from all others,” asserted Alberto.
However, Vibemac still believes that automation should work in collaboration with human assistance, especially unskilled operators. In this era of cost competitiveness, the apparel manufacturers are seeing squeezed price margins from the buyers and the only way to stay competitive in this situation is to choose the right partner, one with the ability to offer sustainable advantages such as deskilling of production while maintaining high levels of productivity and efficiency. “Skilled workforce is not easy to come by anymore. Moreover, it is not easy to make the skilled workforce adapt to the changing requirements of the dynamic production. Therefore, we are assisting our customers with not just machines but complete solution through our Jeanstech Consultancy. We are partnering with schools in countries like Ethiopia and Brazil to work at all levels in the chain, starting from the operators to designers,” said Hussam Char, Office Manager, Vibemac Middle East.
Another area of focus for Vibemac is to assist small and mid-sized producers, who are facing the challenges of more variety-shorter production runs, by providing a very flexible work environment. Reduced changeover times, flexible options and retrofittable solutions are just some of the advantages we have equipped our customers with. The margins for producers are decreasing globally owing to the intense competition. In this hyper-competitive environment, long-term advantages are the only way for an organisation to be sustainable in terms of growth and achieve targets to reach their vision. “We need to find a suitable way to keep the business sustainable. Our technology is not just giving the best of quality and productivity but helping apparel makers in reducing fabric and thread consumption as well and this way the manufacturers are saving cost of fabric which constitutes around 70 per cent cost of a garment,” explained Giovanni.
For a company like Vibemac which is consistently involved in innovating its machines, the need for more skilled people within its machine manufacturing unit becomes even more intense. Sensing this need, Vibemac is constantly expanding resources to improve customer service and stay ahead of the curve by developing cutting edge solutions with a very strong R&D team. At the same time, the production capacity is being enhanced as the facility in Verona is revamping to keep up with the ever-increasing demand. Of course, there is a premium for the relentless development that goes into making these solutions stay ahead of the curve but it is a justified premium as our customers agree.
Giovanni opined that it’s all about those apparel manufacturers who are ready to grow their companies with improved ROI. “For those who are not convinced, I ask them that when they go to the doctor, do they go to the cheapest one or do they choose the best one? Similarly, when they are making investment for their company, would they spend money on something which would not work in long-term or they want to be sure that they get the perfect stability, quality and performance even after years? There is high risk factor in cheap machines. So, Vibemac is aggressively working on to explain its customers the importance of ROI and reliable suppliers in the long-term,” concluded Giovanni.