The question of the decade is “Will automation and machines take over the world? Scientists have been debating for a couple of decades now that machines are actually good for the people. To replace the mundane, boring, and monotonous tasks done by humans on a daily basis. There is also corporate greed to increase their profitability by removing error prone humans from the equation.
Speculations aside, we are now in a technological era in which the manufacturing sector is seeing high automations. In this article we are going to discuss automations in apparel and manufacturing industry in detail.
Automation in the textile industry
Automation in the apparel industry has come as a solution to beat the competition. To be in market before its competition. Mechanization and automation also increases the production capacity and reduce costs. It also allows increasing the output of the manufacturer without compromising on the quality.
Some benefits of automation in textile industry are:
- Flexibility to produce any quantity of items
- Quality that beats the market standard
- Reduced inventory due to smooth operations
- Efficient production cycle
- Shorter lead time
- Global competitiveness
CAD stands for Computer Aided Design. It allows the manufacturer to create the designs using a computer. It allows them to visualize the final product even before the product is manufactured. In the apparel industry CAD is extensively used for producing such mock up designs. They are useful for:
- Pattern making
- Virtual test fitting
- Pattern grading
- Marker making
Fabrics mostly comes in a roll form to a manufacturer for the production purpose. The process of unwinding the fabric is called as spreading. Each layer of fabric needs to be carefully kept one on top of the other to further cut them into pieces. An automated spreading machine helps to avoid bottlenecks and leyer these fabrics at a much faster pace.
Cutting Software and Hardware
A software is used to design patterns to be cut out from the layered fabric. For the cutting process, an automated cutting machine is used. Different types of technologies are used for cutting:
- Straight knife cutting
- Band knife cutting
- Computer controlled automatic cutting machines
Various other types of cutting machines are now available today in the market based on the fabric that are being used.
Automatic Sewing Machines
Sewing machines are responsible for constructing the garment by stitching the pieces cut out from the fabric. First introduced in the 19th century, sewing machines has evolved to suit the modern day manufacturing requirements. Now garment sewing is just at the fingertips. With automated sewing machines below tasks can be done in a fast pace:
- Single needle lock stitch
- Double needle lock stitch
- Button stitch
- Buttonhole machine
Vapour Press and Automatic folding machine
Once an apparel is stitched, it will take ironing to make it crisp and polished. This process is daunting and time consuming process. Ironing each individual pice of apparel will take a huge amount time. In order to avoid this scenario, a vapor steam press is used. A vapor press provides wrinkle free and super crisp dress. The key element here is steam. Large quantities of apparels are sealed in a formaldehyde gases in a sealed reaction chamber.
Each apparels then needs to be folded and packaged to sent out to clients. An automated folding machines helps the manufacturer do this process without or with minimal human effort. These machines can be designed to fold various apparels in its desired manner. A human would take around 30 – 35 seconds to fold a t shirt. Whereas an automated folding machine would only take 8 seconds. This increases the productivity of the facility by 4X.
Apparel and the textile industry will benefit tremendously from the automations and mechanization of its products. From spreading to packing the goods, it will help the manufacturer increase their output and improve profitability.
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