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Robots to sandblast jeans
Sep '11
A new technique has been evolved, which completely shields the denim workers involved in sandblasting of jeans against silicosis, a lung disease that the denim workers often fall prey to.

Izmir based Turkish technology firm VAV Technology Company, has for the first time evolved a robotic sandblasting technique, which is the only of its kind in the world. This has placed the firm on a technologically higher level as compared to other companies in the sector.

The firm's robots, priced in the range of € 150,000 to 200,000, are exported to various nations, and to India and Italy, in particular. During the last one year itself, the firm exported products worth € 10 million.

The technique of sandblasting with a spray gun was banned after death of several sandblasting denim workers due to silicosis and also tales of others who fell fatally ill. This formed the basis of several agitations and resulted in public stir across the nation, drawing media attention.

Responding to the ban on the use of sandblasting technique, the denim industry started adopting alternative techniques like use of potassium permanganate, laser system and sandpapering by hand.

While sandpapering is a lengthy process, the use of potassium permanganate too exposed the workers to several chemical substances with potential health risks.

On the other hand, laser techniques, in spite of being too expensive, fall short to generate that natural look which can only be achieved through manual techniques.

Hence, without human hand it was just not possible to create the effects, transitions and different marks during the sandblasting technique. In order to counter this difficulty, the Turkish firm enabled robots to reproduce the human hand, in view of such a demand from denim manufacturers.

This way, it became possible for the firm to make a group of robots that are able to imitate the process carried out by workers manually with chemical substance loaded spray guns to reproduce the product with same features as if it were produced by human hands.

The inventors of this robot tagged it as “Picasso”, due to its ability to make paintings similar to made by a living person.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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