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Special Apps' & DTG tech to revolutionize Camo/Combat uniforms
Jun '11
IMI 1st Digital Manufacturing Conference CamoScience the Special Operations Apps' smart-device breakthrough and new Direct-to-Garment printing technology, the major focus at this week's 1st Digital Manufacturing Conference, may herald a revolution in military camouflage uniforms, according to K. Dominic Cincotti, president of MW Research and Development, Inc., and the creator of Photo-Stealth. The conference opened July 22 and on July 24 concludes at the Marriott Hollywood Beach.

"In a matter of days using new technologies and military intelligence already in hand for mission planning precision camouflage uniforms for special operations and other combat/military units can now be created," Cincotti said, "with site-specific patterns and designs derived from photography of the actual operating environment gathered by satellites, drones, or the CamoScience app itself."

"The best camo is the most specific camo," Cincotti said.

"CamoScience, the photo application that turns site-specific photography into Photographic Camouflage patterns and designs, can now be coupled with advances in Direct-to-Garment printing delivering uniforms at lower costs, in radically faster production runs, with the ability to execute and produce mission-specific uniforms in a fraction of previous production time," Cincotti said. Much of the discussion at the 1st Digital Manufacturing Conference revolved around these new capabilities.

Dr. Alan L. Hudd, managing director of the British Direct-to-Garment innovation firm Xennia Technology, addressed the conference on "Building manufacturing processes and products drop by drop." Dr. Hudd outlined the inkjet proposition as a manufacturing technique and creating new products through a technology push and market pull. Dr. Hudd's speech also described technology requirements and complexities, and discussed inkjet and new functional materials as part of the developing application processes.

Mark Hanley, president of I.T. Strategies in Hanover, Mass., spoke on the prospects for inkjet technology's success in digital manufacturing, how worldwide digitization drives digital manufacturing, and the relative strengths of the inkjet process.

"We are seeing the advent of just-in-time camouflage, using completely digital processes," Cincotti said, "that includes customization to specific areas of operation, no material waste, and a tremendous savings on labor and resources. We no longer need to stockpile millions of uniforms with a generalized, ineffective camo pattern because we are unsure of where the next threat will emerge.

"We can create uniforms on-demand for the precise environment," he said, "and adjust production runs accordingly. The very same digital intelligence and GEOINT the military gathers for mission planning can and should serve as the basis for the camouflage design of vehicles and uniforms to truly blend in."

Cincotti noted that the operation against Osama bin Laden, and others like it, are the kind of SOF missions that would benefit from the Photo-Stealth camo and the CamoScience app. "Just as they used GEOINT to create a replica of the bin Laden compound, so too can we create uniforms and vehicles camouflage-specific to that micro-environment, using the same type of intelligence" he said. "And now we can produce the uniforms with Direct-to-Garment printing faster than they can make the site mock-ups."

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