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Director Textile Engineering Group, ATE Group
What new technologies and innovations can be expected for machines used in the apparel industry, and with sustainability as a given?
The garment industry in India has been suffering for decades due to wrong government policies of encouraging small sector manufacturing rather than building bigger capacities. Due to this, India has missed the bus while China has taken a big lead; even Bangladesh and Vietnam have run forward faster now. The need of this industry is automation and bigger set-ups. The technologies are available, but the sector is highly labour-intensive. With the new government encouraging investments in the garment sector, newer technologies and automation will soon become the order of the day. The skill enhancement and training is also vital in this sector for improving quality and productivity, and have a sustainable advantage. New technologies that can be expected to find acceptance would be automatic cutting and spreading, automatic transportation of material, laser finishing, washing machines with lower liquor ratios thus reducing water consumption.
How have Indian manufacturers received systems integrated with IoT? To what extent does this technology persist within the Indian textile industry when compared to geographies like China, Vietnam and Bangladesh?
Compared to the other industries in India, the acceptance of IoT is much slower in the textile industry; the reason being that the industry still follows conventional processes of production and monitoring. However, with the new generations entering the industry, who are much more open to new ideas and new technologies, this will change. I am sure that shortly the industry will recognise the need of using IoT for better monitoring of the production and other processes and also big data analytics will be the next thing to come into the industry. One of our group companies- EcoAxis-is already in this fast expanding business, and we have started offering remote monitoring solutions to the textiles industry.
That robotics will revolutionise manufacturing is the latest buzz. What are your thoughts on this?
Certainly robotics is the future of manufacturing. However, for an industry like textiles, it might take some time to get robotics introduced on a big scale. Automation has been fast picking up over the last couple of years. Looking at the increasing costs of labour as well as availability issues in India, there is a huge scope for automation in our industry. In what kind of machines are Indian garment manufacturers investing more? The garment industry is investing more in cutting room automation, laser finishing, special garment washing machines, as well as special garment finishing equipment.
Which latest machines in garment manufacturing have high demand in India?
Automation in garment making, finishing for jeans, garment washing and laser finishing are the machines in more demand especially those which come with the latest technologies. Different washing and finishing techniques are fast adopted by Indian garment makers.
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