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03.5.2018

WirtschaftsWoche: From Levi’s to Adidas – Robots Conquer the Textile Industry

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WirtschaftsWoche: From Levi’s to Adidas – Robots Conquer the Textile Industry

This excerpt is translated from the article’s original German text.

Levi’s lets his jeans age from robots. Automation reaches the fashion world and upsets the entire industry.

[…]

Automation reaches textile manufacturers. Historically, the textile industry was one of the first industrialized by weaving frames. But until today, the world of clothes, pants and shirts is still dependent on human handiwork when sewing and at the last finesse. The sewing machines are electric. But so far people still have to lead the substances properly. Now, robots are starting to revolutionize the entire supply chain.

If you no longer need so many people, you can also relocate the production back to the USA – or to other industrialized countries. Levi’s will laser-age his jeans in America in the future as well. Chinese clothing maker Tinyan Garments plans to produce T-shirts for Adidas in Little Rock, Arkansas.

This is possible with the machines from Softwear Automation – a US company from Atlanta that specializes in sewing robots. The Japanese Yuho Sewing Machine Co also automates the time-consuming and labor-intensive sewing process.

Automated production in the USA also has another advantage: the products arrive at the customer faster. In times when a particular item of clothing is a hit in a day, because an influencer presents it on Instagram, but is forgotten a few months later, speed is a deciding factor.

[…]

For the low-wage countries like Cambodia or Vietnam, the result is probably less pleasing. According to the International Labor Organization, more than 43 million people are employed in the textile industry in Asian developing countries alone. Your jobs could be threatened.

Despite all the fears, there will probably still be areas in the distant future where robots can not replace humans. Or as the head of sewing robot specialist Softwear Automation Palaniswamy Rajan puts it, “We’ll never sew a wedding dress”.

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Read the full article here.

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