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Web Exclusive | January 2019

Texprocess to focus on micro-factories for clothing

Texprocess 2019 is set to focus on individualisation, automation, and digitalisation with micro-factories for the future of clothing production. The trade fair for processing textiles and flexible materials will be held from May 14-17, 2019, at Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Micro-factories are based on networked and integrated procedures of textile processing.

In a total of four micro-factories at the up-coming Texprocess, trade visitors will be able to get an idea of how integrated textile processing works and where micro-factories are already being used, according to a press release.

Texprocess, in collaboration with the German Institutes of Textile and Fibre Research in Denkendorf (Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf – DITF) and partners from industry, will once again be presenting a ‘Digital Textile Micro-Factory’ display - and thus fully networked production chains - live in hall 4.1. The ‘Digital Textile Micro-Factory’ will showcase three production lines – one for apparel manufacture, one for 3D-knitted shoes and one for processing technical textiles, largely for the motor-vehicle and furniture industries.

The fashion industry plays a central role in the ‘Digital Textile Micro-Factory’. The customer’s digital doppelganger is becoming more and more important in development departments in the apparel industry as the starting point for individualised and perfectly fitting clothes and for links with finishing departments. In the context of the micro-factory’s production line, it is the key feature.

The production line demonstrates the various stages involved, including CAD/Design, printing, cutting out, assembly, finishing, and labelling. New approaches also combine 3D simulations of clothing with direct data transfer in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Instead of presenting the customer with physical examples of the clothing to be produced, the examples are visualised as virtual objects. And during the production process, the customer has the opportunity for direct input into the design of the product in question. This direct interaction between the 3D simulation of an item, the representation in VR/AR displayed on the customer’s own hardware, and the direct impact on the production process has never been shown before in this way.

The Digital Textile Micro-Factory at Texprocess and Techtextil show a workflow, which enables 3D-knitted uppers for shoes to be produced directly from the customer’s own particular foot measurements.

The 3D-knitting Line of the micro-factory demonstrates the process from the 3D model to the creation of a geometrically accurate knitting pattern by the software, based on the 3D data set, and the development of a specification of the final knitting data, through to the manufacture of a 3D-knitted prototype. Knitting is the additive manufacturing process for textiles. The ‘3D-knitting Line’ is partnered by Stoll.
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