Research & Development


Advantages of Industry 4.0 and increased productivity in circular knitting machines

Lecturers at MCPC 2017 (from left to right: Prof. Dr. Thomas Gries, ITA; Daniel Bücher, ITA; Kristina Simonis, ITA), source: InTIME e. V.
Professor Dr Thomas Gries from the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) at RWTH Aachen University was a member of the conference’s Scientific Advisory Board and, together with representatives from Adidas and a New York start-up, held a lecture on "Smart Customization in the Textile Industry". Using the Digital Capability Center in Aachen, Germany, and the SPEEDFACTORY as examples, he presented the possibilities of Industrie 4.0 in the field of textile technology.

With the DCC, the ITA illustrates the possibilities of digital assistance systems in order to develop customer-specific benefits for textile and non-textile industrial partners in workshops. The SPEEDFACTORY symbolises a step into the future of textile production and shows the development of new decentralised production concepts in Europe. At SPEEDFACTORY, shoes are manufactured in a customer-specific and automated process, making this concept an alternative to traditional textile production in Southeast Asia.

Daniel Bücher, ITA, on "Individual On Demand Produced Clothing", gave another lecture focusing on Industry 4.0. He discussed the possibilities of Industry 4.0 to solve the problems of the previously fragmented production chain and to face up to conventional production in Asia. The STOREFACTORY concept shows how sports sweaters manufactured in a retail store can be produced close to the customer, on demand and economically.

Kristina Simonis, ITA, concluded the conference with her presentation "Business Model Development Regarding Mass Customization Aspects Based on the New 3D Large Circular Knitting Technology" on a new technology that allows 3D structures to be produced on circular knitting machines instead of flat knitting machines as before. This increases productivity enormously and opens the doors to new business models.

The Mass Customization & Personalization Conference is an international conference with changing locations. It took place for the first time in Hong Kong in 2001 and now for the ninth time, in Aachen, Germany, in 2017. Scientists from all over the world contribute annually to the conference with scientific articles, keynotes and discussions and introduce new customization technology. All scientific papers submitted for the conference will be published in the first quarter of 2018.

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