In order to cater to growing demand of consumers in the shortest possible time and least cost, several companies have collaborated to produce a Microfactory. The project is slated to be a step in the direction of Industry 4.0 which will be fully digitised. Alexander Artschwager of the DITF Denkendorf, Microfactory project coordinator, reveals with Microfactory for the apparel industry, one can demonstrate a fully networked, integrated production chain from design through to the finished product. This consistent digital process is a particularly important milestone for the fashion industry on its way to Industry 4.0. The technology approach of Microfactory combines 3D simulation of apparel directly with the production, pointing the way to the future of apparel manufacturing. The Microfactory saves time, because it brings together individual production steps into one place and reduces material consumption. The quality of the design is increased, especially in the case of complex products and fabric designs, and it also opens the door to customer-oriented production.
Reducing cost effectively
Interfaces now exist between the products of 11 companies. The concept passed its practical test impressively at the Texprocess and the Munich Fabric Start and was a real attraction for visitors at both trade fairs. Andreas Seidl, CEO, Human Solutions Group, stated in Munich, the consortium reflected it’s possible to produce an individualised shirt in less than four hours. The Group’s subsidiary Assyst enables the entry into the digital process with its 3D simulation software Vidya. Production starts with an individual design. The customer designs his shirt, can examine it from all sides and alter it if necessary before the production process begins. Now it’s the turn of the Color Management of Caddon for the next step. The company has developed a bridge that closes the gap between design and production. The technology of the specialist colour and printing company captures colour samples of fabrics multi-spectrally, so that the metrological proof and the visually-correct colour display form an inseparable unit that cannot be manipulated. The 3D simulation and the 2D textile printing, which is achieved a little later, have exactly the same visual appearance. At the trade fairs, the designs were optimally positioned on the fabric with the ErgoSoft RIP V15, screened in true colour and printed on polyester and cotton. Cutting was carried out using a camera-supported process, followed by immediate sewing or welding.