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Adidas China supplier uses sewbots to make T-shirts

Adidas T-shirts will be made using sewbots. This is a major breakthrough in the automation of garment assembly and will enable the production of eight lakh T-shirts a day.

Using cameras to map the fabric and robots to steer it through the sewing needles, the system will handle soft fabrics and make the T-shirts for Adidas on the system which is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of next year.

The technology developed in the US by Atlanta based brand SoftWear Automation, was launched in 2012. It is being used by a Chinese company to supply European sports brand Adidas with T-shirts made in the US by robots. This is a major breakthrough in garment automation. From fabric cutting and sewing to finished product, it takes roughly four minutes. When fully operational, the system will make one T-shirt every 22 seconds.

The sewbots use a combination of patented high-speed computer vision and lightweight robotics to steer fabrics to and through the needle with greater speed and accuracy than a human. With complete automation, the cost for each T-shirt is roughly 33 cents. Around the world, even the cheapest labor market can't compete with this.