With an aim to use ‘Intelligent Manufacturing’ with ‘Industry 4.0’ concept, Suzhou-based Chinese garment manufacturer, Tianyuan Garments Co. Ltd., has sewn a deal with US’ SoftWear Automation to install 21 entirely automated production lines for T-shirt manufacturing.
The installation would be done at Tianyuan’s new plant in Arkansas, USA and the lines are expected to become fully operational by the end of 2018.
In October 2016, Tianyuan Garments announced to invest US $ 20 million in its new plant in Arkansas. The plant is supposed to create 400 jobs in the region. The signed deal between the US technology provider and the Chinese firm will reflect the same investment since Tianyuan will use Sewbots of SoftWear Automation in its new automated lines. These lines are expected to produce more than 90 per cent of the T-shirts for Adidas, its major buyer.
The automated production lines will use cameras and sensors to plot the fabric, and Sewbots will guide the fabric through sewing needles in order to sew as per the fed programme. The cycle is designed to keep repeating itself for larger runs of production.
Automating the whole process, Tianyuan reports that right from cutting and stitching to finished garments, the throughput time currently is nearly 4 minutes. Once operational, the lines will take only 22 seconds to manufacture one T-shirt. “From 2018 onwards, the company will produce more than 800,000 quantity of T-shirts per day for its major buyer, Adidas,” claims Tianyuan.
The company would drastically bring down its personnel cost of production through the new automated lines as each T-shirt will cost Tianyuan around 33 cents.
Tang Xinhong, Chairman, Tianyuan Garments, commented, “Around the world, even the cheapest labour market can’t compete with us. I am really excited about this.”