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Sewbots- a disruption in waiting for the fashion industry

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"Sewbots" — or automated sewing machines — could drastically reduce the need for human garment workers. But, is the apparel industry ready for it? Check out industry expert Heera Kumar’s post on sewbots in the fashion industry.

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Sewbots- a disruption in waiting for the fashion industry

  1. 1. 1. Automation 2. Cost Reduction 3. Technology WHY SEWBOTS?
  2. 2. • Automation — or the creation of technology systems that eliminate the need for humans to perform certain tasks — is set to transform the global economy. • The industry that is most likely to be affected includes manufacturing and retail. It’s no surprise, then, that fashion is destined to be irrevocably reshaped by automation. AUTOMATION
  3. 3. • Apparel production, especially for fast fashion, requires expensive machinery and timely delivery at a very low price. • With such challenging margins, companies are forced to seek out the lowest wages possible and are unlikely to invest in new technology. • Even China is racing to keep up with increasing outsourcing to Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia due to the rising cost of labour. COST REDUCTION: IMPORTANCE
  4. 4. • The apparel manufacturers are faced with the challenges of designing fashionable garments with multiple styles in short runs, managing stock levels, improving delivery speeds, achieving flexibility and versatility and ensuring consistent quality. • They also have to produce clothing cost effectively for a market which is supplied largely from countries with very low wage rates. • Most of the works in industries are carried manually but to sharpen the competitive edge the industry must necessarily invest in automation to meet the global standards. • At a certain point, the hunt for cheaper and cheaper labor must come to an end. COST REDUCTION: IMPORTANCE
  5. 5. • Technology is the only way out. • There are many benefits of using automation such as energy saving, less spare parts, less maintenance cost, less space requirement in the production line, reduced handling, better WIP control, easy production accountability, reduced alteration etc. • Development that was once overseen by in-house teams with an advanced knowledge of production processes now is performed a world away and managed by contract manufacturers who often place high piece minimums on orders and modify designs to streamline production. • This new paradigm restrains brand creativity and has created a situation where one misstep in trend forecasting can result in millions of dollars lost in inventory. TECHNOLOGY
  6. 6. • "Sewbots" — or automated sewing machines — could drastically reduce the need for human garment workers. • The “sew bots,” or sewing robots, reduce production costs, increase quality, cut lead times and allow brands to take back control of their manufacturing process. In Sew bots, there is a capability to change how apparel is made. SEWBOTS
  7. 7. • Sew bots may be the answer to hunt for swarm of cheaper labors and delivery of better quality more efficiently than humans. • Benefits to automation include more reliability, fewer variations in stitch quality. When it goes in the production environment, it will be at the same speed as a human sewer. • Unlike a human sewer, however, robots do not need breaks and are rarely subject to error. That is what Sew bot can do for the apparel assembly. BENEFITS
  8. 8. • It will be a very long time, if ever, before things are 100% automated. • Fabric production, garment dyeing, and finishing are already highly automated as compared to the garment manufacturing process. • There is still human labor involved, “but they’re able to leverage machines to achieve incredible productivity, to the point where the labor cost to manufacture a yard of fabric is usually at a minimum.” NEED OF MACHINERY
  9. 9. • Innovators are working diligently to increase its machines’ capabilities around the wide array of fabric types and operations that go into producing stock keeping units for manufacturers in home goods, automotive textiles, apparel, and footwear markets. • As with any new technology, automation in sewing still has some hurdles to overcome before robots fully replace seamstresses. The future won’t be entirely run by robots— people are still a necessary component—but factory production can be far more fruitful. NEED OF MACHINERY
  10. 10. • But there is another side to this whole lot of automation in the industry. Robotic automation might be the answer to a lot of things. People also feel that automation will eliminate the deplorable conditions of the garment workers in poor countries. • But, what is the alternative for the workers who support their entire families and will be laid off the jobs because of this automation? ROBOTIC AUTOMATION
  11. 11. So, the bottom-line question that needs to be answered is whether a few robots will exempt the suffering that unemployment will bring to these workers? Should an attempt be made to equip the hunger and homelessness that might follow the closing of the factories? Maybe it’s time to think not just about automation and the cheaper clothing that will follow, but also about the major garment force that will lose its source of income. Maybe it’s time for some compassion towards the workforce. It is the one thing the robots can’t manufacture. ARE WE IGNORING SOMETHING?
  12. 12. • Fenigsohn, G (2016, August 17th) The Sewbots Are Coming… https://thetechnoskeptic.com/sewbots/ • Kansara, V (2017, May 16th) The Sewbots Are Coming! https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/fashion- tech/the-sewbots-are-coming REFERENCES
  13. 13. For an elaborate insight on the topic, visit www.stitchdiary.com

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