The world’s largest textile and garment technology exhibition, ITMA 2019, is spotlighting smart garment technologies as robots and artificial intelligence are set to revolutionize the industry.
Automation, especially in an integrated textile and garment manufacturing chain, will help address the fashion and clothing industry’s current concerns of short production cycles and sustainable business practices, according to CEMATEX, the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers.
Mr Fritz P. Mayer, President of CEMATEX, which owns the ITMA exhibition, said: “The garment making industry is labor intensive and associated with low productivity. Things are set to change. Recently, there has been much publicity about ‘sewbots’, considered as a major breakthrough in garment automation. Manufacturers fast enough to ride the digital wave will find new opportunities and gain an edge over their competitors.”
Mr Vu Duc Giang, Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), concurred: “The garment industry is very competitive and production cycles are now even shorter. Therefore, we need to think out of the box and leverage on new technologies to help us to be more productive and efficient. Many innovative solutions are being introduced, from processes to materials.”
Mr A.E. Roberts, Managing Director of ITMA Services, organizer of ITMA 2019, elaborated: “The digitization of the fashion industry means that their suppliers will need to seamlessly integrate their design, material supply and production of the finished products. With integrated solutions, garment manufacturers will be able to respond well to fast and flexible production turnarounds, and cut costs by increasing productivity and reducing wastes.”
With greater automation on the cards, industry players are seeing the resurgence of garment manufacturing activities in Europe and other developed economies.
Mr Paulo Vaz, General Director of the Textile and Apparel Association of Portugal (ATP) is upbeat about prospects for Portuguese manufacturers. He said, “We are glad that there is a resurgence of textile and garment making in Europe as this benefits the Portuguese textile and apparel industry. Our manufacturers can be more competitive by improving competencies through branding, innovation and R&D.
“By incorporating technological and creative innovation to differentiate our products, we can expand our markets. As such, it is critical for us to continually evaluate and invest in new technologies. ITMA 2019, which will be held in neighboring Spain, will be an excellent platform for our manufacturers to explore integrated solutions, ranging from textile and garment technologies to fibers, yarns and fabrics.”
Innovative garment technology showcase
To help garment manufacturers exploit technologies that optimise the manufacturing process for productivity gains, ITMA 2019 is expected to feature a wide array of innovative solutions. They range from garment making machinery to other textile processing machinery, auxiliary machinery and accessories, such as:
- Software and systems for product planning, design and related automation technology for garment making
- Equipment for product development
- Machinery for shrinking, fusing, cutting preparation, cutting and related automation technology
- Machinery for sewing, quilting and linking
- Sewing supplies and consumables
- Machinery and equipment for product finishing
- Auxiliary machinery for the garment making industry
“An exhibition such as ITMA 2019, where we can explore all the solutions, from textile to garment making, and even materials, in one location is ideal for our members. We will be organizing a delegation of top garment manufacturers to study the latest trends and source new technologies that we can implement in our factories,” said Mr Giang of VITAS.
Besides a big display of technologies, fibers, yarns and fabrics, ITMA 2019 will be complemented by conferences and meetings that will add value to the visits of garment technology buyers, as well as brands and retailers.
ITMA Services’ Mr Roberts explained: “The global textile and apparel supply chain is expected to see more integration and collaboration, both vertically and horizontally. There is a lot of ongoing dialogues among stakeholders in the fashion, textile and garment industry. ITMA can be a useful focal point for discussions on the entire manufacturing value chain so that concerns can be addressed in an integrated and meaningful way.”
ITMA 2019 will be held from 20 to 26 June at Fira de Barcelona, Gran Via venue. Application for exhibition space has been brisk since booking started in May. Close to 50 per cent of the space has been booked. The exhibition will showcase an integrated textile and garment manufacturing value chain. In addition to machinery, exhibits will also include yarns, fibers and fabrics, and solutions for technical textiles and nonwovens, and garment making.