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Zero Waste Technology

Zero Waste Technology

Smartex and Ekoten join efforts to eradicate defects in knitted fabrics

Smartex has developed the first and unique automated inspection system for circular knitting machines.

The system is based on Artificial Intelligence and allows the detection of defects during the knitting stage, avoiding textile waste due to defective production that commonly goes unnoticed until the dyeing stage resulting in a massive waste of resources.

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“After several years of development, some of them spent between ​Shenzen, China ​and San Francisco, Califórnia,​ we decided to establish our main operations in Europe. Turkey is our biggest market nearby” – says Gilberto Loureiro, co founder and CEO of Smartex.

Driven by innovation and sustainability Ekoten has taken one step further acquiring the ​Smartex V1 System to support its production team guaranteeing ​100% inspection and ​100% traceability to their customers.

“The scale of our business means we can make an important contribution to sustainable development in Turkey and internationally. We know that the Smartex System will help us on the way to a sustainable future. For us it is very important to monitor our production as well as to avoid fabric waste, and Smartex definitely addresses these to issues” – says

Based on clients data, in terms of raw materials, the savings related to Smartex V1 System interventions are on average 10 rolls per month per machine. ​The Smartex camera system is the first and unique for Circular Knitting Machines that guarantee 100% inspection and the reduction of defective production to close to ~0%.

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This system detects defects such as: Elastane (such as lycra) lines/ dashes, Oil spots / lines, Holes (multiple sizes, up to sub millimeters), Thick yarn / Thin yarn (continuous or discontinuous).

It also provides a platform for online quality control with Digital Roll Quality Reports and Roll Defect Coordinates Map. This platform allows the factories to share digital versions of the fabric rolls with their clients and see real-time machines performance; Smartex has been making its way experiencing strong market traction during 2020 in different countries. The current V1 version has sold since last fall more than 30 devices successfully installed and working and hundreds of pre-sold ones.

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“This comes as a result of bringing to the market a solution for an hidden problem within the textile industry.The lack of quality and traceability that results in huge amounts of textile waste. Every textile factory has been pushed to shift from conventional production to a more sustainable one. What does this mean? For a long time just using recycled raw materials was enough. Nowadays the industry understands that optimizing production processes is the only way to get there and here, technological companies like Smartex play such an important role.” – says Ana Tavares, Head of Communication & Partnerships at Smartex.

Smartex V1 System was officially launched in the market in the fall of 2020 with improvements and novelties compared to its previous version. Detection improvement, the possibility to work with limited bandwidth and the online platform that allows production monitoring are some of the most significant features of the current version.

“Our current clients recognize the benefit within a few weeks after the installation. This is what makes us confident for 2021 to be an expressive year in terms of sales, both in the markets that we are already present, such as Portugal, Italy and Turkey and also in new markets.” – says Rui Pereira, Head of Business Development at Smartex.

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Smartex is leading the way in reducing the circular knitting textiles defective production to close to 0%. Using cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence technology, Machine Learning and Computer Vision, Smartex is able to detect defects and intervene during the production stage avoiding the defective production to go unnoticed through the supply chain resulting in a waste of resources and high costs. Smartex attracted some of the most significant capital funds in the world, focusing on industrial technologies such as Momenta Partners, DCVC, Spider Capital, SOSV, and also from the Fashion Industry such as Fashion for Good, a global initiative supported by C&A, adidas, Kering Group, PVH, Stella McCartney, Target, Zalando and others.

Ekoten Fabrics, part of the Sun Tekstil Group since the year 2000, produces next generation fabrics for the world’s leading brands. Driven by innovation and sustainability, Ekoten constantly adapts to the newest methods and high technology at all production processes. Improving through innovation, following up on all global trends and technological developments Ekoten Fabrics ensures its place in the sector with more than 200 Circular Knitting Machines, offering necessary production and management flexibility.

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