Digitalisation comes to the textile and fashion industry

“With the internet, we didn’t understand what this development would bring to the world because the changes were so dramatic and tremendous that we were unable to imagine them. I think it is the very same with Industry 4.0.” – Fritz Mayer – President, CEMATEX

Industry 4.0 arises out of the creation of the Internet of Things – the networking of cyber physical systems. Development of these networked cyber physical systems is in its infancy but growth looks set to be rapid and taking the right first steps on the road to digitalisation – the use of digital technologies to change the shape of business, provide new revenue streams and value-producing opportunities – is crucial for businesses looking to remain competitive.
Industry 4.0 is a concept that has captured the imagination of technology strategists across all sectors of industry and commerce. The ‘fourth industrial evolution’ describes an irresistible trend towards higher levels of automation and data exchange in manufacturing, exploiting opportunities offered by IoT and cloud computing. It foresees the age of the ‘smart factory’, where cyber-physical systems monitor the production process from start to finish and make their own decentralised decisions – communicating with each other and with humans in real time and delivering major efficiencies in the value chain.

The impact of Industry 4.0 in the textile industry will stretch from raw materials down to the ‘smart’ consumer, with high levels of customisation and personalisation in the finished product. The most disruptive of technologies will force businesses and supply chains to reinvent themselves and adopt new models in order to survive.

As a result of this, World Textile Information Network is pleased to announce the launch of two new products and an event focused on this area of innovation in the textile industry: IoTex magazine, WTiN Intelligence: Textile 4.0 channel, and the Textile 4.0 conference.

IoTex magazine will provide readers with an insight into the changing textile value chain and the new systems that are available, from supply chain management to the latest in robotics, monitoring key technical developments across the global economy. Pivotal areas will include: smart product development and virtual prototyping; manufacturing automation and vertical integration; smart control and management systems; robotic factory and warehouse systems; machine intelligence and communication; supply chain surveillance and planning; automatic article identification; virtual colour management and approvals; and consumer facing models for customisation and personalisation.

Whether you are a machinery manufacturer looking to promote your new technology for an Industry 4.0 world, or an apparel retailer looking to upgrade your supply chain, IoTex magazine will have something for you. The first issue of the magazine is to be published on April 3, 2017, and will have bonus distribution at INDEX, in Geneva, from 4-7 April, and then at Techtextil and Texprocess, to be held in Frankfurt, Germany, from 9-12 May, 2017.

Building on this, the Textile 4.0 channel is a new service from WTiN Intelligence that is intended to help investors and decision makers in technology, manufacturing and retail to understand how the coming industrial evolution may impact the future of their business. It monitors the key technical and business developments across all sectors of the global economy, analysing their impact and interpreting them in the light of their potential for exploitation in the Textile Industry. The channel will take an in depth look at the impact of digitalisation in industries such as consumer electronics, mining and automotive, and will extrapolate the learning experiences for the textile industry.

The need for better collaboration across the industry as this fourth industrial evolution plays out is crucial. As a result, WTiN is also set to host the first Textile 4.0 Conference this October, to be held from October 25-26, 2017, at the Novotel in Amsterdam City. The conference will bring together key players from the textile, IoT and fashion industries and will look to start a conversation on the future of the textiles and fashion value chain.

WTiN Managing Director, Mark Jarvis commented: “In my view, the opportunities posed by digitalisation and the developments that are currently underway are the most exciting that have been seen in the textile and apparel manufacturing sector for decades. We are seeing phenomenal interest in our magazine, channel and conference, and this is a sign that the industry wants to make the positive changes that are rapidly becoming available to it. At WTiN, we are committed to providing the textile industry with ways to access information that is relevant to them and that enables them to make informed business decisions. With these three new products – IoTex, Textile 4.0, and the conference – we are looking to bring a new area of development to light and enable business to grow in a digital and connected way.”

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