Individualization, automation and digitalization: micro-factories are the way forward for the future of clothing production

Michael Jänecke – Director Brand Management Technical Textiles and Textile Processing at Messe Frankfurt – said that microfactories, based on networked and integrated procedures, represent the progressive way of making textile processing quicker, more flexible and (because it is more local) also more sustainable; whilst, at the same time, producing personalized products.

In a total of four micro-factories launched by Messe Frankfurt, visitors will be able to get an idea of how integrated textile processing works and where micro-factories are already being used. One of those contemporary show highlights to be the “Smart Textiles Micro-Factory” (walkway between Halls 4.1 and 5.1 of Frankfurt fairground) ITA – Institute for Textile Technology at the RWTH Aachen University, together with partners from industry and research, will be producing a smart pillow which, with the application of integrated LEDs, provides a platform for all new ways of interaction. With this demonstration, the partners in the project will present an exemplary, fully connected manufacturing process for a smart textile from design to finished product.

The Smart Textiles Micro-Factory will represent a double premiere: the operational implementation of an on-demand integrated manufacturing process and a smart, conductive sewn end-product. Under the leadership of a team of dedicated engineers for the various technologies, and along the principals of agile project management, the following partners are now developing concept and implementation for the ambitious Microfactory application: Gerber Technology, KITECH – Korea Institute for Industrial Technology, VETRON TYPICAL Europe GmbH (sewing), Wear it GmbH, ZSK Stickmaschinen.