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FRANKFURT - German manufacturers of sewing and garment technology are looking back on a successful year for enhancing digitisation and automation in the textile processing sector, according to the country’s textile machinery association, the VDMA. It says sales have increased by eight per cent compared to last year, while exports rose by 7 per cent.

This growth path, the VDMA says, means expectations are naturally high for the ongoing Texprocess show in Germany, which runs alongside the Techtextil trade show for technical textiles.

It’s been suggested that the major issue during the course of the show is individualisation. Due to the increased demand for products tailored to customers’ needs, there’s subsequently a growing need for more automated and digitised innovations right across the value chain.

Meanwhile, the association believes the other important trends for this year’s show include developing processing methods in the worlds of digital printing, functional fabrics, smart textiles and sustainability.

“This year more than ever, these advanced topics are becoming more important to not only the fabric makers, but also the machinery and processing suppliers,” said Elgar Straub, managing director of the VDMA’s textile care, fabric and leather technologies sector.

Speaking at the show, which runs up until Friday, he says there is now more of a crossover between the Texprocess and Techtextil “innovation ideologies” - meaning visitors have a better opportunity to experience innovations right across the technical textiles production line.

“Digital is now”

One exhibitor at Texprocess agrees with the VDMA’s sentiments. Human Solutions Group, a textile software supplier for production planning, has adopted the strap line of “digital is now” for the show. The company believes digitisation is no longer a pipe dream.

“More and more textile processing companies are now working digitally or are very close to it,” says Andreas Seidl, CEO of Human. “We’ve set up different rooms that are designed to specifically demonstrate different areas of product development - with a digital design room, a digital production room, and a digital show room.”

“These rooms show how each of our solutions can take the apparel industry forward in various process steps. We’re trying to make it crystal clear how our solutions work seamlessly together to form efficient chains,” he said.

Seidl also sys that the question of how to adopt efficient cost structures with quicker speed-to-market still dominates these companies: “Digitisation is quite clearly the key to success here. This is exciting because each company takes it differently, simply because entry-level options in digitisation are so multifaceted.

Here, he says, is where the biggest challenge lies - with companies wanting to create their own digital strategy.

We’ll have more on this, as well as a full round up of show news and analysis, in our next printed edition of T.EVO.

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