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Crescent Bahuman Digitizes Denim Manufacturing with ‘Smart Factory 4.0’

Already aspiring to deliver “the greenest ecosystem that denim has ever seen,” Crescent Bahuman Limited is taking other supply chain imperatives head on with the launch of its “Smart Factory 4.0” journey and implementing tracing technology from PaperTale.

The digitization investments come as the denim manufacturer aims to fortify its ongoing sustainability and transparency initiatives with the support of more granular data.

“We realized at the beginning of the pandemic that if we were to be successful in the mid- and long-term, we needed to digitize,” said Zaki Saleemi, vice president of Crescent Bahuman. “The only way to do that was to be able to have a lot of intelligent decision making coming from data.”

The “Smart Factory” update at Crescent Bahuman’s Lahore, Pakistan facility is designed to give on-site managers real-time information on shop floor activity and other vital sustainability-related metrics like water measurements and its energy usage, noted Saleemi in a recent Fireside Chat with Sourcing Journal founder and president Edward Hertzman. The factory is 27 percent through the upgrade.

The “4.0” is reference to the four stages currently structured within the factory digitization plan: get organized; get connected; get insights; and get optimized. According to Saleemi, different areas in the factory sit mostly between the “get insights” and “get connected” phases.

For example, while the sewing floor and utilities department are already in the “get insights” phase, other areas like the laundry and textile departments are still in the “get connected” stage.

“The facility is the same, but the solutions are different,” Saleemi said. “It’s based on the fact that there has to be a single point of truth. The integrated business model has real-time data on metrics like water measurements and our energy footprints, and all of that is soon to be on one dashboard.”

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Beyond the “Smart Factory,” Crescent Bahuman Limited’s implementation of the blockchain-enabled PaperTale will further help the company reach its goal to make 80 percent of its fabric with recycled materials by the end of 2023.

PaperTale’s app tracks all stages of denim production—from the raw material to the finished pair of jeans—with every step of the process registered and verified.

“It’s so consumer friendly,” Saleemi said. “Anyone with a smartphone can scan the NFC tag on a PaperTale product, whether it’s a T-shirt, a dress or a jean, and it shows the entire map of the supply chain—where the cotton came from, where it was manufactured, where it got converted into fabric.”

Saleemi said the product can even tell a consumer which employee stitched their jeans and whether they are paid a fair wage.

As the Pakistan-based denim manufacturer delivers on its digitization initiatives, it also has recently launched two new product collections: the first being A Lighter Touch, which was developed in collaboration with design consultant Miles Johnson.

This collection is designed to revisit the era of rigid denim, Saleemi said, and Crescent Bahuman recommends that this line be washed by hand and dried in the sun.

Saleemi describes the second design, Blue Infinity, as “a new way to color denim warps” with a wide range of shades. “We have a proven set of evidence of environmental stress reduction in this,” Saleemi said. “It offers a low-impact combination of dye application.”

Both designs will be put on display at Kingpins Amsterdam from April 20-21.

Watch the video to learn more about Crescent Bahuman’s new denim collections and digitization efforts.