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Texprocess Preview: Custom Thread Tech, Micro-Factories and More

Texprocess showcases the cutting-edge of textile and flexible materials technology, but this year the show’s focus homes in on one trend that’s taking over the industry: micro-factories. Five micro-factories will be present at this year’s Texprocess, and partners will actually set up and demonstrate three live production chains in the exhibit hall for attendees to study. The rest of the exhibition dives deep into what makes those production lines possible on a broad scale. Major themes for this year’s show include customization, automation and digitization, and the complex web of technical processes that have made yesterday’s dreams of micro-batch custom apparel accessible in the near future.

Gerber technology will play a major role in the Smart Textiles Micro-Factory exhibit, and will also debut a new partnership collection with Stephanie London, the Waldrip Collection by Gerber. Every piece of the capsule was designed and produced using Gerber’s technology, including a unique digital print workflow and integrated, small-batch production workflows. The combination allows Gerber to demonstrate its solution’s end-to-end flexibility, and how London was able to quickly make changes to meet trends and scale to meet the needs of her partners.

Coloreel will be demonstrating the award-winning digital thread coloring technology that made headlines last year and spells major change for apparel companies that utilize industrial embroidery. Now, apparel executives who have been reading about the tool will be able to see it in use. The current iteration of Coloreel’s on-demand thread coloring unit works with any existing industrial embroidery machine. According to the company, there are no limitations to the range of colors that can be used in the device, which won the 2017 innovation award at the trade show. Attendees will get to take a look inside the unit at Texprocess to see just how that magic happens.

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“All who will visit our stand will understand why Coloreel is the future of embroidery,” said Magnus Hellström, vice president of sales and marketing at Coloreel. Hellström also said the company is eager to show the Coloreel unit to an international audience and provide an extensive demonstration that will answer any lingering questions about the tool’s efficacy.

This year’s Texprocess also features a few “supergroups” of apparel tech companies teaming up to bring the future of fashion into the physical realm with immersive demos. Six companies specializing in CAD, automatic body measurement and cutting (including Browzwear, Fision and Grafis) will come together to host a joint demonstration, focused on customization through virtual tools. The presentation, titled “The World of Digital Fashion,” will showcase the companies’ latest versions, but also illustrate the integration and workflow possibilities of combining the tools. In addition, Lenzing, Santoni and Procalçado will also team up for a display called “The Future of Eco-Conscious Footwear Manufacturing.” This demonstration, billed as an “innovation roadshow,” highlights the reality of sustainable shoe manufacturing and includes a panel discussion on the commercial viability of various textile innovations.

Visitors meeting with CGS will be able to see the company’s BlueCherry Shop Floor control solution first-hand, a tool that Paul Magel, president of CGS applications and technology outsourcing, says is in high demand. BlueCherry enables shop floor managers to proactively adjust production by creating real-time analytics reports and automating productivity adjustments. Demonstrating the human factor, and the way their new technology can help decision-making, is vital to CGS, said Magel. “The technology is rapidly changing, and management is getting more accustomed to implementing that technology,” Magel explained. “However, the velocity of technology advances is far outpacing the integration.”

In other words, Texprocess will be filled with vendors not just showcasing the best of their tech this year—but also how to handle it.