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Adidas Engages Ultra Fast ‘Sewbot’ For Production That Could Mean Major Job Loss
By Yoon Sann Wong, 09 Aug 2017
A new super speedy machine called ‘Sewbot’ could soon be producing shirts for Adidas for faster and cheaper. According to its Atlanta-based creator Softwear Automation, “The machines use a combination of cameras and needles to track the placement of a fabric before sewing the apparel at a reported higher level of accuracy than the human eye.”
Till now, humans with sewing machines have, by and large, accomplished shirt production. News of this technology spells bane for those in textile manufacturing.
Softwear Automation was awarded a $1.25 million DARPA contract in 2012 to develop the technology, which will be used by Chinese company Tianyuan Garments at its Little Rock, Arkansas-based plant.
“From fabric cutting and sewing to finished product, it takes roughly four minutes,” announced Tang Xinhong, chairman of Tianyuan Garments.
“We will install 21 production lines. When fully operational, the system will make one T-shirt every 22 seconds. We will produce 800,000 T-shirts a day for Adidas.”
With full automation, Tang revealed that the personnel cost for each T-shirt would be approximately 33 cents. “Around the world, even the cheapest labor market can’t compete with us. I am really excited about this.”
It seems like Softwear Automation isn’t stopping at just T-shirts. The company released a clip documenting its ‘Sewbot’ prototype automating denim production.
“This prototype is the first of many steps towards fully automating the production of jeans allowing manufacturers to go from cut piece to finished goods completely hands-free.”
Watch the video below.
[via The Next Web, Chinadaily.com.cn, Softwear Automation, and Textile Evolution, video via Softwear Automation Inc, image via Shutterstock]
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