Textile Industry 4.0

Textile Industry 4.0 - Textile Sphere

Textile Industry 4.0
Anuja Pradhan
Department of Textile Technology
Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Mumbai, India

With customers bogged down by the escalating fuel prices, petrol touching the fresh highest in five years, there is a resource of an equal value, that hasn’t gotten its importance postulated in the minds of the customers - Data. Considering technology to be a ship, data can be regarded as the cockpit, the ultimate driving force! With the advent of automation and digitalisation, the efficient use of data becomes necessary for the progress and functioning of any industry. The Fourth Industrial Revolution provides a whole new dimension to the way of communication, interaction, learning, working and the effective use of important resources like data.
Considering the Textile Industry 4.0, it represents a leap forward from traditional automation to a more flexible system in order to learn and adapt to new demands. It pushes the global manufacturers to a new level of optimization and productivity. The customers also have the advantage of obtaining customized personal quality products that were previously unavailable. Industry 4.0 can be primarily stated as an approach to merge the latest advancements in technology with industries with a view to entirely automate the process of production.
“We must live in this world in order always to learn industriously and to enlighten each other by means of discussion and to strive vigorously to promote science and technology.”
-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Dimensional Transformation from Industry 1.0 to Industry 4.0 in a nutshell:
  • The Pioneer Industrial Revolution dates back to the 19th Century with the factory production in Europe. It saw the change from manual production to the use of steam driven engines and the use of water as a source of power. The Textile Industry benefited from this greatly.
  • The Second Industrial Revolution marked its onset in the period between 1870 and 1914 and witnessed the beginning of mass production. The use of electricity was predominant in machine running. The introduction of synthetic dyes took place in this revolution which was proved to be aboon for both the textile as well as the chemical industries.
  • The Third Revolution which is also known as the Digital Revolution started around the 1950s. It changed the systems from being analogous and mechanical to digital. It is also labelled as the Information Age. The rampant progress in Information Technology compelled this revolution to occur.The combination of Textile technology with Information technology, led to a better production of quality products meeting the user requirements more specifically.
  • Finally, The Fourth Industrial Revolution gave a whole new face to the industries. It has introduced customized and flexible mass production technologies. The machines have become  independent entities and are made to collect, analyse and advise upon the data on their own! The operation of machines has now been replaced by the communication with machines. Self cognition, self customization and self optimization have been successfully introduced.

The onset & need for Textile Industry 4.0: 

  • With the diversity in demands, the need for hybrid and highly fragmented value chains has increased. In order to emerge as successful key suppliers and effectively adopting digital technologies for rapid rate of production, accepting the Revolution 4.0 becomes mandatory. The industry as a result becomes a center of progressive production technologies and a base for piloting and scaling up new digital solutions.
  • The rapid advance of digital operation technologies and Industry 4.0 solutions represents a great opportunity to increase the competitiveness of the textile manufacturing industry. The increasing connectivity of functions across the value chains, smart connected products and data driven services ensure a productivity increase of around 20%, savings in services and maintenance costs of up to 10-40% and increase in time to market of around 20-50%.
  • Textile industry 4.0 enables smart connected products to serve as a technological foundation for incorporating new business models or data driven business models in textiles and thereby exploit new revenue pools. 
  • Smart textile products hold large growth potential. According to market forecasts, the global market for smart textiles will grow to about USD 3 billion by 2026. For the mass production of smart textile products, the hybrid and typically highly fragmented value chains are required to become increasingly interconnected, which is achievable by Industry 4.0 developments.
  • In the past few years, the Indian companies have focused on manufacturing high quality and research intensive technical textiles. They have faced challenges resulting from increased cost and innovation pressure as well as increased customer demands. By overcoming these and some of the other implementation barriers, the adoption of digital operation technologies can be accelerated in the Indian textile industry.
Factories of the Future:
Industry 4.0 has brought the ‘smart factory’ into existence in which smart digital services are networked and they communicate with raw materials, semi-finished products, machines, tools,etc. This industry is characterized by flexibility, efficient use of resources and integration of customers and business partners in the business process. In this networked factory, machines and men have become equal partners, having a higher degree of AI in relation to the previous generation of robots. Highly active sensors incorporated in the looms enable cooperation between the machines and the workers. The factories are characterized by connected production, resilient nature, intelligent maintenance and self-organizing logistics. The systems are cognitive and enable workers to achieve and maintain quality production standards and implement predictive maintenance.
Connected Enterprise and Global Networking:
The 9 Pillars of Industry 4.0:
Big Data: Big Data can be turned into useful insights which in turn can be converted into knowledge. This proves to be helpful in identifying trends, patterns and relationship between inputs, processes and outputs, enabling improvements to be made across a number of manufacturing units.
Augmented Reality: It enables augmented imagery to be placed in front of the real world. Textile based companies make use of this technology to give customers apparel tries according to data based on size and colour.
Simulation: It imitates the actual situation, process or environment. Its best suited for training purposes.
Internet of Things: Exchange and processing of data is possible when the internet is connected to everyday items. In this way, the time of production can be greatly reduced.
Cloud Computing: Storage, management and processing of data is done using remote servers. It ensures faster production and supply.
Cyber Security: This is mandatory for the protection of sensitive and important data including intellectual property, customer and product information, etc.
Systems Integration: It enables the manufacturing companies to get all the machines connected in order to ensure the smooth running of the production line. 
Additive Manufacturing: Digital 3D Design Data is an example of this. Component building in layers is possible by this.
Autonomous Systems: Programming allows robots to work automatically. It enables them to think on their own. This contributes towards profitability, productivity and competitiveness.
Data Collection and Analysis
Data Revolution:
The proper storage, acquirement and processing of data from the right sources is the first step in the futuristic data revolution. Wrong context, incorrect mapping and faulty data acquisition can result in flawed data analysis. For example: Faulty sensors. Similarly, wrong context can also result in poor analysis. For example, too many breakages in a sliver may not directly be an indicator to the performance of the operator. It could be the result of the quality of the fibre or related to settings of the machines or even the ambient conditions for different operators may give a better indication of operator performance.

Textile Sphere- Textile Industry 4.0

Role of IoT in managing the large enterprise:
  • Automated reports and dashboard of performance of textile machinery or plant.
  • Online Analytics
  • Quality Analysis
  • Performance Benchmarking in terms of product or machine
  • Identification of energy efficiency opportunities
  • Reduced downtime by preventive maintenance.
  • Production planning and tracking.

Concept of Big Data Analytics:
The Big Data Analytics applications enable statisticians, modelers and scientists to analyse growing volumes of structured transaction data and the data that is left untapped by conventional business intelligence. The technique ensures various benefits including new revenue opportunities, more effective marketing, better customer services, improved operational efficiency and competitive advantages.

Role of Artificial Intelligence:
As the name suggests, it describes the ability of machines to imitate the human working mentality and required functions. It also marks the differentiation of demarcation between robotics and machine learning. It consists of three major components:
  • Machine
  • Software
  • IoT
AI will ensure:
  • Closely monitored, automated production process.
  • Installation of advanced, digitised networks.
  • Smart Manufacturing characterized by preventive actions and adaptive production.
  • Machines, humans, software systems and products interaction over the internet.
  • A value added manufacturing process which is heterogeneous,decentralized and flexible.
    Artificial Intelligence in Textile Industry

The new avatar of textiles, textile manufacturing and textile technology:
The future of truly smart textiles lies in the potential of technology convergence, where the processing of electroactive polymers and molecular electronics into fibres and fabrics. The polymers on being transferred to the textile industry, will be able to produce soft intelligent textile products that will permit a broad spectrum of functions and capabilities. 
The installation of textile mechanical sensors which can sense and measure gestures and movements, Textile systems that can sense the physiological signals of the wearer to recognize how the wearer s feeling and respond accordingly, Effective bulk use of conductive fabric on which thermochromic ink can be printed and the use of electroactive polymers like light emitting polymers, power polymers and actuators as well as electronic ink can be extensively carried out with the progress of Industry 4.0.
Nanotechnology has now emerged as the future of fabrication. Multi functional, responsive and adaptive fibers can be produced by modifying the surfaces of fibers and using grafting materials.
The information and communication technology unit’s collaboration with the community of design and human sciences gives a whole new dimension to the fabric production process. Integration of electronic functionality into textiles ensure versatility and quality in the nature of the commodities.
Future of the textile jobs on the onset of Industry 4.0:
Globalization, demographic changes and adoption of Industry 4.0 are the three giant factors that will determine the future of jobs in the textile sector. The Industry 4.0 has created a major impact in the service sectors as well as retail marketing. However, the extent of its impact depends on the extent to which the industry adopts the new technologies including Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Internet of Things.
In India, Industry 4.0 is still in its infant stage and its impact on the future of jobs can only be understood once the industry leaders experiment largely with these new technologies and showcase the benefits to the ret of the players.
The impact of Industry 4.0 will result in different possibilities. Some new jobs would be created, some existing ones would need additional skill requirements, some would continue to exist without any change while some would disappear. The jobs that would disappear are the ones that would require Routine Manual and Routine Cognitive skills. All such jobs would be automated.
Among the two sectors, textiles and apparels, the latter is more likely to adopt the new technologies because high labour intensive operations are required in stitching, packing and inspection. Job roles such as fabric checker, packer helper etc will most probably cease to exist.
Even before the introduction of Industry 4.0, the spinning sector had long gone replaced some of the job roles which required RM and RC skills with robotics. For example, auto doffers on ring frame, chute feed cards, etc.
The Textile Industry is all set to employ specialists in resource and process management rather than technology change in the manufacturing of textiles. The replacement of mechanical gadgets with electronic components in almost all types of machines has also given opportunities for specialists in PLC maintenance. The current trend of appointing these specialists shows that they will be working as freelance specialists rather than working as full time employees.
Major Challenges encountered:
Industry 4.0 compels the employees to develop altogether a new set of skills. This can cause alienation of big sector workers. Workers having a repetitive nature of work will face a challenge in keeping up with the industry. Older senior workers tend to find it difficult to undergo the learning process of new skills.
The investment in a new technology always requires a considerable amount of capital. A lot of planning and a good understanding of the industry requirements is of due importance. Smaller businesses might have to risk their market shares in the future. Considering all this, calculated risks are required to be taken.
This not just a matter of concern for the consumers but also for the producers. The collection and analysing of data by the producers is taken to be a threat to the privacy of the consumers. Besides this, the smaller companies that have never handled data are exposed to a transparent environment in no time.
Some others to mention would be recruiting and developing new talent, conducting successful pilots, thorough examination of company culture and genuine interconnections of all the departments.
Success and Progress from Industry 4.0 to Industry 5.0:
The Textile Industry 4.0 has developed approaches to enhance contribution of manufacturing to GDP from 16% to 25%. Time and cost reduction to market by 50% was aimed. Value addition enhancement by 10% per year and slash rejection rate by 50% is being worked on. A three-year plan was proposed and is in process in order to become the globally networked enterprise. Various environment friendly approaches in manufacturing have been considered. For example, reduction of energy used (upto 30%), reduced waste water generation (upto 20% ), Less consumption of materials (upto 20%).
The Textile Industry 4.0 has made a significant social impact as well. It aims at creating sustainable care and responsibility for employees and citizens in the global supply chains. Its prime aim has also resided in raising investment and R&D from 0.5 to 4%.
Nevertheless, the visionaries have already forecasted the next revolution, being just half a decade after the implementation of the current revolution. Industry 5.0 will see man and machine reconcile for improving the means and efficiency of production. It will witness the interaction of human intelligence and cognitive computing. The revolution will have the biggest advantage of being highly environmental friendly owing to the use of renewable sources of energy and eliminated waste.

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