In the future, being networked – across the entire value-added chain, if possible – will also be a necessity in the textile processing industry. But where do small and medium-sized companies begin? Textil vernetzt supports medium-sized enterprises with digitalisation and provides opportunities for them to experience the topic ‘live’.
At the opening of the Textil vernetzt showroom in Berlin, Ingeborg Neumann confirms that the German textile industry already has a very “high standard of innovation”. The President of the Confederation of the German Textile and Fashion Industry, textil+mode, says that “the German textile industry supplies the world market with intelligent clothing, furniture, medical products and many more things”, but for this to continue, small and medium-sized companies in particular need to tap further into digital possibilities. The Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Centre, Textil vernetzt, which is active throughout Germany, can provide support for this in a number of ways.
In essence, four competence centres are involved in the work: the RWTH Aachen Institute of Textile Technology (Institut für Textiltechnik – ITA), the Saxon Textile Research Institute (Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut – STFI) in Chemnitz, the German Institutes of Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung – DITF) and the Hahn-Schickard Association (Hahn-Schickard Gesellschaft) in Stuttgart and Villingen-Schwenningen. The partner organisations provide information sessions, specialist conferences and lab tours in their respective regions, presenting digital manufacturing and processing solutions and their uses, as well as possibilities for practical implementation. But Textil vernetzt also visits the companies, in order to identify potentials together, plan projects, and put them into practice
The centrepiece of the recently opened Textil vernetzt showroom in Berlin is an embroidery machine which illustrates “How Industry 4.0 works”. The completely networked machine can manufacture individual products quickly and flexibly. In addition, the exhibits demonstrate the main focuses of the four partner organisations – digital engineering, networked production, use of assistance systems and smart sensor technology.
Who does what? What new things are on offer?
• The textil+mode Confederation, which directs the ‘Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Centre, Textil vernetzt’, provides regular guided tours of the showroom and information events in their offices in Berlin.
• The Saxon Textile Research Institute (STFI) demonstrates how digital applications can support customised textile production in its latest display: ‘Vertical Integration and Networked Production Chains’.
• The German Institutes of Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF) showcase end-to-end digital solutions for the production of individual items of clothing, for smart textiles and lightweight textile design. On 15 May, they have unveiled their new showcase here: ‘Digital Engineering’.
• The RWTH Aachen Institute of Textile Technology (ITA) provides information on the theme of ‘Work 4.0’ and how to train further and qualify. On 29 May, the ITA will be opening its showcase in the Digital Capability Centre in Aachen, with a thematic focus on ‘New social infrastructures in work, qualifications and life-long learning’.
• The Hahn-Schickard Association for applied research has specialised in smart sensor systems, in particular the upgrade of existing machines (retrofit).
Title image source: Textil vernetzt