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Adidas supplier to make 800,000 T-shirts per day in the US

A Chinese company that supplies sportswear brand Adidas is planning to develop a fully automated T-Shirt production line at a newly acquired plant in the US, according to Chinese media reports.

The company, Tianyuan Garments Company, is based in Suzhou, China but last year announced plans to invest $20 million to establish a new plant in Little Rock, US. The factory will create around 400 jobs in the area.

In July, it signed an agreement with US company SoftWear Automation to use its automated Sewbot technology, China Daily has reported. The system uses cameras to map the fabric and robots to guide it through the sewing needles. Tianyuan Garments will use it to manufacture T-Shirts for Adidas. 

“From fabric cutting and sewing to finished product, it takes roughly four minutes," Tang Xinhong, chairman of Tianyuan Garments, was quoted as saying. "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."

Mr Tang added that with complete automation, the personnel cost for each T-Shirt is roughly 33 cents. "Even the cheapest labour market can't compete with us,” he said. 

The system is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of next year.

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