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Sewbot developer plots European breakthrough

Automated software technology provider SoftWear Automation believes its Sewbot technology can play an important role in helping European manufacturers, brands and retailers increase the quantity of products they make locally. 

Pete Santora, SoftWear Automation’s chief commercial officer, has said factors such as out of stock revenue loss and customer expectations of shorter lead times is forcing European companies to reconsider their business model. 

He explained: “We are seeing strategies around an 80/20% for global versus local. However, this isn't just about manufacturing what they already have, but working with automation to be able to understand what is possible and how that could lead to new products that can be produced only once an order is received.”

In August 2017, it was reported that Tianyuan Garments Company, a Chinese group that supplies sportswear brand adidas, would develop a fully automated T-shirt manufacturing line at its new US plant. SoftWear Automation’s Sewbot technology will play an important role in this, with Tianyuan saying it would allow it to produce 800,000 T-shirts a day for adidas. 

Although T-shirts are the primary focus for the Sewbot technology, Mr Santora has suggested that its capabilities are applicable to a wide range of products, including footwear. 

“The fundamental problem in the fashion retail industry today is the wrong product at the wrong time and an oversupply of it,” said SoftWear Automation chief executive, Palaniswamy Rajan. “What we have now is the slowest, the least predictable and most inefficient this business will ever be.”

He added: “Today, unfortunately, I can offer you 10 ways to better optimise your Asian factory, but only one to meet future customer expectations. The ability to localise production or fabricate goods on site will be the only way to solve future customer expectations.”

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