1. Introduction

Internet has changed the landscape of industries in two decades. Internet has not only provided a platform for business, but also changed the business model as a whole. Currently, amidst the pandemic in 2020, we have witnessed the businesses turning more and more virtual. As a result, the concepts of IOT, AR, VR have already become some of the important tools in the current scenario. Now if we consider the current Textile Industry, we stand in the Industry 3.0, i.e. computer powered industry; one can consider it to be a bridge between the evolutions of a man driven industry into an artificial one. With the developments in Cloud Computing huge amount of data can be held and easily processed at a very short time. Tthis has helped in the application of IOT, AR, VR in the Industries and Textile Industry is no exception. Several Companies have already taken initiatives on that route. As a result the current Textile is in a swift transition from Industry 3.0 to Industry 4.0. So, the technology discussed here might not be very viable to the current market, however in the years to come this technology can be expected to be in mainstream.

  1. Conception of IOT

Internet of Things (IOT) is a concept of having a network of physical objects. “Things” refers to objects so, by meaning of Internet of Things one can say an interaction or transaction of data and even controlling to a certain extent the physical objects by the help of sensors, software and technologies [1]. Example of this technology in our real life can be, finger print scanners in our phones, where the sensor detect the fingerprints and if it matches opens the phone.

Now this technology has immense advantages if applied in the Industries. It can immensely reduce human effort, minimize errors and reduce variations. So, these technologies are being adopted by the Industries gradually. One can also expect introduction of 5G (that can share data at a speed upto 20 GB/s) will have some serious impact on this technology in the recent future. This article enlists some of the application of these technologies in the Textile domain.

Fig. 1. IOT in Textile Sectors [2]

  1. Applications of Internet of Things in Textile Industry

3.1. Manufacturing Sector

IOT has immense application in the Manufacturing sector, from the fibre to a finished fabric. By optimizing blends [3] to detection of fibre characteristics using AI and storing and processing data using IOT can help in reducing the variations in final product [4].

IOT integration in spinning and weaving machines can help in optimizing the process and reducing faults drastically. Monitoring of intermediate processes and automatically collecting data from Blow room to Ring Frame can help in enhancing the quality, reduce time, reduce man power, reduce paper work, and reduce machine stoppage time, enhances production and reduces cost. This monitoring of data from machine can give real time visibility of the process. It can also help in instant detection of machine faults, help in enhancing the machine life [5]. Rieter ESSENTIAL is an application by Rieter with such facilities is available in Play Store. Similar application in the weaving sector can be seen in Weaving Things, an industrial platform [6]. Automatic fault detection of textile products is another aspect of this IOT, Cognex, an American machine manufacturer produces machines and softwares in this aspect [7]. Even the efficiency, strengths and weaknesses of a worker, can also be assessed using this technology.

From Automatic colour matching (Datacolor for instance) [7], automatic sewing machines (YOHO in Japan for instance) [7], digital printing, to Floor space management IOT opens huge scope for the textile sector [7-9].

3.2. Fashion and Designing and product Sector

Virtual digital sampling tools, that develop a sample that looks very similar to the finished products and implementing them using modern CADs have reduced the fabric wastage and has provided a lot more flexibility to the system. In the current system one is just a few clicks from developing an e-product [8]. The huge amount of cloud data, internet searches from customers, and easy and quick availability of recent designs helps in product development as per customer [10]. In future, one can expect, 3D printing and 4D printing to have a huge impact in final product manufacturing sector.

Automated Embroidery machines also have taken a huge leap, since it provides greater precision, reproducibility, reduces time and human effort in creating embroidery and designs; one can just enter designs in Embroidery CAD (eg, Richpeace) and the designs can be obtained accordingly. Few such machine manufacturers can be Aura, Baba, Maya, etc. [11]. Automated Embroidery machine opens huge scope in E-Textile sector, for integrating conductive yarns into the garments.

Traceability is one aspect that can prove sustainable claims of any textile product. However it is very difficult to get proper traceability in this dispersed textile supply chain. The application of IOT, cloud computing can benefit this particular aspect. Bar codes are most commonly used for traceability. However there had been a few companies (for instance Textile Genesis) and a few technological innovations in this aspect [12].

3.3. Marketing Sector

The use of Internet of things has a lot of advantages in the sales sector for textiles. The main advantage being it facilitates the effective handling of big data. With better handling of big data, it helps in better understanding of  the textile markets and customers. With better understanding of market and customer, it can help in a better and quick decision making. Even when a company is trying to introduce a new product, it can better predict the reaction of customers and also reduce the shelf life of the product [13].

Advertising is another important aspect that is very much affected by IoT. Google’s local search ads is a major example the advertisements. Advertisements now target a particular section of people, based on their searches. For instance a person who searches for clothing a lot, will be shown related advertisements [14].

3.4. E-Textiles

E-Textile is an emerging sector that is expected to grow at a rate of 30.4% as per a survey. This sector has a huge potential in future, currently it has application in medical, military, fashion, eco-friendly, energy and production sectors [15]. Since majority of the applications are sensor-based, IoT and AR, VR, AI, Cloud Computing can have high impact on this sector in future.

References

  1. Internet of Things. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things#:~:text=From%20Wikipedia%2C%20the%20free%20encyclopedia,and%20systems%20over%20the%20Internet.
  2. Fernández-Caramés, T.M. and Fraga-Lamas, P. (2018). Towards the Internet of Smart Clothing: A Review on IoT Wearables and Garments for Creating Intelligent Connected E-Textiles. Electronics (MDPI). 7, 405. DOI: 10.3390/electronics7120405
  3. Stjepanovic, Z. (2001). Optimisation of Cotton Fibre Blends using AI Machine Learning Techniques. In Book: Advances in scientific computing, computational intelligence and applications, 187-192, WSES Press.
  4. Doke, S.S. and Shanmugam, N. (2002). Artificial Intelligence and its application in textiles. Asian Textile Journal, pp. 49-54.
  5. Industrial Automation. Benefits of IoT and automation in the textile industry (article). https://www.industrialautomationindia.in/articleitm/2328/Benefits-of-IoT-and-automation-in-the-textile-industry/articles
  6. Weaving Things. Adaptive IIOT Edge Platform. https://weavingthings.com/
  7. Saha, S. (2018). Industry 4.0 in Apparel Industry- An Introduction. Online Clothing Study. https://www.onlineclothingstudy.com/2018/11/industry-40-in-apparel-industry.html?m=1
  8. Fatiya, A. (2017). Role of IoT and Digital technology in Textile Industry. CIO Review India. https://textiles-apparels.cioreviewindia.com/cioviewpoint/role-of-iot-and-digital-technology-in-textile-industry-nid-3531-cid-41.html
  9. IoT and Space Planning: Which Integrations Provide the Most Value?. https://www.google.com/amp/s/serraview/iot-space-planning-integrations-provide-value/amp/
  10. Segura, A. (2018). Internet of Things (IoT) in Fashion Retain. Fashionretail.blog. https://www.google.com/amp/s/fashionretail.blog/2018/06/11/internet-of-things-in-fashion/amp/
  11. Chowdhary, A. (2019). Computerized Embroidery Machine: Challenges and Innovations. Apparel Resources. com/technology-news/manufacturing-tech/computerized-embroidery-machine-challenges-and-innovations/
  12. Nandi, S. (OCS Team). (2020). Importance of Traceability in Textile Supply Chain. Online Clothing Study. https://www.onlineclothingstudy.com/2020/10/what-is-traceability-importance-of.html?m=1
  13. Barhanpurkar, K. & Barhanpurkar, S. (2019). Application of Big Data in Textile Industry. Textile Value Chain. in/2019/02/06/applications-of-big-data-in-textile-industry/
  14. Quantic Mind. IoT is Changing Advertising: Here’s How to Get in the Game. https://www.google.com/amp/s/quanticmind.com/blog/iot-changing-advertising/amp/
  15. Nandi, S. (2020). An Overview of E-Textiles, Manufacturing, Applications. Textile Sphere. https://www.textilesphere.com/2020/09/e-textile-overview.html?m=1

BY:

Mr. Sayak Nandi

Department of Textile Technology,
Government College of Engineering and
Textile Technology, Serampore