Modernisation of technology would necessitate more technical skills for operators in the production and maintenance functions across the value chain of the textile industry. The sector also needs multi-tasking/multi skilling at the operator level. The human resource at the higher levels as well as in other functions like procurement would need to possess the knowledge of various types of machines and also keep abreast with the changes in technology. Globalization is a process that has continuity, even though interrupted sometimes. Globalization has no loyalty to anything and this is its most prominent feature of globalization. It tries to create new paradigms according to new conditions of ages. Globalization can easily adapt to new situations. The fourth industrial revolution will begin in a very short time and will lead to a change in industrial, social and economic lives of people. This may create new industrial relations between capital and labour. The most important components of the fourth industrial revolution are smart factories, e-production applications and interaction between smart systems for excellent production processes. This paper focuses on changing skill requirements in the production process of yarn manufacturing to meet Industry 4.0.

Key words: Fourth industrial revolution, textile industries-applications, internet of things (IoT).




Industry 4.0

The term Industry 4.0 is used to define a set of technology transformations in systems and products design, production and distribution and to describe the productive process organization that are based on communicating technologies and devices. The industrial production has no longer to be considered as a sequence of separated phases, but as an integrated flow, that is made possible by digital technologies. The traditional textile industry has always been labor-intensive and highly polluting 1. In the past, the textile industry production process was very complicated. Many detailed actions needed to be executed; this caused a production trend of large volume but less variety 2. Now people are paying more attention to product quality and unique requirements due to technology and people’s living habits change. As a result, the manufacturing industry has moved toward customized production 3,4. Technology has also been strengthened in response to such changes. Recently, many manufactures have been influenced by Industry 4.0. They are not only optimizing the manufacturing processes,but also effectively controlling industrial pollution with the assistance of data maintenance and monitoring 5,6.

The 5 pillars of Industry 4.0 are:

  • Speed: to reduce the time to market through innovation cycles and short product development
  • Quality: to improve the processes and to reduce the waste through the real time monitoring of the production
  • Flexibility: to make the offer more dynamic through the mass-customization in the production phases
  • Security: to optimize the security issues in order to avoid inactivity periods and cyber attacks
  • Efficiency: to increase the productivity with technologies and more intelligent services


Internet of things can be defined as communication among devices, machines, and equipment with their virtual personalities and capabilities obtained as a result of technological advances. These physical systems have become smart and can automatically conduct some industrial operations as a result of these connections. To start or stop industrial and logistics operations may be possible by the connection between these devices and machines without human force or decision-making process. Internet of things is a process that starts with the emergence of various defined conditions or movements. All data related to movement and situations are detected by sensors and are automatically sent to the system for data processing. Previously, all conditions have been described in the system numerically by operators .


With the advent of Industry 4.0, the companies will not only face challenges in finding the skilled employees but also a few other challenges related to their exiting workforce and skill development programs as mentioned below:

Up-skilling: Companies will have to up-skill their workforce via in-house or external training centers. For example, an assembly line worker involved in manually fitting a part will be required to operate a robot or other tools to do so. He / she should develop the skills to be able to operate the new tools efficiently.

Re-skilling: Industry 4.0 is expected to result in job displacement to a certain extent. A number of jobs will cease to exist. And a number of new jobs will be created. Companies will have to make the investment in re-skilling of the labor force to prepare for this expected shift.

Continuous Learning: Technologies will become obsolete at a faster rate. Continuous professional  development strategies will be required to easily adapt to the changes that technological advancement brings.

Mindset change: Given that the labor force will have to adapt to a number of changes, they will resist and  oppose implementation of newer technologies. This will require companies to plan for mindset change of its employees to facilitate smooth transition to advanced manufacturing processes.8,9



Knowledge about ICT

Basic Information Technology knowledge

Ability to use and interact with computers and smart machines like robots, tablets etc.

Understanding machine to machine communication, IT security & data protection

Ability to work with data

Ability to process and analyze data and information obtained from machines

Understanding visual data output & making decisions

Basic statistical knowledge

  1. Technical know-how  

Inter-disciplinary & generic knowledge about technology

Specialized knowledge about manufacturing activities and processes in  place

Technical know-how of machines to carry out maintenance related activities

  1. Personal Skills 

Adaptability & ability to change

Decision making

Working in team

Communication skills

  1. Mindset change for lifelong learning 10


Textile and clothing industries should be aware of the new paradigms on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution. In the coming years, becoming a smart factory will be one way to meet customer requirements as a result of the extremely variable market conditions. In this way, textile industry can solve its structural problems arising from intensive labour use, energy costs, and market uncertainties. At the same time, they can increase the efficiency and the productivity in the production processes, and logistics operations can be carried out at high levels of performance. The boom of global “re-industrialization” would make manufacturing more intensely competitive and the traditional model is substituted for emerging model, which could be called integration of industrial chain better than an industrial revolution, and all participants in the production process collaborate production in a new way. Textile industry must be aware of the new challenges and respond with a judicious action in order to reduce production cost, improve manufacturing productivity, promote industrial growth, change the labor force structure and ultimately change the competitiveness of the company and the region. Technological innovation and personnel are basic drive of industry transformation. The modern machinery would require skilled people who have the requisite knowledge of the same.



Lecturer, Department of Textile Processing,

G.R.G.Polytechnic College, Kuppepalayam,

Sarkar Samakulam , Coimbatore-641107, South India.

Corrosponding Author: anna_781@rediffmail.com