The Textile Association (India), Mumbai Unit organized Annual Conference on “Digitalization – A Step Towards Textile 4.0” on Friday, 14th October 2022 at Hotel The Lalit, Mumbai. The Conference received overwhelming response as over 300 delegates attended the Conference. The theme of Conference, topics, presentations and speakers were highly appreciated. This was the first Conference on Digitalization in the Textile industry in India. 

Mr. Rajiv Ranjan, President, TAI, Mumbai Unit welcomed the Chief Guest, Ms. Roop Rashi, Textile Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, Guest of Honour Mr. Rajesh Kumar Pathak, Secretary, Technology & development, Government of India (present virtually), Mr. Prashant Agarwal, Wazir Advisors, Awardees, Speakers, Press, Media and delegates. Mr. Ranjan welcomed and congratulated two awardees Mr. Yogesh K. Kusumgar for The Lifetime Achievement Award and Mr. Anil Kumar Jain for The Industrial Excellence Award. Mr. Ranjan said that all the conferences organized by TAI, Mumbai Unit have always selected contemporary & innovative topics presented by high profile speakers. This conference is also no exception to this. 

Mr. V. C. Gupte, Chairman, TAI, Mumbai Unit and Convener of the Conference briefed about two previous conferences on Textile 4.0 held in 2018 and 2019. The main objective of those Conferences was to familiarize the textile fraternity on what is Textile 4.0 and what impact it would have on the textile industry. Textile 4.0 is basically an extension of Industry 4.0 as applicable to textiles & apparel industries. He also described what a Smart Factory is. The aim of extending the textile industry to Textile 4.0 is to increase productivity, flexibility and efficiency through use of automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things etc. Textile 4.0 is already used in spinning, weaving and in garment or apparel industries. There are new norms and Digitization, Digitalization and Digital Transformation became the new buzz words. These three words also became part of advancement in the textile industry, particularly in the apparel & garment sectors. It became obvious that the change is certain, but in what form and shape will it take for the textile industry. How should the textile & garment industry engage with the new trend, what future might hold for business and investment decision makers, what impact would it have throughout the textile value chain? And how digitization would help and benefit the textile industry in supply chain, timely deliveries and competitiveness. In this pursuit, The Textile Association (India), Mumbai Unit decided to hold this Conference with a view that the Textile fraternity gets closer to these new buzz words – Digitization, Digitalization and Digital Transformation. As a Convener of the Conference, he thanked all the speakers, sponsors, advertisers and delegates for their kind support to make this conference a great success.  

Mr. G. V. Aras, The Conference Chairman, briefed about the details of the Conference, including topics and speakers. He said Digitalization and Industry 4.0 are the keys to process excellence – and thus the opportunity to save costs and resources. Through the possibilities of digitalization, manufacturers can strengthen their production, improve their competitiveness and react more quickly to changes. He further emphasized that for this to be successful, the textile value chain manufacturers and retailers will have to invest in digitization. The garment and retail supply chain has to a large extent adapted Digitalization which is helping them in becoming more efficient, cost competitive and respond fast to market needs. It is high time that the Indian textile companies also adopt Digitalization on priority and participate in the making of Digital India, a dream project of our prime minister. He further said that now digitalization is not a choice anymore but a necessity. 

Mr. Prashant Agarwal, Jt. Managing Director, WAZIR Advisors Pvt. Ltd. in his Theme Presentation said that Industry 4.0 refers to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and describes the growing trends towards automation and data exchange in technology and processes within the manufacturing industry. He further said that a smart factory is a highly digitized and connected production facility that relies on machinery and equipment that are able to improve processes through automation and self-optimization. He said that manufacturing processes need to be digitalised to create an ecosystem of data which further can be used to fully implement the Industry 4.0 technologies. He showed the actual working of the smart factory in his presentation. 

Mr. Rajesh Kumar Pathak, Secretary, Science & Technology Development Board, Govt. of India who was the Guest of Honour made his presentation online from New Delhi and said that Digitalization has very significant role in today’s industrial revolution and the industry should accept the challenge and diversify their activities towards the smart factories. He discussed various initiatives taken by the Govt. of India in this direction. 

Honoring the best in class:

 The Lifetime Achievement Award

The Textile Association (India), Mumbai Unit has set a precedent by felicitating the textile professionals for their outstanding contribution to the textile industry. In this Conference, the TAI, Mumbai Unit felicitated Mr. Yogesh K. Kusumgar, Chairman, Kusumgar Corporates Pvt. Ltd. for his pioneering work in the field of technical textiles with “The LifeTime Achievement Award ”.

 The Industrial Excellence Award

TAI, Mumbai Unit also felicitated Mr. Anil Kumar Jain, Executive Chairman, Indo Count Industries Ltd. with “The Industrial Excellence Award” for his contribution in the field of man-made fibers. As Mr. Jain was unable to attend the conference Mr. K. K. Lalpuria, Executive Director, Indo Count Industries received the award on behalf of Mr. Jain. 

Ms. Roop Rashi, Textile Commissioner, Govt. of India who was the Chief Guest addressed the delegates with her thoughts on Textile 4.0. She wondered why the Textile 4.0 is not extended beyond spinning and garment industries. She emphasized the Government of India has initiated many projects & plans and is pushing for digitization in all industries. She appealed to the textile heads to adopt digitalization very fast to keep up with the pace of the international industry. 

Knowledge and Informative technical sessions:

Mr. Ram Sareen, Chairman & Founder, Tukatech, USA presented a paper on “Welcome to the Future. It Arrived Yesterday”. He said that in the world of digital design and development, everyone in the supply chain needs to collaborate with real data. Designers can use these true-to-life digital resources to see how a garment will look and fit in virtual design software, then purchase the physical material from the mill knowing it is exactly what they need.

Mr. Sudhir Mehani, Chief Digitization Officer, Marzoli India presented a paper on “Digital Transformation – Step towards Smart Factory Operations”. He said to maximize overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and minimize the total cost of ownership (TCO), there is a need to take steps towards maintenance of the machines and taking optimized production. 

Mr. Ashish Sharma, Sr. Vice President (Sales & Marketing), Truetzschler India Pvt. Ltd. presented a paper on “My Intelligent Mill – by Truetschler”. He discussed the concept of My Mill. The cloud-based mill monitoring system, which can be accessed over the web frontend. Data is sent from the machines to the My Mill cloud via a secure gateway.  My Mill frontend can only be accessed by authenticated & authorized mill personnel. 

                                    The Distinguished Audience

Mr. Ricardo Vega Ayora, Project Engineer, ITA Academy GmbH, Digital Capability Center, Germany presented his paper virtually on “Process Mining for a Sustainable and Efficient Textile Industry”. He said in a world with always greater concerns regarding climate change and increasing energy prices, every industrial company needs to increase resource efficiency, in particular reducing their respective carbon (product) footprint and energy consumption. The textile industry is no exception. This comes as no surprise given the amount of resources required to finish textiles by washing, coating and thermo-fixing processes.

Mr. Ronnie Hagin, Group CEO, Datatex AG, Switzerland presented a paper on “Systems on the path to profitable sustainable textile manufacturing – Achieve business & sustainability objectives by applying available opportunities of systems, AI and Blockchain”. He said that systems have been available for the industry since the early 1980’s, the difference today is the availability of affordable technology to support big data and fast processing, allowing for fully seamless integrated business solutions. The availability of new technology also has increased the opportunities using AI and ML and also the newly introduced blockchain technology. AI will be used to optimize business results while improving customer service. 

Mr. Surinder Pal Singh, Head of Customer Support and Asset Management, Forbes Marshall presented a paper on “Digital as a Tool for Utilities Sustenance – Beyond Connectivity”. He said that Digitizing the most important and relevant parameters enables continuous monitoring, advanced analysis and predictions. This helps plants improve and on their own with their internal teams. He further said Digital connectivity of devices enables monitoring on a continuous basis by subject matter experts who can use statistical tools, their experience and knowledge to come up with optimum performance points. Digital, plays multiple roles of providing visibility (and triggering basic corrections), information on uptime of equipment (and possibly prediction of failure) and possibilities of improvement and sustenance.

Mr. Atul Vaidya, Managing Director, Oerlikon Textile India Pvt. Ltd. presented a paper on “Smart Factory – Digitizing the Polyester Value Chain”. He said that current industry pain points and needs for digitizing production information and processes. He discussed the Key challenges in digitization of factory viz. Huge upfront investment from both money and people resources, Redesign production processes to unleash the potential, Mindset change, digital talents, and training and lack of industry standardization.

All Papers received very high responses as well as interactions from the participants. 

The Panel Discussion was moderated by Mr. Prashant Agarwal, Jt. Managing Director, Wazir Advisors Pvt. Ltd. The theme of the discussion was “Digitization: The New Era in Textile and Apparel Industry”. The Panel Members were Mr. Kapil Pathare, Director, VIP Clothing Ltd., Mr. Yashasvi Sahajpal, Leadership Team – Digital Initiative, Forbes Marshall, Mr. Raja Harbinder Singh, Head Global Sourcing-Westside, Trent Ltd and Mr. Bhavin Seth, President and CTO, ATE Enterprises Ltd. 

Following Key points were discussed in the Panel Discussion.

  • Digitalization as an opportunity for the Textile and Apparel Industry is must and not an option
  • Digitization as a pre-requisite of Industry 4.0. it’s being implemented by players like VIP, Westside
  • Impact of Digitization on Textile and Garment Manufacturing operations is huge , some examples
  • Smart Factory Solutions were discussed
  • Issues and challenges while adopting potential Digitalization technologies
  • Training of team, data analysis, clear awareness of digital solutions
  • Implementation Roadmap for a Smart Factory with examples of digital data Centre (DCC) at ITA, Germany was also presented and Wazir’s Tie up with them to implement in India was announced.

The Panel Discussion was very lively and good interaction was received from the delegates. 

Mr. A. V. Mantri, Hon. Secretary, TAI, Mumbai Unit proposed a vote of thanks. The Conference was a grand success with over 300 participants.