A new software development has been launched by Coats Plc and Wings Systems Ltd to help companies integrate embroidery designs closer into the apparel supply chain.

The 'Coats Embroidery Design Viewer' can be downloaded for free over the Internet. Alick Campbell, global embroidery director for Coats said: "We took the view that only free downloaded software backed by two companies that are committed to develop the product would persuade industry professionals to incorporate the software into their day-to-day work.

"Designers and manufacturers sit at opposite ends of the globe and need powerful communication tools to improve on-time delivery to increasingly high quality standards." Coats EDV provides industry professionals with a tool for viewing, modifying and exchanging embroidery design files; it is based on entry-level viewing software used in the embroidery industry with the additional of some innovative features and functions.

These include database functions that allow users to search the hard disk drive for embroidery file formats, view and read them, make changes and insertions and save them. Digitised designs can also be viewed and run through stitch-by-stitch like a video player; embedded objects can be looked at and actual embroidery simulated by seeing the design in 3-D against a variety of fabric and coloured backgrounds.

The Color Management tool allows the colours used by each needle to be viewed and changed. Design Information provides details of the amount of thread used in each design, and calculates the machine time needed for production.

John Doukakis, director of Wings Systems said: "The Coats EDV is a simplified version of our next generation eXPerience digitising software from Wings Systems; we have included most of the functions of normal editing software as well as many unique features to help users manipulate designs more easily."

Coats and Wings Systems are now working on Coats EDV version 2 which will incorporate more supply chain tools and web-enabled features.