Gerber Technology — provider of apparel technology products— has launched a “micro-factory” that will allow manufacturers to speed up on-demand production, essential it believes, in an environment of ever-changing consumer needs and expectations.
FashionTech Platform 1.0 includes software, equipment and consulting to set-up a purchase-activated fashion model with a digitally integrated e-commerce and on-demand design to print, cut and sew micro-factory operation.
It claims to “eliminate costly inventory and re-define just-in-time manufacturing” so production adjusts as demands fluctuate – allowing products to be produced more efficiently and sold at full retail price without heavy discounting.
The FashionTech Platform 1.0 includes an e-commerce virtual try-on application developed by Avametric, and the complete set of Gerber’s Digital Solutions tools including the newest software releases of YuniquePLM, a cloud-based product lifecycle management software, and AccuMark, the pattern design, grading, marker making and production planning software as well as AccuMark 3D.
Data will be transmitted directly to the micro-factory environment where the optimised marker files from AccuMark will drive a digital printer to print and continuously feed finished textiles to a Gerbercutter Z1 with CountourVision. A combination of robotic and lean loop sewing operations will be deployed depending upon apparel finishing requirements.
“Our eco-system, the expertise of our people and recent advances in our technology are enabling us to deliver value to our customers, helping them to achieve the countless benefits of a demand generated micro-factory,” says Karsten Newbury, SVP and GM of software at Gerber. “To effectively achieve this concept you need a strong knowledge base and products that can digitally integrate the design through production workflow with speed and efficiency.”
OnPoint Manufacturing (OPM), which specialises in purchase activated on-demand mass customisation of apparel, has become one of the first companies to adopt the technology.
J. Kirby Best, chairman of OnPoint Manufacturing and PAAT, explains: “We are continually refining our approach to mass customisation and we believe adding Gerber’s full suite of software and automated cutting systems will help us to dramatically improve our speed and efficiency.”