A Thai apparel industry veteran on Monday said a new conveyor-belt system for uninterrupted production which cuts sewing time could bring substantial cost-savings for his county’s garment industry.

Dej Pathanasetpong, of Zenith Automation Ltd, told the Bangkok Post the computerised Garment Transportation System allows workers to keep sewing continuously from station to station and piece to piece, with the items kept on hangers throughout the process.

He has invested around 10 million baht in the project, which makes his firm only the fourth in the world to produce such machinery, and is now targeting the domestic market with the systems costing a third less than similar imported systems.

"Technology to produce such equipment - such as a semi-automatic sensor - is not too complicated, but no Thais make them," he told the paper.

"Instead, they depend on imported units that are too expensive. That's why many garment manufacturers do not want to upgrade their machines."