The Sourcing at MAGIC trade show taking place in Las Vegas this week is focusing on the latest developments in smart design and advanced manufacturing, including new technology solutions that can lower inventories and increase speed to market.

These areas are changing the game – making businesses more flexible, more collaborative, and lean. But they are also evolving at record speed and creating a wave of new efficiencies that are forcing the industry to listen and shift.

Smart design topics include: making design changes in real time digitally; digital rendering of design in 3D; 3D to 2D digital pattern rendering; smart colour management; and creating and managing a virtual inventory.

On the advanced manufacturing front, there will be a focus on precision cutting of textile materials; working with advanced materials; digital “direct to garment” printing (cotton and synthetics); and sublimation printing.

“The goal is to increase speed-to-market and efficient on-demand production to lower inventory and to get to a place where virtual inventory will be the new norm,” organisers say. “Virtual inventory will minimise waste – no overproduction that ends up at a landfill – creating a tool for you to better control your supply chain and merchandiser and speed to the market and efficiency.”

There will also be a live demo of advanced manufacturing machinery and equipment set up as a micro-factory on the show floor. Steps include: body scanning, converting the style to a 3D format, tools to manage files that will take the images from a CAD system and convert them to patterns and markers, and automatic laser cutting – all from Tukatech.

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There will also be a direct to fabric digital printer and heat press for post-treatment of printing  – both from Mutoh. And sewing stations provided by Royal Exclusive Cutting & Sewing Machines.

A supporting seminar programme will also look at how to combine new and traditional design skills; future advances in manufacturing, materials, retail strategies, and supply chain; and new fabrics, Integrated technology and the rise of the micro-factory.

Sourcing at MAGIC brings together apparel manufacturing, component, technology and service providers from around the world, and takes place from 4-7 February at the Las Vegas Convention Center.