A new textile management software product claims to greatly improve the speed with which new textiles can be engineered for army use.

The Advanced Textiles R&D software product, developed by TEXbase of Bozeman, Mont, was tested at the US Army Natick Soldier Center.

One of the Natick Soldier Center missions is to assure a material edge for the 21st century warfighter. It also has responsibility for developing advanced textiles for personal comfort and protection, and for integration of textiles into battlefield systems.

In the latest analysis of the project, the Advance Textiles R&D software had improved Natick's speed of R&D, project reporting, and analytical capabilities.

The net effect of these improvements is an increase in the efficiency of operation and a reduction in the overall cost of engineering new materials for the Army.

TEXbase also introduced tablet PCs which allow users to directly input information into a personal computer - eliminating paper and pencil and removing an entire step in the project reporting process.

Overall, the step-saving software and tablet PC compatibility is said to have led to a 55% reduction in direct labour required to test, document, calculate, and report findings in the engineering of new army materials.