Significant changes have occurred in the textile and garment production processes over the last two decades. Technological, economic, social, demographic, political, and legal issues all contribute to these shifts in the global environment. The most significant change is the introduction of new machinery and modern manufacturing systems. Modern ones have replaced traditional textile and garment production systems because of technological advancements. Because of their advanced technical capabilities, developed countries have a significant impact on the global textile sector.
The use of computers in textile engineering is widespread, and it is integrated into all stages of the process. The following are some of the most common computer applications in textile (Jing, 2021):
- 1Material and textile process research and development.
- Textile production and process control using computers.
- Production planning.
- Process control.
- Quality assurance.
- Inventory management.
- Engineering data analysis.
The many reasons computer technologies are used in the textile business are discussed in light of the previous debate. Textiles have been incorporating new equipment into their manufacturing processes to meet the growing demand for high-quality products and the utilization of new technology by competitors in the international market (Fazal & Hamdani, 2016). Internal reasons for these adoptions include maintaining present performance, establishing new business lines, and meeting the needs of international customers.
The main objectives of this paper are the following:
- To analyze the computer systems used in the textile industry.
- To investigate the advantages of implementing these systems.
- To analyze the disadvantages.
- To find out the challenges of implementing computer technologies in the industry.
It is believed that after analyzing different aspects of computer implementation into the textile industry will be proven that even though there are some disadvantages to almost every system, the advantages here outweigh the disadvantages.
Scope of Computer-Based Technology for Textile Application
In terms of applications, computer-based technology in textile applications can be divided into various branches and sub-branches like many other textile sectors. Four terminologies are widely used in the industry:
CAD (Computer-Aided Design)
Textile designers can use CAD technology to produce and show samples on a computer screen and replicate the appearance of textile items without wasting materials or manufacturing time (Fazal & Hamdani, 2016). The advancement of CAD technology in recent decades has resulted in cheaper product development costs, significantly shorter design cycles, and diversity that is more creative.
CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing)
The computer technology used to regulate textile manufacturing operations is known as CAM. Through programmable controllers, industrial computers, data gateways, cell controllers, data acquisition, batch controllers, and drive master controllers, computer-based textile machines enable spinning, weaving, knitting, printing, or finishing processes (Bullón et al., 2017). One of the essential components of the CIM system is CAM.
CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing)
The manufacturing strategy of employing computers to control the entire production process, often relying on closed-loop control procedures and real-time input from sensors, is known as CIM. CIM’s primary goal is to provide a digital process management and information transmission platform for textile design, manufacturing, testing, quality control, and final product marketing (Bullón et al.,2017). Manufacturing may be made faster and more error-free, and easier to control, thanks to CIM.
CAA (Computer-Assisted Assessment)
CAA is defined as the use of computers in assessment processes such as test delivery, response capture, and marked by either a computer or a human marker. CAA can be utilized at any stage of the evaluation process, according to this definition (Bullón et al.,2017). Computers are used in the textile sector for marketing, sales order processing, and stock level monitoring.
Impact of Technological Change on Textile Industry
What are the advantages of its implementation?
In the fields of fashion and textiles, engineering, and architecture, computer-aided design has found applications in various sectors and is utilized for a variety of objectives. It has several advantages in the textile business, some of which are given below:
The textile sector is no exception that integrating technology into business operations leads to increased productivity. Designers can use computer software to complete many jobs and sub-processes inside the design process. They can generate one-of-a-kind designs, see them more clearly, make quick modifications, and synthesize them into 2D and 3D creations (Fazal & Hamdani, 2016). Furthermore, designers can work on several design projects and tasks simultaneously, reducing turnaround times.
Design quality has improved
The process of developing high-quality designs necessitates a great deal of attention to detail and creative input from the designer. Designers can also use such tools to check their work for defects or difficulties that need to be addressed (Jing, 2021). Due to visualization, designers may produce outstanding designs with the appropriate accuracy and drastically limit the scope of errors (Jing, 2021). It is also simple to incorporate elements from existing references into the methods using the software.
Because of its ability to reproduce the real thing, simulation is desired and used in many sectors. As a result, CAD smoothly integrates the simulation function into the textile sector. Because 3D is frequently promoted as the future of design, CAD is an excellent solution for the fashion and textile industries (Jing, 2021). The ability to create 3D samples reduces the cost and time associated with product development (Chaudhary et al., 2020). Through CAD, designers can quickly simulate a human figure, making it easier to see how a particular design would look.
What are the disadvantages?
Limitations in Processing Power
Computer technologies, notably CAD and CAM, frequently use a lot of processing power. This necessitates high-end computer technology, which can be pricey. CAM requires the use of expensive modern manufacturing equipment (Pereira et al., 2021). The high hardware cost is a fundamental drawback of CAD/CAM and a significant impediment to their widespread adoption.
Complexity of Software
Computer software is becoming more flexible and adaptable as technology progresses. This, however, comes at the cost of increasing the software’s complexity (Pereira et al., 2021). This intricacy makes learning the software more challenging for new users.
What are the challenges manufacturers could face?
Manufacturing organizations are being pushed to create a more digital and data-driven workforce due to the present economic climate. There are some issues that producers continue to encounter as the sector incorporates additional technology and influences the future of textile manufacturing.
Automation Adoption in Processes and on Plant Floors
Industry 4.0 is also known as the Internet of Things or IoT. It has introduced a new era of technology to revolutionize the way industry functions in recent years, such as robots. Skilled workers are apprehensive about working for organizations that have not fully integrated digital technologies, according to a report by MHI and Deloitte (Pereira et al., 2021). Traditional mentorship programs, in which an experienced employee discusses professional or personal experiences with a younger employee, are common to most businesses (Pereira et al., 2021). On the other hand, reverse mentoring is when a younger employee instructs more senior colleagues on digital skills and how to use specific technology, such as internet marketing.
Because of COVID-19’s in-person limits, 84 percent of recently surveyed manufacturers use their website to create new clients, up from 72 percent before the epidemic. Given the rising usage of technological breakthroughs, manufacturing leaders should be aware that their industry is one of the most targeted by cyber-attacks (Pereira et al., 2021). According to surveys, cybercriminals are turning their focus away from the banking industry and toward manufacturing.
The Effect of the Use of Computer-based Technologies on Cost and Financial Performance
According to Bikash and Datta, CAD software creates impressive models that marketing and sales departments can show off without spending money on prototypes to convince investors and clients (Chaudhary et al., 2020). While the Harmit and Harpreet stated that automation and CAD technology boosted design quality, production capacity, production efficiency, and communication speed (Chaudhary et al., 2020). At the same time, operating costs, personnel, and lead time dropped. Okay and Oppong have researched that the adoption of CAD technology increased the garment manufacturing industry’s productivity effectiveness and efficiency (Chaudhary et al., 2020). This is because it integrates many garment manufacturing processes, starting with the integration of multiple machines and finally the sewing of these parts.
Textiles and garments are some of the most labor-intensive industries in developing countries, and they are nevertheless seen as a driving factor for industrialization. Traditional textile and garment manufacturing technologies have been used in these countries. The introduction of new and computerized technology has shifted these countries’ production systems toward capital-intensive technologies.
A variety of aspects of new technologies are related to their impact on industrial processes. The sector faces numerous obstacles and drawbacks due to these developments, including software complexity, job instability, processing restrictions, and so on, as well as benefits such as increased productivity, quality, and reduced time spent and working hours. In light of the information presented in this study article, it is possible to conclude that the application of computer technologies to the manufacturing sector is beneficial rather than detrimental.
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Chaudhary, S., Kumar, P., & Johri, P. (2020). Maximizing performance of apparel manufacturing industry through CAD adoption. International Journal of Engineering Business Management, 12, 1847979020975528.
Fazal, M. & Hamdani, S. (2016). Computer Applications in Textiles: In Y. Nawab (Ed.), Textile Engineering: An introduction, 11, pp. 191-200.
Jing, F. (2021). The Analysis of Computer Aided Design and Software Application in Textile industry. Journal of Physics: Conference Series , 4.
Pereira, F., Carvalho, V., Vasconcelos, R., & Soares, F. (2021). A Review in the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Textile Industry. In International Conference Innovation in Engineering, pp. 377-392