ATLANTA-Avery Dennison and SoftWear Automation join forces to form what both companies refer to as a “fully-digital supply chain” for apparel and textile manufacturing.
Through the venture, the companies aim to improve speed and turnaround times for garment and textile manufacturing. An automation technology firm with offices in Georgia, SoftWear Automation develops robotic technology for full-automated production of sewn goods like T-shirts, pants, and shoes. In the summer of 2017, SoftWear CEO Palaniswamy “Raj” Rajan spoke with Printwear about the company’s proprietary technology and estimated the creation of 50-100 jobs through each T-shirt line launched with the machines. The company’s SEWBOT machine produces a complete T-shirt at approximately 22 seconds.
“At Avery Dennison, we recognize that the apparel industry is changing,” states Michael Colarossi, vice president of innovation, product line management, and sustainability at Avery Dennison. “As consumers continue to demand fast, customized solutions, the apparel industry is challenged to respond. Innovation is in our DNA, and this partnership, combined with our expertise and unique position in the value chain, is part of our broader strategy to help factories and brands get their customers the products they want when they want it.”
The partnership combines SoftWear’s garment-making technology with Avery Dennison’s specialties in areas like branding, labeling, and Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag technology. Both parties expect the venture to help address the challenge of making customized apparel with a supply chain that largely depends on overseas manufacturers at the current time.
“You can’t make an on-demand, made-to-measure garment if it needs to travel through the global supply chain,” states Rajan. “It will never be fast enough. We have to rethink how we deliver apparel to customers to match their demand for speed, variation, and quality.”
Through the near-shore model, the companies also expect to advance sustainability since it removes the need for long-distance and overseas shipping. “Sustainability is a core value of Avery Dennison, and this partnership aligns with our ongoing efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our operations and the broader industry,” adds Colarossi. “Automation allows manufacturers to drive greater productivity and create new, higher-value opportunities for brand owners to better service their consumers.”
The announcement comes as SoftWear continues to grow its automated technology in the apparel industry. In 2017 the company secured $4.5 million from its existing investor to refine its technologies and later that year inked a deal with an Adidas apparel producer in China.
For more information, visit http://www.averydennison.com.