The textile industry has come a long way – from the good old days of handcrafting to today’s highly technology-driven industry, the industry has transformed itself. The textile industry has always been very labor intensive industry and with advancements in technology, especially technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things), artificial intelligence, it has been able to achieve a high degree of automation over the complete textile fabrication process – right from design, fabric creation to finishing.
Being an industry which relies heavily on fine details such as equipment monitoring, stock management for dyes and raw material, supply chain visibility, workforce management and coordination, and analysis, textile is the most suited industry for digital transformation. The industry also needs to provide a quick response to deviations from Standard Operating Conditions to minimize the revenue loss and ensure effective use of skilled manpower. Very rightly so, it is at the forefront of the adoption of latest technologies.
Remember the last time our drone did a round of a manufacturing plant? Now, fascinated by the digital transformation in the textile industry, it has decided to take a deeper look at one of the leading textile manufacturing plant which is IoT-enabled.
Let’s see what it finds there and if it impresses the drone.
The drone starts its review from the Spinning unit. For those who think that spinning is a simple process, let me share with you that it involves eleven (yes eleven) different intermediate processes such as - Bale Inventory Warehouse, Blow Room, Carding Department, Pre-Drawframe, Lap Winder, Comber, Drawframe, Roving Frame, Ring Spinning/Speed Frame/OE spinning, Winding, and TFO. Across all these processes, it is important to collect the data in real-time, monitor the production and quality, ensure appropriate scheduling, and have an interface with the ERP system. The drone sees that this unit uses automation to ensure real-time visibility of the manufacturing process. The IoT integration is helping this unit in highlighting the weak points in the production process and thereby reduce the machine stop time/down time. With reduced paperwork and automated data collection, the ‘decision support’ is optimal and the unit has optimized scheduling and logistics.
In the overall automation within the spinning unit, silver breaks and mending time analysis, specific energy analysis, linking of actual energy utilization with production for good and reject quantity as well as per kg production, doff analysis, breakdown analysis, and OEE alongwith productivity/efficiency of workforce, are the things which the drone is specifically impressed with.
Next, the drone hovers over the weaving unit. It learns that this unit monitors and synchronizes all the manufacturing and logistics activities within the weaving mill - right from yarn purchasing and inventory up to the shipment of the finished fabric. It has various sub-units including Sectional Warping, Sizing, Weavers Beam Stock, Weaving Loom, loom shed of variety looms of different make, configurations, versions, customizations, and Cloth Bean Stock. The drone notices that through IoT-enabled automation, the unit is able to gather real-time data, do production monitoring, analytics, bench-marking and scheduling, manage yarn inventory management, and also do the ticket printing. Through optimized production schedule, real-time visibility of the manufacturing process, and automatic data collection, the unit has been able to increase its efficiency by as high as 10% as compared to manual processes.
The drone is convinced that the overall efficiency enhancement is because of the unique features in the IoT solution such as weft and warp break analysis, OEE, water, air, electricity and energy consumption analysis, loom and style analytics, and breakdown analysis.
The drone understands that the next unit, which is the processing is probably the most complex unit with processes such as Batching, Desizing, Dyeing, Sanforization, Singeing, Stenter, and Mercerization. But the automated system here is doing a perfect job of automatic monitoring (and analytics on the top of same) of the number of beams produced, recipe management, individual production vs target, machine monitoring, and stoppages, and overseeing the overall machine health. The plant-level daily MIS reports including production efficiency, actual production, conversion and invisible loss, specific energy consumption per kg of yarn (or fabric) and waste percentage are helping the stakeholders in optimizing the performance of the unit.
The highlight of the IoT solution is batch/equipment bench-marking, batch-wise energy, utility, and chemical consumption analytics, report of batch set parameters vs actual set parameters, and batch-wise stoppage analytics.
MES for Textiles
MES (Manufacturing Execution System) is the flexible tool that enables managers to achieve operational excellence and rapidly respond to changing conditions. Through IoT integration, the drone notices that the system is able to do real-time production and quality monitoring, production management and production scheduling on all machines even including air jet texturizing machines. The yarn monitoring sensors ensure a 100% quality assurance without having to do the time-consuming and inaccurate laboratory tests.
The drone is stunned to see the superior yarn quality without the need of any quality sampling.
One of the many things which impress our drone is the energy management at the unit. The IoT solution maps different energy consumption (such as electricity, gas, compressed air, water, steam etc.) for further analysis and optimization. The integration with the MES systems provides a perfect insight into energy consumption and production and has helped the unit in 3% to 7% energy savings through real-time energy consumption monitoring.
As identified by IDC, Smart Manufacturing (with digital factory, asset management, and integrated plant management), Connected Products (with IoT as a service, self-healing products, and product as a service) and Connected Supply Chains (with fleet management, connected transportation and track & trace) are the various layers of use cases of IoT in textile manufacturing.
As per our drone, considering the phenomenal benefits of IoT and automation in the textile industry, we will see more investments and attention to big data analysis, cloud, IT-OT integration, M2M and IoT in the coming future. These systems are set to help the textile mills in responding to changing customer demands with more accuracy and thereby boosting customer relationships and brand loyalty.
Would you like our drone to closely review some other unit or industry next? So share your thoughts.