Stylish clothing, quickly

Article of 29 November 2019 

Automation technology in textile production

Spinning yarn, weaving fabric, seaming, buttonholing and stitching decorative seams on to textiles – before a shirt, blouse, dress, etc. can be hung on a rack in a shop, many complex and labour-intensive steps are necessary. Automation technology helps to produce clothing quickly and with high quality.

Front, back, sleeves, collar and much more – garments often comprise more than 20 different parts. From the production of the yarn to the sewing of the last button, numerous complex and time-consuming production steps are carried out – many still by hand. With the support of automation technology, the production process can be accelerated and high quality achieved. This is very important, as prices for textiles continue to fall, but customers expect quality clothing. This increases the competitive pressure for manufacturers enormously.

Automation technology supports the textile worker

Whereas 200 years ago textile workers had to manually insert loose wool into a spindle and turn the spinning wheel with exactly the right tension and speed, today, for instance, fully automatic air spinning machines are used. Compressed air is used for air spinning, also known as air jet spinning. The spinning process produces a sheath of twisted fibres that firmly surrounds a fibre core. The yarn is thus very stable and has an even surface.

Automation technology also supports textile workers in the production of buttonholes. They can adjust the shape and length via a control panel on the machine, eliminating the need for a lengthy measuring process. After that, the workers only have to guide the fabric, and the automatic machine sews the matching shape on to a piece of clothing and cuts the fabric between the two seams – the buttonhole is then ready.

At almost four seconds per buttonhole, the 581 automatic eyelet buttonholer from Dürkopp Adler is the fastest of its kind in the world. In use: VUVG solenoid valve from Festo.
At almost four seconds per buttonhole, the 581 automatic eyelet buttonholer from Dürkopp Adler is the fastest of its kind in the world. In use: VUVG solenoid valve from Festo.

Sturdy and precisely working components in demand

The majority of the textile industry is located in Asia, especially in the tropical countries. Since the climate there is warm and humid and the environment is often dusty, robust components are required in the machines. Pneumatic components in particular are very durable and can withstand environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature fluctuations.

To avoid loose seams or crooked buttonholes when processing clothing, precision is also very important. Pneumatics can also be very effective here: machines with this technology have a high energy density, which makes them both fast and very accurate.

The Festo core product range

Festo’s core product range includes numerous pneumatic components for use in the textile industry. The 2,200 parts in total cover all levels of the pneumatic and electrical control chain – be it compressed air preparation, valves, cylinders and accessories such as suitable hoses and fittings.

In addition to the delivery of standard components, series machine manufacturers often also require complete units in which several components have already been pre-assembled. In this way, they can concentrate more on the further development of their machine technology. Festo is also taking care of this – so that automation technology can support even more in the future.