China-headquartered Tianyuan Garments Company, the largest producer of apparel for Adidas worldwide, has installed USA-based SoftWear Automation’s fully automated sewbots (sewing robots) to produce 8 lakh T-shirts per day at Tianyuan's newly acquired plant in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Tianyuan Garments Chairman Tang Xinhong has stated that the 21 production lines being installed would take roughly four minutes to make a finished product, right from fabric cutting to sewing and would make one T-shirt every 22 seconds.
He said that with complete automation, the labour cost for each T-shirt is roughly 33 US cents, adding that even the cheapest labour in the world cannot compete with the Tianyuan Garments plant.
Using cameras to map the fabric and robots to steer it through sewing needles, the SoftWear Automation installed system will handle soft fabrics and begin making T-shirts for Adidas by the end of 2018, he said.
This development is being considered as a big achievement for Atlanta-based SoftWear Automation, which launched operations in 2012.
The company’s sewbots use a combination of patented high-speed computer vision and lightweight robotics to steer fabric to and through the needle with greater speed and accuracy than a human.
The technology was developed by and is patented by Georgia Tech's Advanced Technology Development Centre, USA.