Technology adds resilience to the garment industry

"From January to May this year, China's clothing, shoes and hats, textile goods retail sales increased by 14.1%, the growth rate in the 16 categories of retail goods ranked second, this achievement is very difficult, strong support for the steady growth of China's industrial economy, once again showing the strong resilience of China's clothing industry." At the recently held 2023 China Apparel Technology Conference, Yu Kun, director of the Textile Department of the Consumer Goods Industry Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said. 
Chen Dapeng, vice president of China Textile Industry Federation and President of China Garment Association, believes that as a basic consumer goods industry, the garment industry is a traditional industry, a livelihood industry, and an innovative industry that embodies human technological progress, cultural development and the change of The Times. The development history of the garment industry is also the history of the continuous change and evolution of science and technology, and scientific and technological progress has always been an important engine for the development of the garment industry. 
Science and technology support industry innovation 
Over the past 40 years of reform and opening up, supported by the rapid improvement of science and technology, China has built the world's largest and most complete garment industry system. In particular, in the past 10 years, the scientific and technological innovation of the garment industry has accelerated in an all-round way, with innovation and development as the theme, intelligent manufacturing and digital transformation as the main line, and a series of scientific and technological innovation practices in research and development, production, management and service as the goal, and the transformation and upgrading of the whole industry has been steadily promoted. 
"The garment industry is the condensation and integration of scientific and technological innovation and cultural creativity, the inheritance and unity of material creation and experience creation, integrated into the development trend, from the internal structure to the external correlation, from the component elements to the development rules, the industry is undergoing systematic changes." China Textile Industry Federation president Sun Ruizhe said. 
In Sun Ruizhe's view, the transformation of the garment industry is, first of all, the transformation of production mode. A new round of technological revolution is accelerating the reorganization of factor resources, the optimization of manufacturing processes, and the upgrading of industrial forms, profoundly changing the input-output relationship and industrial cost structure. With the acceleration of the emergence of new models and new formats such as the systematization of the industrial Internet, the engineering of artificial intelligence, the scene of robots, the personalized customization of network collaborative manufacturing, and the flexible fast reverse, the industry has been promoted to lean, service-oriented, and green transformation. The second is the innovation paradigm change, data-driven, tool iteration, platform empowerment, a new round of technological revolution is forming a new innovation paradigm, generative artificial intelligence technology is reshaping the trend research, material innovation, pattern design, product development, marketing methods and tools, processes and cycles, cost and efficiency. Trigger new issues such as data security, information overload, content distortion, business ethics, data ownership, intellectual property, etc. Third, changes in business models, integration of localization and globalization, changes in development concepts and lifestyles, balance between economic value and ecological value, unity of virtual experience and real utility, technological innovation to promote the establishment of new connections and form new innuendo, and industrial development is facing new practical requirements and value judgments. New economic forms such as circular economy, experience economy, platform economy and creative economy are developing rapidly. 
Today, the new generation of information technology is leading the vigorous development of China's garment industry, digital productivity is increasingly showing a strong growth momentum, clothing research and development in the era of big data has revolutionized traditional design and brand management concepts, intelligent computational system can quickly and accurately assess fabric demand and optimize the management of material handling process. Intelligent cutting effectively solves the problems of low efficiency and large error in traditional manufacturing links. 
"At present, the digital research and development design of China's garment industry has made great progress, the level of automation and intelligent production has been greatly improved, the comprehensive application level of the deep integration of the two has steadily improved, the transformation of 'Internet +' practical manufacturing services has been further promoted, and the multidimensional product innovation ability has continued to improve." Chen Dapeng said. 
According to Chen Dapeng, in the digital research and development design of clothing, China's clothing industry's big data trends and consumer demand forecasting system, AI intelligent clothing design system has greatly improved the effectiveness and efficiency of product research and development, and the function of domestic 3D digital virtual design software has been iteratively optimized, rendering effect is more realistic. In many domestic garment enterprises, the rapid application research and development cycle is greatly shortened, the proofing production is reduced, and the material cost of clothing design is greatly reduced. In addition, in terms of automation and intelligent production, China's garment industry automatic sewing single machine, sewing unit and template sewing system have achieved many innovative results, automata in the "three clothes and two pants" (suit jacket, business casual shirt, shirt, dress pants, business casual pants) demonstration enterprise production process utilization rate of 80%, on the basis of automation and intelligent manufacturing process, The overall solution of intelligent workshop and intelligent factory is becoming more mature. 
"We can feel the rapid development of a new generation of digital technology from the modern technology iteration speed represented by AI (artificial intelligence), which continues to provide better and better conditions for the true integration of digital and business applications in the clothing industry." Although it is still a long-term process for the industry to achieve a high degree of digitalization and the digitalization of the whole chain of the supply chain, the transformation and change process of the industry based on digital technology is accelerating in an all-round way, and the general trend and roadmap of industrial digitalization, networking, intelligence and cross-border interconnection are becoming clearer and clearer." Chen Dapeng said. 
Eliminate industry pain points and blocking points 
In Chen Dapeng's view, today's garment industry in China is characterized by high marketization, high openness, and interdisciplinary integration, sensitive to the development of equipment, production, design, materials, information technology and other technologies, and rapid application of cutting-edge technologies, which is a typical high-tech application industry. 
"In 2022, China's online retail sales of apparel products will reach 2.17 trillion yuan." Chen Dapeng said that the huge scale of consumption and high-frequency consumption habits make clothing become one of the most active areas of data interaction between consumption and production, but the inventory pain points of the clothing industry, homogenization, inefficient competition and the existence of problems such as the traditional supply chain model does not adapt to market changes, urgently need to rely on the power of science and technology, relying on industrial digitalization to solve. 
"Inventory not only eats up cash flow, but also brings storage and transportation costs, and the longer the sales cycle drags on, the harder it is to turn inventory into profit and the lower the value of the product." Chen Dapeng said, "At present, the population, policies and cost dividends are fading, the homogenization of the industry competition is serious, most clothing companies over-rely on ODM factory resources, lack a clear market positioning, product design and marketing promotion." In addition, the traditional supply chain model of large-scale production and then layer upon layer distribution can no longer meet the needs of the consumer side, and the flexible supply chain of small-batch, multi-style and multi-batch production (small single fast reverse) has become the trend of The Times." 
"Relying on digitalization and intelligent manufacturing to solve the 'small order fast reverse' of the clothing industry, the inventory problems and supply chain problems existing in the industry will naturally be solved." Ruan Jixiang, founder and chairman of Jack Technology Co., LTD., said, "The 'fast reverse' era needs to achieve an overall solution through a series of soft and hard solutions. First, sewing machine is the most essential production tool, to adapt to a variety of different fabric characteristics; Second, the cutting equipment should have higher precision and higher efficiency; Third, the real-time working hours and production efficiency of the production line should be guaranteed; Fourth, different production lines should be combined with different hanging systems to flexibly improve production efficiency; Fifth, to achieve the soft and hard integrated pull production with MES (Manufacturing Execution System); Sixth, it is necessary to design and manufacture with digital links to ensure that the overall efficiency of production is improved." 
According to Ruan Jixiang, in the context of global clothing consumption entering the "fast fashion" track, Jack Technology saw such an opportunity as early as 5 years ago: clothing production into the "small single fast reverse" mode, there will inevitably be frequent production lines to change the production scene, different materials, different thickness of the fabric to frequently switch. 
"And now the sewing equipment on the market in the change of the need to stop debugging, waste of time does not say, if the debugging is not ideal, there will be broken thread, jump stitch and fabric wrinkles and other problems, which is a lot of clothing factory pain points, but also a major problem facing the sewing industry." Mr. Ruan said. 
In order to solve this industry problem, Jack cooperated with 6 universities and institutions at home and abroad and well-known institutions to tackle key problems, has gone through more than 1.5 million fabric testing experiments, R & D investment of more than 100 million yuan, and successfully developed the industry-leading A.M.H fabric adaptive system "fast anti-Wang" sewing machine equipped with "nine brain octopus" chip and "Great ape" motor. 
"The A.M.H fabric adaptive system is an important feature of the 'fast anti-king' sewing machine. Using advanced sensing technology, the system can automatically perceive the characteristics of the fabric and make corresponding adjustments in real time, without the need to manually carry out cumbersome adjustment operations. Thick as a jacket, thin as yarn, four sides, no matter what the characteristics of the fabric, 'fast anti-king' can cope with the ease, and thick, thin, elastic fabric sewing together without manual adjustment of the machine, this is the 'fast anti-king' the biggest core technology point." "On the day the new product was released, customers around the world pre-ordered 150,000 units," Mr. Ruan said.
In the view of Jin Luyan, general manager of the global strategic Customer Department of Jack Shares in China, the flexible fast reverse has brought the opportunity for Chinese clothing enterprises to overtake the curve, but there are also hardware and software barriers between different enterprises in the industry, who is the first to break through the barriers and truly establish a small single fast reverse universal model, who can become the industry leader. 
Build a new pattern in the garment industry 
At present, a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation is developing in depth, and new digital and intelligent technologies such as virtual reality, meta-universe, and artificial intelligence are deeply integrated with the garment industry, promoting the quality and efficiency of the industrial supply chain, and bringing the renewal of the business format and the extension of value. 
"Since ChatGPT, AI-generated content (AIGC) has been trending in all industries, and people are talking about this new way of creating content after professional produced content (PGC) and user Produced content (UGC), which will also revolutionize the apparel industry." Chen Dapeng said. 
At the creative design level of clothing, AI creation can upgrade the model according to the needs of the fashion industry, and through a large number of design data and trend analysis, help designers generate new design patterns, color matching, styles and fabric suggestions, improve design efficiency and creative level. In addition, artificial intelligence can also transform the design sketch into a realistic clothing, highly restore the fabric, material, process and other details, to ensure that the sample clothing and the design of the same effect, designers can adjust the design online at any time, improve the quality and efficiency of clothing design. 
At the consumption level, by analyzing the user's purchase history, preferences and fashion trend data, artificial intelligence can provide users with personalized clothing recommendations, provide strong support for the design effect of enterprises, and improve the fashion judgment of clothing design. At the same time, through information such as big data and social media, fashion trends and consumer demand can be predicted to help clothing companies make accurate market decisions. 
"The traditional clothing industry provides massive data and richer application scenarios for AI, and the deep integration of artificial intelligence and business can significantly improve production efficiency." Chen Dapeng said. 
"In the past few years, the intelligent manufacturing of the clothing industry has made great progress, effectively improving the flexibility of manufacturing and production efficiency." But objectively speaking, intelligent manufacturing is still in a relatively preliminary stage. 'Manual + automation equipment + system + digital report (large screen)' in the manufacturing side to achieve the improvement from automation to information, but did not achieve the essential change, only to improve the basic work efficiency." Chen Dapeng said that in the future, through "AI+ manufacturing", complex process processes can be precipitated and transformed into AI algorithms, so that algorithms can drive equipment, use human-computer interaction to achieve more effective auxiliary management and decision-making, and deeply integrate artificial intelligence and manufacturing processes and processes to promote the data value of the industrial Internet and the intangible value of AI algorithms to produce "chemical changes". Thereby greatly improving production efficiency. 
"The garment industry should fully grasp the transformative effect of the digital economy, take consumption upgrading as the guide, take digitalization as the starting point, take scene application as the starting point, strengthen the guidance of digital concepts and the application of digital technology, and coordinate the promotion of data-driven, resource aggregation, platform construction and industrial integration." Yu Kun said. 
In Chen Dapeng's view, the trusted intelligent clothing manufacturing system based on the Web3.0 platform will provide more intelligent, efficient and safe technical support for upstream and downstream manufacturing enterprises in the industry, thus promoting the rapid development of intelligent clothing manufacturing. "In the future, we will face a new, technology-driven digital industry ecology, will iterate an unprecedented digital industry chain application scenario, clothing industry chain can be efficiently shared and exchanged between all links." From big data consumption to AI innovation, from AI research and development to AI supply chain, from cloud factory to flexible manufacturing, through digital technology and intelligent systems to achieve efficient collaboration and optimization between all links of the clothing industry chain. Real-time data sharing and exchange, traceability and transparency, flexibility and agility, precision and efficiency of decision making digital technologies will reshape our modern clothing industry logic and business civilization." Chen Dapeng said.