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Digital Textile Micro Factory to debut at Heimtextil

As part of this presentation, a digital production chain will be showcased live on site.

29th November 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Frankfurt


At the upcoming Heimtextil, a leading trade fair for home and contract textiles, which will be held from 10-13 January, Messe Frankfurt will present the Digital Textile Micro Factory in the "digital print technology" segment for the first time.

As part of this presentation, which has been set up in collaboration with the German Institute for Textile and Fibre Research and in partnership with renowned representatives from the industry, a digital production chain will be showcased live on site.

More space for digital printing

From the design and digital printing to cutting and confection, visitors will experience the completely networked production of textiles. “With the Digital Textile Micro Factory, we'll be revealing a model of the future. It enables individualised products to be manufactured in a competitive, regional way to meet demand through the digital networking of automated processes,” commented Sabine Scharrer, Manager of Heimtextil. “The possibilities are almost limitless and we're proud to be able to implement this project with our partners.”

Heimtextil is a leading international trade fair for home and contract textiles. © Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Thomas Fedra

With its new location in hall 6.0, the digital print technology segment will be given more space in a central area of the exhibition site, organisers report. Leading printer manufacturers from across the world will present their innovations and technologies for the textile segment here. With more exhibitors and more surface area than last year, this segment will grow for the fifth time in a row at the upcoming Heimtextil.

From design to finished product

The digital networking of the production steps within the Micro Factory ensures optimal material consumption, quicker processing time for orders and the highest level of flexibility to enable producers to react to market needs in a short space of time. Visitors walk through the Micro Factory following a specified path with various different stations portraying the manufacturing steps undertaken in textile production. Experts are on hand to explain technical details and answer questions.

The wide range of products showcased at Heimtextil is subdivided into the home textiles and the household textiles product segments, as well as a services segment. © Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Thomas Fedra

The starting point is the design area where the workflow starts with the selection and preparation of the design. The station is manned by European higher education institutions which are coordinated by Heimtextil partner Printcubator. The next step shows how the textiles are printed using the digital printing procedure. Manufacturing orders can be combined and printed in a colour binding way using various parameters. The specific know-how is provided by hardware and software partners Mimaki, Ergosoft and Multiplot.

The digital cutting of the textiles is realised at the next station in partnership with the company Zünd. One of the biggest challenges of this production step is the automatic identification of the orders, in order to be able to cut various materials in accordance with their specific characteristics and to the best standard of quality.

International manufacturers, dealers, and designers present their products and innovations to a large audience of trade visitors. © Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Thomas Fedra

In the last production stage, the cut textiles are sewn together using automatic identification. The latest machine developments, the recognition of textiles and categorisation, as well as the digital networking of sewing machines, are presented by the experts at Heimtextil partner Juki.

Shop window display

The tour through the Digital Textile Micro Factory ends with a shop window display coordinated by Hochschule Luzern and the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences from Helsinki.

As in the first production step, the design area, students from the higher education institutions The StrzemiÅ„ski Academy of Art Łódź and MOME Moholy-Nagy Kunstakademie, Budapest, support the depiction of this process at this station. The students present possible applications for textile printing in the home textile industry. Visitors to the Micro Factory will get one of the textile products printed on site as a gift.

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