What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
Artificial intelligence refers to a simulation of human intelligence in smart machines which are programmed to think like humans, and mimic their actions. It is a wide-ranging branch of computer science which concerned with building machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. The term AI can also be applied to any machine that exhibits traits associated with a human mind such as learning and problem-solving.
Why AI Used in Textile Industries?
The high demand for the quality increased leading to the application of automated artificial intelligence in textile industries recent years. The automation with applications of artificial intelligence in textile production is becoming much popular due to the technical developments and the use of modeling and simulation.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining impetus over the last two decades, in the textile industry. The automation of various instruments by the application of artificial intelligence in spreading, cutting, sewing, and material handling can reduce the production cost and minimize faults in the overall textile production.
In many instances of textiles production, there are huge chances of error. The application of the AI can deal with the production process without error. As a result, over the last decade, the use of AI is rapidly growing in textile industries for various applications.
Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Textile Industry:
Textile industries are becoming more automated to cater the increasing demand of consumers. Adoptions of AI reduce the number of faults, and keep the production cost low. It is applied in all the stages (preproduction, production, and postproduction) of textile manufacturing.
AI is increasingly used to different stages of a sewn seam, design development, in PPC, fabric spreading, cutting, bundling, in various sewing operations, pressing, ironing, packaging, quality control, SCM, etc. Some of the important applications of artificial intelligence in textile industry are discussed in the below section. Out of several types of artificial intelligence, Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is widely used in textile industry in the following fields:
1. Fabric defect identification: Defects in fabric reduce the value of the textile products. Any defect in the fabric is passed into the final product, which can result in the rejection. That’s why fabric it is very essential to check the quality of the fabric before the manufacturing. Fabric inspection is manually checked by skilled workers using lighted tables with equipment. This process is slow and many times can allow faults to pass to the product.
In this case, the application of AI can perform this task at a faster rate, with much higher accuracy and without fatigue. Artificial intelligence can be used to predict the fabric properties before manufacturing with the help of the neuro-fuzzy or other system by using the yarn, and fabric’s constructional data.
2. Pattern inspection: Fabric pattern may have multiple aspects such like: weaving, knitting, braiding, finishing, and printing, etc. By replacing visual inspection with vision-based inspection could help manufacturers avoid human fatigue and errors in the detection of novelties and defects. AI techniques like ANN are applied for defect identification in fabric inspection of the textile industry. The fabric picture to be analysed is obtained from the image acquisition system and saved in relevant standard image format (.JPEG, .JPG, .PNG etc.). Different Multi-Layer back propagation algorithm is used to train and test this ANN system. The system learns the weaving pattern, yarn properties, colours and tolerable imperfections from these images.
3. Colour matching: Colour is an important aspect of textile products. The appearance of a textile product is perceived to be related to its quality. The colour of a product is judged to be acceptable/unsatisfactory, or it can be judged in more details to be: ‘too light ‘or, ‘too dark’, ‘too red’ or, ‘too green’. To solve this problem, AI can be developed that has ‘Pass/Fail’ feature to help improve the accuracy and efficiency.
4. Sewn seam: In sewn, seams and stitches are used to join two or more pieces of fabric together. The ease of seam formation and the performance of the seam are the important parameters are known as “sew-ability.” Fabric low-stress mechanical properties such as tensile, shear, bending, etc. may affect the sew-ability. Artificial intelligence system can be used to find the sew-ability of different fabrics during the production.
5. CAD systems: One of the important steps in textile production is pattern making. In this process, basic patterns are made by the designers and subsequently digitized to computer. Various CAD software are used in the textile industry for pattern-making, digitizing, grading, and marker planning. The CAD software helps in achieving high productivity and improved quality of the product.
6. Production planning and control: Production planning and control (PPC) coordinates between various departments of production so that delivery dates can met and buyer orders are delivered on time. AI can be used to solve of the machine layout, operation assignment, sewing line balancing, etc. AI can help in achieving the main purpose of PPC.
7. Final inspection: The inspection of finished and semi-finished textile product during their production is essential to get fewer rejections. The final quality inspection of finished garments is mainly done by experienced people, which is very time-consuming and may be influenced by the physical and mental condition of the inspector. As a result, automated AI inspection is essential to achieve the efficiency and accurate results. Automated inspection can be performed by the use of AI and image processing for inspection of the quality of the product.
8. SCM: Supply Chain Management in fashion includes the flow of fibres, yarns, fabrics, garments, trims, and accessories in between different production points or to retail. SCM integrates various business processes, activities, information, and resources for creating value for the buyers. Standard Supply Chain Management can manage the cost and business competitiveness.
Where Textile Industry should Adopt AI?
i. Apparel Retails: In Apparel retail, specifically, e-commerce, is driven by the fashions trending globally. AI helps computers identify images and recommend those products online which the customer is more likely to buy. E-commerce platforms, through artificial intelligence capabilities, are able to leverage the information available about the customers, and their inclinations, similarities, and differences in the kinds of applications and products they seek for. In this way AI can actually create a personalised shopping experience.
ii. Reinforcement Learning: Garments industry, specifically apparel manufacturing is a set of processes carried on repeatedly. AI is used for reinforcement learning can be used to teach computers to take different actions based on the situational parameters. It is the best possible for the optimal decisions in that situations. In this way, AI can be used in many processes like cut-order-planning, line balancing, inspection decisions, etc.
iii. Communication: AI can help reduce the manual efforts required for communication via natural language processing and learning capabilities. It helps the businesses automate conversations with the buyers. AI can help the business transpire with low error scope and personalised experience for the buyers.
iv. Data Analysis: Artificial intelligence intervention can help the industry to not just analyse large data volumes, but also predict consumer trends, making merchandising operation error free, and more aligned to thet customer needs.
The Impact of AI in the Textile Industry:
a) Trend-Spotting: With artificial intelligence, fashion brands can boost their business by tracking the latest fashion trends in just minute which would take days or even months.
b) Machine-assisted designs: AI tool can be analysed and learned the interred images and accordingly generate an altogether new fashion by itself.
c) Customers Experience: From providing customers with personalized advertisement notifications to alerting them on price drops to clearing their doubts or queries with chat bots to being a personal stylist. AI can provide customer instant outfit suggestions and fashion brands can meet their aim of elevating customer experience.
AI system is one of the best choices in the textile industry to integrate the features like production, quality, cost, info, applied mathematics method management, just-in-time production and digital integrated production. Artificial intelligence in the textile industry brings cutting-edge revolution and disruption that’s never been seen before. The application of artificial intelligence in textile industry has a bright future similar to other areas of application.
- Automation in Garment Manufacturing by byRajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye
Author of this Article:
Md. Mahedi Hasan
B.Sc. in Textile Engineering
Textile Engineering College, Noakhali.