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As China's sewing machinery industry entirely implements the strength strategy, it has made noticeable achievements in recent years in promoting the scientific research system, optimizing the product structure and related areas after consistently carrying out technological innovation and scientific breakthrough with the overall target of quality and efficiency improvement, and high-quality development. Following the steady enhancement of technology in the whole industry, China's sewing machinery industry has stepped onto the path of innovation-driven development, and the pace of core technological maturity has been speeded up. However, the sewing machinery industry in China is still faced with a huge gap in aspects like the capability of independent innovation, store of fundamental equipment and product quality when compared with advanced foreign counterparts. Therefore, it's desperately urgent to usher in an era of high-quality development in the whole industry through overcoming the shortcomings, guiding and strengthening the fundamental research of sewing machinery and coordinating high-quality technological resources to break technological barriers.
Demand orientation & overall planning
To narrow the gap, China Sewing Machinery Association (CSMA) has opportunely initiated the research program of basic sewing machinery theories and technological shortcomings in March, 2020 and commenced the collection of such theories and core technology studies from all the members of CSMA and institutes of scientific research.
It is introduced by Chen Ji, General Secretary of CSMA, that the whole industry has entered the critical stage of product structure adjustment and smart upgrade. As the demand for high-quality custom-made smart equipment by downstream users in apparel, fur and associated areas grows, and modern technologies including IT, smart control and network technology further integrate with the industry, the technological transformation and upgrade face huge challenge, which made it urgent to conduct theoretical analysis and handle the shortage of core technological stores. The collection of theories and studies, driven by the desperate desire for high-quality development, works as a brand new measure formulated by CSMA to support the fundamental technological research, and strengthen the capacity to support technological innovation. On one hand, it will complement the shortcomings in core technology; on the other hand, it will lay a solid theoretical foundation for technological innovation in the future. This collection program aims to guide and invigorate the fundamental study of sewing machinery, and facilitate the breakthrough in pioneering theoretical basis and leading original accomplishment.
As we know, a new technological innovation mode powered by the cooperation between CSMA and key members will be brought in for the first time during the collection program with ideal industrial resources aligned; the analysis of sewing principles & mechanism, and application of parts manufacturing process will be carried out to remedy the failure of fundamental research. Moreover, breakthroughs are expected to be made in core technologies including automatic feeding for sewing/trimming, gripping of flexible fabric, robots, independent drive and smart factory.
Multi-parties response & overcoming difficulties
As soon as launched, the collection program, intensively welcomed by enterprises and practitioners, received 55 research projects from 20 companies covering a wide range of fields like cutting, sewing and embroidery. Among those projects, a good many are characterized by theoretical profundity, prospect and creativeness. Several key enterprises confirm that this program has provided a strong impetus for technological innovation in sewing industry, and that the project planning conforms to practical needs of technological upgrade, which will ignite enterprises' innate ability to realize independent innovation based development.
As said by Guan Yangren, Deputy General Manager of R&D from Jack Sewing Machine Co., Ltd, the collection program of basic sewing machinery theory and technological shortcomings launched by CSMA is just like "a timely rain", which provides stimulus for further progress. And Jack, a leading enterprise in sewing industry, is obligated to play its role in reinforcing equipment and product advantage, and delivering technological renovation. This time 7 projects proposed by Jack have been admitted including "the study of fully digitalized thread take-up technology" and "the design and application analysis of IoT digital sewing machinery". Jack seeks to fulfill breakthrough in basic theories and key technologies by wholly mobilizing core technological resources and orderly running the R&D of technical programs, so as to make remarkable contributions to the industry and counterparts.
Pan Lei, Product Director of Beijing Dahao Technology Co., Ltd, said that the subsequent development of embroidery machine will revolve around the innovation stimulus and smart transformation, guided by automation, network, digitalization, and smart tech. Dahao strives to improve the function and performance of product for the purpose of bringing better experience and efficiency to end-user. Through launching the collection program, CSMA has pointed an explicit direction for enterprises' following development, especially for the overcome of technological shortcomings, and provided financial and technological support, which ultimately accelerate the maturity and popularization of system.
Zhu Qiang, Technical Director of Xi'an Typical Industries Co., Ltd, said that as the downstream users speed up their pace of automation and being smart, R&D programs oriented towards clients' need will mushroom accordingly. In the following years, Typical will concentrate on the analysis of downstream users' product process and find out their potential demands. Typical's projects submitted for evaluation this time include "the research of zigzag stitch by movement mechanism in lockstitch sewing machine", "the integrated control tech analysis of mechanism's independent drive", and "the study of sewing machine's digital and modular design", which are originated from the downstream users' manufacture tendency of diverse and small scale customization and de-skilling, and focus on technological interchangeability and maturity. And those projects will hopefully provide theoretical basis for the company to develop a new generation of automated sewing machinery with excellent performance.
Luo Qian, President of Ningbo Supreme Electronic Machinery Inc., has fully recognized that the collection program conforms to the development trend of sewing industry, and provides an instructive guidance for the selection of research direction, preferential resources and key R&D areas in future. He also noted that Supreme has emphasized the probe into techniques like layer by layer gripping of flexible fabric, analysis & control of visual graphics taking into account the hindrances encountered by downstream users in apparel and fur, such as difficulty in recruiting employee, heavy reliance on skilled worker and increase of labor cost. Such studies will theoretically help the automation of the following manufacture workflow: material feeding, production and processing, product collection, and eventually fulfill the pursuit of process integration and de-skilling.
Xu Xiaolin, President of Guangdong Yuanyi Technology Industries Co., Ltd, noted that the apparel industry has put forward higher requirements for lead time and quality control during the transition into small scale and multiple orders mode of production. Believing in the idea of clients' need empowering enterprises' innovation, Yuanyi has thoroughly investigated the cutting workshops of fabric apparel manufacturers, and developed technologies like digitalized cutting and cloth spreading equipment, and smart management system via cloud, which can align the production decision with data in real time, and support downstream users to resolve thorny problems like efficiency improvement, cost reduction and flexible production. The collection program proposed by CSMA has greatly built up enterprises' confidence in innovation and development. Besides, the exploration of technological theories will boost the progress of companies' scientific researches.
Well organized & steadily progressed
Currently, the collection program has gone through the first 2 phases, i.e. projects submission, professional assessment, and admitted 26 projects including 6 key projects and 20 common projects. Next, the program will be carried out in 4 more steps, which is task notification, project development, project acceptance, and achievement promotion.
Task notification: CSMA will sign technological development agreement with enterprises undertaking the admitted projects, specify the research task and development plan, and then allocate funds for such projects.
Project development: the R&D period will span 9 months, during which CSMA will conduct random check regularly to make sure that the projects are carried forward as planned. The research results shall be submitted in form of thesis or technical report.
Project acceptance: CSMA will assign experts to accept common projects through correspondence, and accept key projects on site or through thesis defense.
Achievement promotion: CSMA will compile the research achievements for publication and recommend them as models so as to popularize such achievements in the whole industry.
The year of 2020 happens to be the ending year of the 13th five-year development plan for the sewing industry. The collection of research projects has paved the way for the planning of subsequent technological innovation and development, and is bound to be another crucial channel to pursue the development strategy of edge-cutting technology and world class quality. This will encourage the sewing industry to seek more technological innovation, break through major technological barriers, and improve the quality and efficiency of innovation, in which case, a batch of products and enterprises augmented by strong competitiveness and core technology will come into being. Finally, all these efforts will definitely ease the transition from a large manufacturer to a power with quality strength, and noticeably raise the global status of sewing machinery made in China.
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