The ARTEMIS real-time positioning and tracking system is offering Industry 4.0 innovation to Taiwan’s textile manufacturing process, offering Taiwan global competitiveness in production output and a reduction in manual labour.
Helping Taiwan textile manufacturers boost global competitiveness
Taiwan Textile Research Institute’s (TTRI) Yunlin Branch, which is currently collaborating with Avalue Technology, is a demonstration factory and an innovation nurturing and product development site for central and southern Taiwan. It is committed to helping local textile manufacturers boost their competitiveness globally by “selecting key technologies for R&D” and “bolstering innovative and forward-looking R&D”.
In a traditional textile factory environment, much time, effort and money have always been spent on personnel and asset control. After the introduction and actual operation of Avalue ARTEMIS real-time positioning and tracking system at TTRI’s Yunlin Branch, TTRI found that ARTEMIS can clearly help Taiwan textile manufacturers solve their perpetual problem.
The bottleneck at traditional textile factories
According to Lin Jian-min, Director at TTRI, one of the persistent problems facing Taiwan textile manufacturers is the difficulty in managing carts. In a textile dyeing factory, which can occupy over 10,000 square metres, there could be thousands of carts moving around. It is highly time-consuming and labour-intensive approach to manually handle such a complex operating environment.
The time needed for an operator to find a specific cart is approximately 20 minutes, and it is dependent on the operator’s experience and mental state at that point in time. A textile dyeing factory could lose up to 3 to 5% of its textile, which amounts to tens of millions of dollars, each year as a result. Accordingly, textile manufacturers have a pressing need to reduce such operating losses.
Real-time positioning helps operators locate carts quickly
The Avalue ARTEMIS real-time positioning and tracking system solves the problem of managing carts in textile factories. By pairing positioning tags with carts, and setting them by positioning base stations within the site, operators can achieve a bird’s eye view of the entire factory. With the position and information of each cart indicated clearly on the screen, anyone can easily and rapidly find specific carts, allowing operators to have more time to handle higher value work.
Actual on-site testing shows that operators take an average of three seconds to find a cart using ARTEMIS, which is an immense improvement in overall operating efficiency when compared to the average time of 20 minutes needed manually. Consequently, availability and production capacity have also increased. The resulting effect also includes an over 90% decrease in fabrics lost from being left on the carts for too long.
Using big data technologies to optimise workflow
Besides real-time cart position checking, ARTEMIS real-time positioning system also records every route taken by the carts. Analysis of the big data is then used to optimise cart routes, keeping the entire operating process highly efficient. Moreover, if a cart idles for too long at a particular position, the system will notify the administrator via app or email. The administrator can then handle the situation immediately to ensure the smoothness of the entire operating process.
The MiniMES dyeing and finishing Data Integration Automation System of the Textile research Institute integrates the on-site factory conditions and the central control of the dyeing machine, and has dyeing machine process records for big data analysis and MES (manufacturing execution system) process parameters to prevent human error. Through the full automation of dyeing and finishing operations, machine data collection, report evaluation, and so on, to calculate the actual cost and monitor each step, automation reduces human intervention and improves on-site production efficiency.
If users want to achieve smart manufacturing, the key is in the analysis of big data, and the two technologies of Avalue Technology and Textile Research Institute can use big data to collect and analyse data and continuously improve the operation process, which can be applied to textile manufacturing operations. In the process, traditional dyeing and finishing factories can achieve “optimisation of personnel and asset management” and “full automation of dyeing and finishing operations”, helping traditional textile factories to truly upgrade to smart factories.