US Johnson Controls teams up with others to redefine textile manufacture
Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company with core businesses in the automotive, building and battery industries, is working with leading sportswear manufacturer adidas Group and other partners to redefine the way textiles are manufactured
The partners want to increase automation in the production of textiles. In doing so, Johznson Controls as the leading manufacturer of vehicle seats and sealing components, intends to optimise sealing tri8m cover production.
At Johnson Controls the majority of sewing required for vehicle seat covers is largely done by hand. Although increasing automation in this area is very complex, the company is convinced that it is feasible, comments Andreas Eppinger, group vice president technology management.
SPEEDFACTORY, as the project is known, aims to combine the capabilities of both humans and machines. At the project’s conclusion, the prototype of a system should be in place in which humans and robots work together to produce textile products.
While adidas seeks to automate the production of sporting goods, Johnson controls’ goal is to automate the production of vehicle seat covers. The company intends to optimise the cutting and sewing process, as well as the handling of textiles. This new process will involve textiles being cut in a certain way, aligned and then joined to make trim covers.
Johnson Controls is working on SPEEDFACTORY with the leading manufacturer of sports, clothing and accessories, adidas, the mechanical engineering company KSL Kellmann Sondermaschinenbau, the Institute of Textile Technology at RWTH Aachen University (ITA), and fortiss, an institute associated with the Technical University of Munich, with the mandate to facilitate research and technology transfer in software intensive systems and services. The research project is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.