Industry 4.0 technologies and implications for the global apparel industry, 2018
The fashion industry has traditionally been driven by planning and the use of traditional models. As a result, it can take as long as a year to create and bring a range to market. However, consumers are increasingly demanding new products within days or even hours. Manufacturers are therefore looking to transform their supply chains using the latest digital technologies. This digital evolution is known as Industry 4.0, and it is gaining increasing importance within the global apparel industry. Indeed, Industry 4.0 is not just about manufacturing or design but incorporates the entire life cycle of production—from concept to post-retail. In this report, Niki Tait explores the concept of Industry 4.0 and explains the benefits associated with new digital technologies—including production efficiency, faster speed to market and general cost reduction. The report also includes case studies of companies leading the way in the digitalisation of the apparel industry with examples in the areas of: computer aided design (CAD) technology; digital textile printing; digital colour management; embroidery; sewing; pressing and finishing; management information systems; retail; and smart factories.