Announcing: Sewbots as a Service
Comment of the Day

February 06 2019

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Announcing: Sewbots as a Service

This press release from Softwear may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

SEWBOTS-as-a-Service creates immediate ROI benefits while enabling scale across retailer, brand, and manufacturer.  For a monthly fee starting at $5,000 per month per robot, a factory can add annual production capacity of up to 1M units (product dependent). This enables a manufacturer to bring on a Sewbot for just over $55/shift (based on 7 days a week and 3 shifts a day).

SEWBOTS-as-a-Service is focused on bringing scale to basic sewn good production within the country of destination (a local supply chain).  This focus allows manufacturers to move current seamstresses to premium products while creating a more reactive, reliable and sustainable textile ecosystem.

Eoin Treacy's view

One million units probably refers to the production of pillow cases rather than t-shirts so let’s estimate that a machine can produce a garment one can actually wear at a rate of 300,000 units per year. That’s 20 cents per garment, which is still high compared to what be achieved internationally. However, it is ideal for short runs and on demand applications. It also reduces the time to customer and the requirement for a global logistics network.  
I’ve been watching the evolution of this sector for years. The age of mass employment in sweat shops is coming to an end. That represents a challenge to impoverished nations to improve their governance in a hurry to capture the opportunity to grow from basic manufacturing and exports today because it is going to be more difficult in future.

From a factory owner’s perspective automation is a no-brainer. Machines don’t get sick, fail to turn up, argue and don’t have unions. If machines break down at least you can call someone. Calls for higher minimum wages and the continuing trend towards instant gratification make the case for nearshoring provided costs can be controlled.

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