When the Chinese clothing manufacturer Tianyuan Garments Company opens its newest factory in 2018, it will be in Arkansas, not China, and instead of workers hunched over sewing machines, the factory will be filled with fully autonomous robots and their human supervisors.
Once the system is fully operational, each of the 21 production lines in the factory will be capable of making 1.2 million T-shirts a year, at a total cost of production that can compete in terms of cost with apparel companies that manufacture and ship clothing from the lowest-wage countries in the world. The factory will be one of the first to use a technology that could herald immense changes in how the apparel industry works.
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And then Read our take on the potential impact of robotech introduction in the garment industry in Bangladesh here.
The introduction of robotech in garment industry will have two micro impacts that each will have further macro impacts. One is it will increase efficiency and profit resulting in more wealth for the owners and the select few. And it will destroy a part of repetitive and largely less productive manual labor in the industry risking jobs of hundreds and thousands of unskilled and semi-skilled labor in the country who would have a difficult time finding alternative employment opportunities. At the same time, it will also change the competitive landscape of the industry. With increased efficiency and reduced cost, the early adopters will enjoy virtually infinite competitive edge over smaller players in the market.