Here are four new ideas that made a debut recently at ITMA Barcelona. They may or may not have an app but their rollout could have a bearing on the way natural resources are viewed, used and reused. These new ideas will matter to India.
Digital Thread Dyeing
An Israeli startup firm has developed a machine that uses solvent based inks to digitally dye polyester sewing thread. This builds on the technology of digital printing that is rapidly growing in India.
The idea is simple : snap a picture using a colour matching mobile app (yes an app, chuckle, chuckle). Algorithms analyse the colour and send it to the machine which dyes the little cone of grey thread immediately. No water, no chemicals to be handled, no pollution control board. A plug and play, small scale, high tech solution to a vexing problem.
Integrated Shredder Extruder
A single shaft shredder and a double feed ram system combine in a single automated line to transform all types of plastic waste — be it packing tape or bags or heavy fabric — directly into recycled pellets which can enter the production process again. The Austrian company that has patented this technology could be on the cusp of making current processes of plastics recycling obsolete.
Airlaid Fusion Technology for Nonwovens
Upcycling and recycling are moving to a different plane. A Danish company has patented a system that uses either natural fibres — from sisal to seaweed or recycled materials — be it newspaper or polyester — to create completely new fully formed products — from insulation panels to disposable plates to storage cabinets.
Lasers for Denims
Two new systems may be poised to upend the way our jeans look. Personalisation and detailing of a very high order means traditional operations like sandblasting, abrasion, washing could be replaced by laser marking where a roll of denim fabric could be inserted into a machine and a different pattern, design, finish could be had for each leg and each pocket.
The savings will be on inputs and the lower exposure of operators to chemical environments. The extensive application of lasers as design tools means the greening of blue jeans is underway.