Weiqiao Textile Company Limited is building a new fully-automated, smart spinning and weaving production line in Shandong province of China at an estimated investment of RMB 820 mn. The move is part of the company’s continuous effort to identify under-performing infrastructure, transform traditional manufacturing practices and improve productivity.

The new textile plant will integrate the spinning and weaving process on an intelligent production line. The general equipment installation is scheduled for the end of July and will be in full operation by October 2019. Once in operation, the green plant will have an annual production capacity of 15,000 tonne of high-quality compact yarns and 35 mn yards of high-grade fabric, Weiqiao said. The plant will be equipped with full access and control of the smart production line from automatic product inspection, robot application, automatic transportation tool application to energy-saving equipment. An intelligent track conveyor system covers 35 kilometres within the plant, so the yarn is automatically transported from roving, unloading to packaging stages. This full automation process is achieved without any manual labour. Remote management through terminal devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and computers, will be implemented throughout the plant. This allows real-time visual monitoring of each process and operation point to become a reality. In addition, the production line will feature advanced functions such as order progress warning, equipment status warning, quality standard warning, environmental standard warning, energy consumption warning, auto-generation of production quality reports, real-time monitoring of quality data, real-time tracking of orders, seamless integration of ERP, etc.

All the equipment in this intelligent production line will be integrated into the data analysis system, thus benefiting manufacturing from a multiplier effect where operation meets information technology to improve production efficiency at all levels. After the intelligent textile integration project is set up, the number of workers required in the new plant will be up to 90 per cent lower compared to the number of workers in a normal production line of the same capacity, the company said. Besides producing better quality products, the benefits of this smart plant will see the decline of labour-intensity and reduce labour costs.

This new level of technology brings a heightened level of control and oversight that will allow the company to stay ahead of its competition, achieving higher levels of development and industrial upgrading. Weiqiao is the largest cotton textile Producer in China, specialising in the production, sales and distribution of cotton yarn, grey fabric and denim. The Group has developed large-scale production capacities to capitalise on China’s rapid economic growth. Moving ahead, Weiqiao will continue to make bold initiatives to improve construction of its facilities, and jointly promote the development of the textile industry towards low carbon, digital green technology and intelligent engineering.