Digitalisation in machine embroidery

Being able to write something on a tablet that can be embroidered on to a garment immediately afterwards. Leading embroidery thread manufacturers are now applying scannable codes to their thread cones.

Even if machine embroidery is still essentially a manual craft, digitalisation is starting to play an ever greater role in this field. This is illustrated, for example, by punch software, used to digitalise lettering and graphic templates so that they can be read by embroidery machines. In close collaboration with the embroidery machine brands, punch software manufacturers have created some impressive new tools in recent years. As a result, there are now many new solutions available in the field of mass customisation that even make it possible to embroider unique pieces without going to a lot of expense. One of the latest applications allows you to write something by hand on a tablet and then embroider the text onto a garment immediately afterwards.

The more modern and digital embroidery companies become, the more important it is to develop tools that help accelerate these developments. Amann, based in Bönnigheim, Germany, has already marked the cones of its Isacord embroidery thread with a special 2D code in 2018. Now the yarn manufacturers Gunold and Madeira have also adapted the inscriptions of their embroidery thread cones.

The Stockstadt-based company Gunold is supporting its clients on their path to greater digitalisation by equipping all their standard and mini-king yarn cones with an innovative DM label with immediate effect.

DM stands for data matrix and is one of the best known types of 2D-code out there. It is used for permanent direct lettering in production and can be read by means of a scanner. “Being able to read out yarn cones electronically brings huge benefits for our customers. It enables them, for example, to be able to tell quickly and easily what colour is on which embroidery head and on which machine”, explains marketing manager Stephan Gunold. This is just one example of the many advantages that new labelled cones have to offer.

Every single component counts on companies’ road to digitalisation, and this is where Gunold comes in with its new product designations for standard and mini-king yarn cones. All the information relating to the respective cone is printed on a label that takes up the smallest area possible on the top of the reel. Alongside the scannable data matrix code, the self-adhesive label also includes other, sometimes encoded, information such as the material, colour, production site, thread length etc.

The labels are printed directly at Gunold’s headquarters in Stockstadt with a specially adapted printer and then adhered permanently to the cones. There is a specially printed slotted cross for attaching the cone to the machine so that all the information relating to the thread can still be readout.

Gunold GmbH has begun successively equipping all its yarn with the new labels since spring 2019. Stephan Gunold says, “We are very pleased to have provided another innovative article with our new labels to help our customers to react even more flexibly, faster and more efficiently in the future market”.

At the request of many customers and machine manufacturers, the Freiburg embroidery thread manufacturer Madeira has also added a data matrix code to the designations of their most important threads (MSC mini-snap cones and large cones) which can be read out by industrial scanners during garment manufacture. According to Sebastian Schade, head of global marketing, Madeira’s most important products already support the increasing demand for automation potential, as defined in Industry 4.0 / internet of things requirements, today. The code contains as standard the article and colour codes. According to Madeira, it is also possible to adapt the information to meet any future requirements.

Images: Gunold, Madeira

Text: Reiner Knochel