NIFT (India) – a premier fashion technology institution – commercially launched Intelligent Skill Mapping and Rating Technology (i-SMART) today in an online event.
The event was graced by the presence of UP Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, NIFT’s developing team of i-SMART, Indian apparel industry’s stalwarts, and two of the technology’s early adopters – Silver Spark (a Raymonds’ initiative) and Magnum Clothing.
The technology is patent-pending in the advanced stage of the granting process.
The technology is said to be a key contributor in disrupting current sewing machine operators’ evaluation system, which is primarily an assessment of quality and rate of production.
Launching the technology officially, Dr. Prabir Jana, Professor, NIFT Delhi, highlighted key problems that the manufacturing faces today. “The majority of the garment workforce (especially in sewing division) globally is women and these operators face gender discrimination, biased appraisal, wage inequality, work insecurity and limited portability. While cycle time is taken as postmortem of rate of production, quality assessment is purely subjective in nature, important sewing parameters like average speed, sewing bursts, handling time, needle running time, etc. are not considered while evaluating skills,” mentioned Dr. Jana.
How i-SMART works?
i-SMART system consists of patent pending hardware and software. The hardware consists of a Magnetic Rotary Encoder based Speed/Accelerometer (MREA), a User Interface device, a computing device (laptop or desktop) with SCADA, a bar code printer and a flatbed scanner.
The MREA is to be attached to the sewing machine’s main shaft through flywheel for administering the test. The SCADA is further connected to laptop. There are 5 designs of fabric templates to be stitched by the sewing operator. When the SMO starts sewing, i-SMART system automatically records the data; then the sewn fabric templates are scanned by a flatbed scanner.
Scanned data will then be uploaded on cloud-based software and will be analysed on two fronts – Process Score and Quality Score.
“Once the scanning is done, the AI-based algorithm can evaluate what the quality level he/she has attained in the process,” says Deepak Panghal, Assistant Professor, NIFT Delhi.
Once the processed data and scanned image is uploaded to portal, the skill rating score is automatically calculated and available at the portal. Each operator gets two rating scores: process rating and quality rating.
Additionally, the system also calculates eight generic skill attributes of each operator, which will help an organisation to allocate right operators to right operation (during line balancing) and also plan skill upgradation of operators. Score can also be used for annual appraisal of sewing operators.
NIFT also provides ‘temper-proof’ certificates to the operators who attain the passing scores which is linked to their Aadhar Cards and can be viewed digitally.
“This technology is of a great help at the time of training of the sewing machine operators. We are world’s leading suit manufacturer and first time right is a key parameter for us in which i-SMART is assisting us evaluate operators,” commented Kaushlendra Narayan, Director, Silver Spark (Raymonds).
“This system should be integrated to ‘Skill India and all Government mandated training institutions as well as skill centres,” suggested Ravi Singhee, Director, Magnum Clothing. Comparing i-SMART with UPI of payment system, Ravi also said i-SMART will bring unprecedented ease to sewing operator’s skill assessment, quantifying and qualifying skill anytime anywhere.
The session was moderated by Dr. Deepak Joshi, Assistant Professor, NIFT and the other dignitaries who were present in the launch event were Dinesh Kumar, Inventor of i-SMART; Dr. Yashwant Dev Panwar, Head, TIFAC-PFC; Suchit C. Vasudevappa, Manager (Funding), Startup Karnataka; Manisha Kinnu, Campus Director, NIFT; Shantmanu, Director General, NIFT and Sibichan Mathew, Head of Research, NIFT.
More information about i-SMART technology can be viewed on the following website: