Reutlingen, Toronto - Flat knitting machine builder Stoll and Canadian textile computing company Myant Inc. have launched their joint venture, Digital Textile Factory, a collaboration that is to aiming to help commercialise the smart textile industry.

The Digital Textile Factory, which could see at least 500 of the latest flat knitting machines from Stoll 'rolled out', has been developed to provide the foundations for the mass application and adoption of Textile Computing, a new industry category which the companies say merges advancements in engineering and material science, to provide "textile-based solutions for companies wanting to innovate and connect textiles to the world of IoT".

Both parties bring their particular skills to the venture, which aims to deliver solutions for partners and customers on a global scale through an accessible virtual network.

Stoll brings its 140-plus years of producing 3D knitting machinery and software, transferring textile knowledge, and establishing ‘Knitelligence,’ or knitting innovation, while Myant will contribute its proprietary technology related to biometric sensing and actuation via textiles.

According to Andreas Schellhammer, Chief Executive Officer of Stoll, the Digital Textile Factory will give entrepreneurs, innovators and established industry players access to a virtual factory for ideation, research & development, and design and manufacturing at scale.

“We are working on the solution to a global manufacturing and production problem,” said Mr Schellhammer, Chief Executive Officer of Stoll. “Our collaboration with Myant strategically integrates textiles and electronics. The Digital Textile Factory’s purpose will be to tackle quality assurance, validation testing, and localized production - for which custom projects can be sent to an encrypted cloud system that can produce textile computing products worldwide.”

It is hoped that the initiative will also spread and increase the accessibility of advanced manufacturing techniques and access to the most advanced textile computing machinery in the world. The Digital Textile Factory will also help establish and export standards related to textile computing and its use as a platform across industries.

Tony Chahine, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Myant, added: “Our position at the intersection of material science, advanced manufacturing and the digital world allows Myant, in partnership with Stoll, to catalyze growth across all industries that ultimately want to create bidirectional pathways between end users and the world around them.”

He continued: “I truly believe that the Digital Textile Factory will guide large and small companies alike from a single idea through research and development, rapid prototyping and onto production."

A further aim is for the The Digital Textile Factory to set a universal standard for distribution across various industries including, but not limited to, automotive, health & wellness, industrial, agrotech, lifestyle, gaming, apparel, medical, military & aerospace, and safety.

"When we combine Myant’s technological capabilities with Stoll’s most innovative robotic 3D knitting machines, we are able to integrate technology into textiles with sensors and actuators," Mr Chahine added. "Doing so creates a platform for innovation and disruption across major industries including healthcare, transportation and wellness, just to name a few, that will eventually define the future of textiles. We believe in a model where manufacturing is geographically distributed to satisfy local needs, this is at the core of our collaboration with Stoll.”

Both Myant and Stoll will be at the forthcoming Techtextil North America in Atlanta, Georgia, scheduled from 22-24 at booth 2001.

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