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Philadelphia - Shima Sheiki is supplying three knitting machines and 16 SDS-ONE APEX3 workstations, all backed up with a host of research and development support, to a new smart textile research laboratory at Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA.

Following the signing of a the US$1 million agreement with Shima Seiki USA, the Shima Seiki Haute Technology Laboratory will act as a multidisciplinary research initiative established by Assistant Professor and Fashion Design Program Director Genevieve Dion and professors from Drexel?s College of Engineering, The iSchool at Drexel, College of Medicine, College Nursing and Health Professions and the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems.

The workstations will be used to accurately simulate fabric construction and provide researchers and designers the opportunity to create and simulate garment prototypes, import CAD specifications of their final products, and produce made-to-measure or mass-produced pieces on Shima Seiki flat knitting machines. Shima Seiki?s R&D support includes help and advice on knit programming, and access to the knit libraries at Shima Seiki USA in New York and New Jersey.

?The Shima Seiki Haute Technology Laboratory positions Drexel to become a national and global leader in the new and innovative field of smart textiles,? said Dion. ?It is rich in possibilities for improving and enriching lives around the world."

Smart garments - or wearable technology - are clothing made of fabric embedded with technology. Smart garments have the potential to give written and spoken messages or monitor and communicate physiological parameters such as breathing and vital signs. Embedded technology such as flexible circuitry, flexible antennas and adequate power source are key components to the reliable and successful operation of wearable technology.

As founding director, Dion will direct lab research, while promoting a collaborative and creative research environment. The Shima Seiki Haute Technology Laboratory will enrich the research portfolio in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and in all participating colleges and schools.

 

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