The Impact of Digital Twins on Apparel Manufacturing Efficiency

Apparel and textile manufacturing is an ever-evolving field that is riddled with numerous challenges and constantly changing manufacturing demands and needs. Digital twins, an advanced method of using digital models to replicate physical objects and activities, is transforming industries, and apparel manufacturing is no different. The following article aims at analysing how digital twins affect efficiency, quality assurance, and overall production systems in the apparel industry.


Understanding Digital Twins

In simple terms, a digital twin refers to an integrated and virtual replica of an actual object, process, or system. It is a complex model that integrates current data and sensor data to simulate the behaviour of its material model. This data can be collected from various sources, such as manufacturing equipment, quality inspection software, and even environmental sensors. Having created a bridge between the real and the digital world, digital twins provide a means of designing, tracking, and improving actual physical processes and conditions.


Applications of Digital Twins in Apparel Manufacturing

With its uses ranging from planning to workflow control and quality assurance, digital twins play a critically important role in apparel manufacturing.



A digital twin virtually allows brands to plan manufacturing processes under various situations before the actual processes start. It helps simulate new process, equipment layout and material handling strategies. Where a digital twin goes wrong, it does not adversely affect the actual production process, rather a lot can be learned from studying the digital twin of the manufacturing process. Brands can gain control over their production flow, and understand potential pain points, or identify problems. 


Another way this technology can be and is being used is for risk maintenance. Apparel brands/retailers can study the digital twin, putting it through various situations to determine the resiliency of their supply chain. This helps to plan for future obstacles, and how to best overcome them. 



Data collected through sensors placed in tools and production lines are fed into the digital twin to provide real-time update analysis. It is useful in determining the state of a machine, how fast it works, and how resources are used in a production line. Brands can fetch information that can show a problematic or potentially disruptive situation, allowing them to minimize interruptions and boost overall productivity.


Quality Control: 

Digital twins in apparel manufacturing are revolutionizing quality control in garment industries. They can also be synchronized with digital quality inspection software, such as QUONDA, which incorporate real-time data and AI for defect detection. Furthermore, inspection modelling or predictive technology utilizing AI within the said digital twin can discover quality concerns and problems at an earlier stage, which helps prevent wastage and maintain the quality of the product. Secondly, the data collected can be used to forecast new failures that may occur in anticipation of the operators based on historical information.


Benefits of Digital Twins for Apparel Manufacturers

The adoption of digital twins offers a multitude of benefits for apparel brands:


Improved Efficiency: Digital twins enhance overall efficiency because of efficient planning, low downtime, and reduced possible bottlenecks during the planning phase. This helps to achieve more production, less time taken, and therefore leads to higher profits.


Enhanced Flexibility: One of the significant advantages of digital twins is the flexibility in adjusting the models and getting acquainted with various processes virtually. Brands can respond to changes in demand patterns, product design, or material use, which makes it possible for manufacturers to be sensitive to market conditions.


Predictive Maintenance: Another application of digital twins in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is using sensor data for maintenance by predicting breakdowns of equipment. Such an approach helps prevent possible stops in production lines, save money for maintenance, and prolong the service life of equipment.


Case Studies and Real-World Examples

There are several prominent apparel brands that have already begun benefiting from implementing the use of digital twins. For instance, an FL major sportswear brand integrated digital twins to improve production lines; consequently, it achieved 20% reduction in line downtime and 15% increase in line capacity. Additionally, a clothing brand incorporated digital twins to check new production lines and reduce wastage of material during the outset of production by 30%. These measurable improvements testify to the positive impact of digital twins and their role in revamping the apparel sector.


Integrating Digital Twins with Existing Digital Solutions

Digital twins should be implemented in a way that maximizes their potential and is compatible with current digital tools applied in the apparel production process. Digital twins can be seamlessly linked to other software that manages quality, such as QUONDA, making production and quality control more effective. For instance, brands can easily interface QUONDA’s quality system with the digital twin, generating a holistic view of the manufacturing cycle. This can be done reactively, with consequences of quality issues only realized when a product has been delivered to the market, or proactively, where potential quality issues are addressed before they can affect a product in the market.


Digital twin integration can be implemented in stages. To get started, brands could determine where, within their operations, digital twin technology would add the most value. It might imply addressing the specific bottlenecks in one production line or strategizing on how to enhance quality assurance for one product line alone. The digital twin may start from modelling just a few product aspects; however, once it attains initial success, more processes within the manufacturing cycle can be incorporated.


The digital twin model is considered one of the most innovative technologies with the potential to revolutionize the textile and fashion industry. The four application areas consequently detail how, through visualizations, time-based, and highly accurate representations from digital twins, manufacturing processes can net massive potential gains in effectiveness and adaptability. As the advancement of technology and systems for the use of digital twins progresses, so shall the brands that adopt and make use of them in hyper-growth and competitive industries such as apparel manufacturing. The final, and perhaps most obvious, prediction for the future of apparel manufacturing is that the digital realm can truly be a key driver of change and innovation, and digital twins are at the forefront of it.

The Impact of Digital Twins on Apparel Manufacturing Efficiency
Triple Tree Solutions
Published 10 June 2024

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