Looking to Texprocess Americas, with Gerber Technology CMO Bill Grindle

Noga Chen
May 18, 2018

On May 22-24, Kornit
Digital will join Gerber Technology at Texprocess Americas 2018 in Atlanta (booth #1033), where we are demonstrating the Kornit Allegro system for roll-to-roll digital textile printing, as a component of the comprehensive eco-friendly multi-factory production concept.

In this blog post, we’re sitting with Gerber’s Chief Marketing Officer, Bill Grindle, to discuss the value of our partnership, and why Texprocess attendees would be enlightened by a
visit to our exhibit.

KORNIT: What expertise does Gerber Technology bring to the textiles industry?

For 50 years the world’s leading brands in fashion, furniture, aerospace, automotive, sign and graphics, and other advanced industries have trusted Gerber for our knowledge, expertise, innovation,
and unparalleled support in bringing them from design to production seamlessly. Sixteen of the 20 most profitable fashion and apparel brands in the world turn
to Gerber to leverage our closed-loop, end-to-end digital solutions. We have a deep knowledge of the workflows associated with goods produced from
textiles and provide solutions to integrate processes managing data, starting with product lifecycle management, to pattern design, grading, marker making,
and production planning. Our software easily passes data to production, where smart machines can process the order with a simple barcode scan.

We help companies from start-up to large brands with a complete digital transformation, to make digitalization a reality. Converting data to speed, we energize people who create market-leading products, making our
world a more beautiful, comfortable, enjoyable, and safer place.

KORNIT: At Texprocess Americas 2018, your exhibit aims to demonstrate the concept of a “micro-factory” for the textiles industry. What distinguishes a “microfactory,” and why would this model be
something attendees should consider for their own production strategy?

GRINDLE: To thrive and survive in today’s “see now, buy now” on-demand world, brands, retailers, and manufacturers need to digitize their process and operate in a lean and agile
fashion. At booth #1033, attendees will see more than a micro-factory. They will see a digitally integrated ecosystem that allows them to respond to real-time
customer demand vs. producing inventory based on their forecasts. Gerber Technology will be collaborating with Kornit Digital and Henderson Sewing Machine, to show how digitalization makes a purchase-activated manufacturing cycle a reality. The digital workflow will include YuniquePLM, AccuMark pattern design and 3D software, an Allegro direct to textile digital printer, the GERBERcutter® Z1 with ContourVisionTM, a vision-aided automated cutting solution, and an autonomous robot that will transport the cut parts to a robotic sewing operation.

Everyone attending Texprocess is at some step on their digital journey, seeking solutions to decrease the time it takes to get their products to market, increasing their overall efficiency, and reducing
their inventory without impacting customer satisfaction and quality. They are balancing the need for speed with the challenges of finding and retaining a skilled labor force and increasing demands to operate in a socially responsible manner.

The digitally integrated factory addresses these challenges by leveraging technology to empower mass customization in an efficient, cost effective, and socially-conscious manner.

KORNIT: Gerber’s theme for this show is “Embrace Your Digital Reality.” What does that mean to

GRINDLE: For Gerber it means we are ready to help our customers turn data into speed, empowering and encouraging our customers to be
proactive and “embrace” the digital transformation taking place in the textile industry.

Industry 4.0, smart factories, digitization, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility – these terms are in the headlines of industry
publications every day. Digitization is a reality, and that’s good news for companies in the textile and sewn goods industries. Gerber’s people are ready
to be a trusted guide on their journey, helping them harness their data, transform their workflows, and shorten their cycle times. Data is the new
currency and companies that learn to harness it, to connect their processes and supply chains, are the ones that will thrive in the future. Gerber has the
expertise, knowledge, customer focus and suite of integrated industry leading products to help all companies progress on their journey and achieve optimum
results along the way.

KORNIT: How has the fashion cycle changed in the digital age, and how does Gerber respond to those dynamics?

GRINDLE: Fashion trends move fast, and consumers expect you to move faster. The need for speed has become imperative to success. But it’s not just about getting fashion to market faster; you need to have the
right products in the right place and at the right time if you want to meet the demands of today’s shoppers and ultimately make them a loyal customer. Technology
has created consumer demand for continuous product development, making seasonsa thing of the past, leading companies to produce more lines to consistently
stay on trend. This demands a tremendous amount of additional work, in a very short amount of time.

Gerber saw the digital age coming, and in anticipation we made some key strategic decisions in both the feature/function of our products and the overall approach to delivery. We are
committed to connectivity of systems as a key enabler of speed and efficiency, both through Gerber’s end-to-end software and production systems, and
connectivity to the other tools and systems our customers use to run their business. For example, we enable teams to collaborate and validate ideas early
in the design process by sampling designs virtually. This reduces cycle times, development cost, and the overall environmental impact by reducing the number
of physical samples needed for approval.

We also looked closely to ensure we were making it easy for customers to adopt and deploy our enhancements. Here we decided to focus heavily on cloud technology as an enabler in our business and system
infrastructure, helping customers adopt and stay up-to-date with the latest versions of our software applications without heavy technology infrastructure
and support investments.

KORNIT: Sustainability has become a core value for many brands. How does Gerber address the question of environmental friendliness?

GRINDLE: Sustainability has multiple aspects, including both human and environmental impact. Overall, the fashion and apparel industry has been slower to adopt technologies; the
creative and development processes have been dependent on physical approaches that generate a lot of wasted materials and labor, while also having a negative
environmental impact. Gerber provides digital tools that allow design teams to collaborate in one place, creating and
sharing digital assets that can be used in the technical design and sampling process. The apparel industry spends billions of dollars and on average
iterates 5-6 times on sampling before finalizing a design. Tools like PLM, CAD,
and 3D software allow for virtual sampling, so changes can be made digitally. Using
true-to-life digital renderings, design teams can go from patterns, to 3D
virtual sample, to production-ready garments in about half the time it takes for
a traditional non-digital process.

Furthermore, replacing hand spreading and cutting with automation improves working conditions while minimizing the amount
of skilled labor needed, and reduces the amount of waste caused by manual,
inefficient workflows.

The digitally integrated micro-factory we are showing at Texprocess is incredibly sustainable. It capitalizes on the
human and environmental benefits, and incorporates the socially responsible
practice of digital printing. The Kornit Allegro is a waterless system, dramatically reducing contamination
associated with traditional textile color dying methods. Digital printing
enables greater speed in getting a product to market, supporting purchase-activated
or on-demand manufacturing. Allowing sellers to only produce what is ordered can
eliminate dead inventory, which costs the retail industry billions of dollars
each year. While these costs directly impact a retailer’s bottom line, the
carbon footprint of packaging and shipping these large volumes of goods is also
immense. Smaller-batch or customized orders based upon demand both enables,
even demands, a move toward localization, whereby finished goods are
manufactured closer to the point of sale. This supports economic growth and
sustainability in local economies, and helps to minimize the carbon footprint
from shipping and packaging, minimizing waste in the process. It also supports
a design process that enhances creativity and collaboration because small-batch
processes allow for more customization – a driving trend among consumers,
especially millennials.