This report was made by Professor Thomas Gries at the Russian-German event “Digital Transformation of Light Industry”, organized by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE).
Thomas Gries, Professor, Head of the Textile Engineering Department and Director of the Textile Technology Institute (ITA) of the Rhine-Westphalian Technical University of Aachen (RWTH Aachen), made a presentation on the impact of digitalization on the German textile industry.
According to the professor, in its structure more than half of the annual production volume falls on technical textiles and related products, which is due to domestic and foreign demand. At the same time, digitalization determines the further development of the German textile and light industry, where sub-sectors of light industry are intertwining more and more closely, literally.
“The most pressing issues in this area, and not only in Germany, are the convergence of sub-sectors and, accordingly, the development of integrated digital technologies. In this context, the University of Aachen, with up to 200 research institutes, is, without exaggeration, the main “forge of cadres” for the digital industry in Germany and the European Union. The demand for these interdisciplinary developments is due, first of all, to the global factor – the industrial revolution 4.0”,
– noted Thomas Gries.
The professor also noted the development and implementation of a number of joint digital projects with Russian partners. With the participation of the DND investment agency, the North Rhine-Westphalia Investment Promotion Agency, R&D is currently being carried out on a joint project for the production of modern materials based on continuous basalt fiber using digital technologies.
Among the digitalization programs implemented by the university are, for example, the use of three-dimensional weaving of products for the aerospace industry, and the developed multifunctional module-machine for digital technologies.
“The core of such approaches is the fact that artificial intelligence technologies are becoming less cumbersome and cheaper. Which, in turn, presents new requirements for staffing.”,
– Thomas Gries emphasized.
The indicated directions may well be the subject of cooperation with Russian companies, especially since Russia has many innovative competencies in this area.
The RUIE noted that the event was organized jointly with the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce (RGCC) and the Russian Union of Textile and Light Industry Entrepreneurs (Soyuzlegprom).
Persons: Thomas Gries