Author

Neus Jorda

I+D+i Projects

9th July 2020

The COSTUME project arose from the idea of creating an exciting new EU-approved technical training qualification of Clothing Technician for Portugal, Spain and Romania, in line with the historical context and the EU’s Skills Agenda.

The main objective is to identify the training needs of the textile sector and provide a joint academic response at European level to the needs of the clothing and fashion industries.

There is a range of other specific objectives:

  • To identify needs, trends and patterns in skills and job demands (skills intelligence) for the textile and clothing sector.
  • To improve the attractiveness, quality and relevance of training in the clothing sector.
  • To create and update the most visible and comparable profile and technical skills of a textile and clothing professional, facilitating the mobility of qualified people within the EU.
  • To increase the attractiveness of the textile and clothing sectors and to encourage the recruitment of talent, to increase the employability of young people.
  • To generate information to enable people to make better career choices in the EU and help them to find higher quality jobs and improve their opportunities.
  • To strengthen networking and partnership building in line with the vocational training policies of the different stakeholders at European, regional and national level during the implementation of the project and after.

The project aims to contribute to reducing the skills mismatch between the supply of qualifications and the demands of the textile and clothing sector, by increasing the interest of young people to enrol in technical profile qualifications and to motivate employees to update their knowledge. This will promote internal support mechanisms for workers when updating their qualifications, as well as encouraging European mobility and validating this new academic profile in Romania, Spain and Portugal.

COSTUME is funded by the European Commission. This publication is the sole responsibility of its author. The Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein. Project Nº.: 597854-EPP-1-2018-1-PT-EPPKA3-VET-JQ.

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I+D+i Projects

16th of January 2020

Within the framework of the  TECNOWORK R&D Project, the Textile Technological Institute – AITEX has developed new compressive textile structures for the work environment.

Among the various health problems suffered by employees, joint pain is one of the biggest factors in absenteeism. This type of problem is caused by various factors and is more common than pathological diseases, cardiovascular complaints and even diabetes.

Osteoarthritis in the upper joints, elbows and wrists, is a common complaint among workers who use pneumatic tools. Acromioclavicular shoulder joint pains are common in people in the construction sector, while hip osteoarthritis is mostly associated with workers in the agriculture sector. In mining, joint problems occur mostly in the knees. On the other hand, problems associated with the spine and the appearance of degenerative diseases or herniated discs is common in activities involving heavy lifting and carrying.

Therefore, there is a need for a project that encompasses the research and development of this type of article using state-of-the-art textile technologies, to achieve substantial improvements over existing articles, to prevent and treat joint injuries in the worker

tecnowork
The TECNOWORK – Project – Technical textile functionalisation using knitting and continuous lamination processes with application in the workplace (IMAMCI/2019/1)
The main objective of the  TECNOWORKproject focuses on the development of high-performance technical textiles for use in the workplace. The project pursues the development of compressive textile structures for orthosis articles, which provide the user with optimal levels of support and comfort, and reduce the risk of injury at work. The structures will be designed using technical fibres that guarantee optimum levels of stretch, compression and comfort, combined with functional fibres to provide the textile structures with beneficial properties for the user including freshness, cosmetic properties for skin care, as well as qualities for improving blood flow.

The type of orthotic articles under development are:

• Compressive items for the body – ORTHOPEDIC GIRDLE
• Compressive articles for joints – KNEE, ELBOW
• Posture correction – GLOVES FOR ARTHOSIS, WRISTBAND

This project has the support of the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball of the Generalitat Valenciana, through IVACE.

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LABORATORIES & INNOVATION

15 th of January 2020

engineer wear fall arrest equipment on site  background
Working at heights is risky for an operator, and if appropriate safety measures are not observed, a fall may result in injury.

Working 1.8 metres or more above floor height is classified as working at height. This also includes the risk of suffering a free fall, or where a fall from a lower height may cause serious injury.

By law, every worker must wear personal protective equipment and non-compliance may result in a fine. An item of individual protective equipment is one intended to attach a person to an anchor point to avoid a fall from a height or to arrest the fall safely.

In the event of a fall, the protective equipment used must respond appropriately. During the fall, the accelerated movement acquired by the body under the action of gravity is directly related to the mass of the individual and the fall height.

Evaluating a PPE´s properties against risks of falls from a height

To ensure that the equipment is safe, it must be laboratory tested to assess its quality. The tests check the suitability of the equipment and its compliance with regulations and legislation. The selected personal protection equipment must comply with the test requirements established in the corresponding technical standards, which specify the characteristics and performance that the individual protection equipment must meet.

AITEX has the entire infrastructure to carry out all types of compliance testing to approve a PPE for falls from a height to European and American safety standards. The specially designed equipment for this purpose is the fall tower and the large capacity Dynamometer.

The fall tower

The facility is designed to conduct free or guided fall tests, and can reproduce a worker or climber falling from a certain height.

The fall tower infrastructure provides evaluation services, following the corresponding standard, of the following equipment types: harnesses, safety ropes (including self-retractable safety ropes), life ropes, impact dampers and energy absorbers, fall arresters and components or subsystems such as connectors, auxiliary ropes, belts, straps, pulleys and sleeves.

One of the main requirements of the standards is the dynamic test, in which a standardised test dummy equipped with the corresponding PPE is suspended by its attachment points, is raised to the determined height and released in free fall. The test measures its dynamic elongation (which is the deformation it suffers after the first fall), and the maximum impact force (what the wearer experiences in a fall).  

Large-capacity dynamometer

The large-capacity dynamometer is used to perform static tests, to determine a system’s behaviour under stress.

A dynamometer is a device that uses a load cell that continuously records and analyses the data of each test over time. It allows a specimen to be subjected to an axial force to breaking, by elongation and compression, or to a series of cycles to observe fatigue behaviour under a known elongation and deformation loading and strength. The dynamometer also evaluates the compression of a material, and records the resistance of the material and how well it recovers and returns to its original state.

The equipment achieves breaking forces of up to 600-650kN (approximately 65,000 kg of force) in a test field of up to 7 meters, with a maximum diameter of 80 mm for ropes, to meet the current demands of our clients.

The equipment has two test areas and different sets of clamps: a roller system, pin system and large capacity hydraulic jaws with two types of jaws adaptable to the material to be tested, allowing us to test different types of materials.

Dynamometer AITEX

AITEX is approved notified control body Number 0161 and has recently been approved as a UUIA Laboratory, (Union internationale Des Associations D’alpinism). The UUIA label certifies that UIAA requirements are met; this demonstrates that the tested product meets the relevant standards and is recommended for use by climbers.

AITEX is Spain’s only private laboratory with these facilities, and the ability to evaluate an item of PPE against falls from a height under the corresponding regulations.

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INNOVATION- Health and Hygiene Products Technical Unit

21 st february 2020

The production of plastic worldwide has skyrocketed in recent decades: in the last 10 years alone, more plastic been manufactured than in the entire history of humanity. It is estimated that about 8 million tons of plastics end up in the oceans every year, and if these figures continue to rise, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.

We are increasingly accustomed to hearing this type of news and environmental concerns and new European guidelines are encouraging consumers look for alternatives to reduce the consumption of plastic on a daily basis, using more reusable products certified as recyclable or labelled as biodegradable or compostable.

Zero waste concept? Cotton bags, reusable water bottles and eco friendly accessories

TYPES OF PRODUCTS

Plastics is not limited to bags, bottles, containers, cutlery and other single-use products, but also a multitude of synthetic fibres used in textile products. Polyester, polyamide, polypropylene and acrylic fibres are used for the manufacture of clothing, upholstery, ropes, fishing nets, sanitary products including disposable surgical material, wet wipes, nappies and numerous other uses.
There are greener alternatives to single-use products, especially in packaging, and the range of alternatives are growing, such as 100% biodegradable nappies made entirely of cassava starch or “flushable” hygiene products, which are disposable down the toilet.

The vast range of sectors that consume textile products, and the contamination produced during manufacture, has driven the industry to research alternatives that reduce its environmental impact, such as the creation of new materials or processes to certify recycled fabrics.

The alternative to synthetic fibre are biopolymers. These materials are of natural origin, obtained from starch such as corn starch, soybeans, seaweed such as alginate, chitin from crustaceans or the shells and skin of different fruits: bananas, coconut and nuts. Polylactic acid or PLA is one of the best known and is used in biopolymers, since its properties are the most similar to those of polyester.

BIODEGRADABILITY VS COMPOSTABILITY

A material is biodegradable when it can be broken down chemically by the action of biological agents such as microorganisms, animals or plants. However, it is important to note that the decomposition process is always reliant on other physical agents such as prevailing environmental conditions: the sun, water, temperature and humidity favour these mechanisms.
Therefore, the biodegradation of a material will be different depending on where the material ends up: in the soil (burial), water (salt or fresh water), landfill (industrial or domestic compost) or treatment plants (active sludge).

A material is compostable when it can be degraded by the action of microorganisms turning it into carbon dioxide, water and biomass (fertiliser).

Therefore, a compostable material is biodegradable, but not all biodegradable materials are compostable, this will depend on the quality of the compost or the medium in which it is broken down.

Tests and acceptance criteria

There are as many test standards to assess whether a material is biodegradable, as there are biodegradation media and types of materials.

The most widely recognised standard and the one that establishes clear acceptance requirements is EN 13432: Standard on Packaging and Wrapping, which covers requirements for packaging that can be recovered through composting and biodegradation, a testing program and evaluation criteria for final acceptance of the package.

The standard establishes a series of tests in four phases to establish whether the material is finally compostable and biodegradable:

1. Characterisation: the type of material, its composition and the finishing chemicals are evaluated, according to raw materials, prohibited or restricted substances, for example heavy metals.

2. Biodegradability: The standard states that an aerobic biodegradation test or aerobic controlled composting test should be performed in compliance with ISO 14855-1. The criteria for the material to pass the test is that the percentage of biodegradation must be at least 90% of the total product in a maximum period of 6 months.
The biodegradation conditions are not only aerobic in all cases, so there are alternative methods if the above-mentioned aerobic biodegradation test cannot be performed because of the type of material, for example, in anaerobic media.

3. Disintegration: The product must be able to disintegrate in a biological compost over a maximum period of 12 months in a >2 mm sieve and should not retain more than 10% of the initial dry weight.

4. Compost quality: the resulting compost must be suitable for use without any environmental risk. Thus, the compost is evaluated physically and chemically and for toxins to plants.

The standard includes certain exemptions for some materials. In the case of materials of natural origin, for example, wood, wood fibre, paper pulp or jute are accepted as biodegradable without being tested, but they must be chemically characterised and meet the criteria of disintegration and compost quality.
In addition to this, there are other test standards for the evaluation of the behaviour of materials:
• ISO 846 and AATCC 30: Burial in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment. The test consists of bringing the material into contact with soil with a high content of microorganisms and determining if their action is capable of breaking the material down. The objective of the test is to demonstrate that the material is susceptible to degradation under the conditions in which the test has been performed.
• UNE 149002: Biodegradation in active sludge: evaluation of aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation and requirements for disposable products down the toilet.
• EN ISO 19679: Plastics. Determination of aerobic biodegradability of non-floating plastic materials in a seawater interface.
• ISO 14852: Determination of the final aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials in aqueous media. Method according to the generated carbon dioxide analysis

Solutions provided by AITEX

AITEX can perform different types of tests for the evaluation of the suitability of a product to be labelled as biodegradable and / or compostable. We have experience in advising companies on labelling compliance and for the search for new materials and alternatives in the design and composition of products. In addition, regarding the certification of textile recycling processes, AITEX is a recognised body to issue the GRS (Global Recycled Standard) and the RCS (Recycled Claim Standard) certificates.

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I+D+i PROJECTS

08th of January 2020

eliit logo

AITEX leads the European Light Industries Innovation and Technology (ELIIT) initiative. The project is funded by the European Union COSME Program for Competitiveness of Companies and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The project aims to support collaboration between Europe’s SMEs in the textile, clothing, footwear and leather sectors (TCLF sectors), and technology centres or companies, in order to promote the use of technological solutions to improve competitiveness, promote the integration of innovation into the value chain and create new added-value products and services.

ELIIT supports the implementation in SMEs of the research results of the European science and technology network through the launch of different calls. Innovations such as Big Data, AI, the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, and the Key Enable Technologies (KET) are a few examples of the technologies that could be implemented in European SMEs within the framework of the ELIIT project.

Cooperation between different key actors in the European economy is a unique aspect of the ELIIT project, as it facilitates support and encourages collaboration that facilitates innovation and knowledge sharing between different industries that might not otherwise have occurred. This allows textile, footwear and leather companies to overcome the obstacles posed by integration, implementation and the use of advanced technologies that help them develop products and services for new niche markets.

ELIIT will also provide training to improve the knowledge and skills of the textile, clothing, footwear and leather sectors as regards technology, production processes, materials, business strategies, access to financing and marketing.

Through different calls, ELIIT will select 25 collaboration projects between SMEs and suppliers / owners of innovative technologies, which will benefit from:

  • Financial support of € 70,000 for the development of products with a high added-value factor and profitability.  
  • Bespoke training programs in technical aspects to improve both the relevance of the projects and the capabilities of the participants.
  • Participation in international conferences and workshops, networking activities and professional links.
  • Support to strengthen intellectual property rights

The ELIIT project is conducted on behalf of the European Commission by the consortium formed by AITEX – Textile Industry Research Association, INESCOP – Footwear Technology Center, CARSA – Strategic Innovation Consulting, GOPA Com. and Anna Maria Stein with the support of Avvocati Associati Franzosi Dal Negro Setti.

[+] Information on the ELIIT project

 

For queries: info@eliitproject.eu

ELIIT Project is funded by the European Union COSME program for the Competitiveness of Companies and Small and Medium Enterprises.

eliit
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Workshop_contract (1)

The Workshop Contract “Creating ideas, applying trends” was held on the 2nd of December at ATEVAL in Ontinyent.

The workshop was a more personal way for a small group to get hands on experience with the trends discussed in the case study “Tendencias HORECA-RETAIL” in order to learn new approaches to working on the development of new product ideas.
During the workshop, the students worked on two practical cases which they presented as a group at the end of the day in the form of panels displaying current trends.
The case study is just one of the results of the VALHABITAT 2019 project, which is funded by the Consellería de Economía Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball of the Generalitat Valenciana through IVACE and developed at AITEX by the Fashion and Design Research Group. Some of the stages of the case study have been supported by the Habitat Trends Observatory (HTO), created by AITEX, AIDIMME and ITC.
During 2019, research has focused mainly on public spaces, more specifically on HORECA (Hotels, restaurants and cafés) and retail, bearing in mind that these sectors are strategic markets for the ceramics, lighting, furniture and textile industries.
The research project resulted in the creation of a digital case study which will soon be published at: http://tendenciashabitat.com/.
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On the 7th November, the technology platform for manufacturing industries (PLATECMA), organised a workshop on product personalisation at the offices of SUAVINEX. The day’s goal was to analyse product personalisation from the viewpoint of manufacturing industries including ceramics, toys, metalwork, textile and woodworking, etc.

platecma_jornada

Various companies and experts on the subject met to talk about the importance of personalisation in today’s industry. The concept has formed part of the strategy of many manufacturers for the past 30 years or more and is now almost a prerequisite for the modern consumer. Personalisation is a key aspect of differentiation as it is influential in the consumer’s purchasing decision.

However, manufacturers need to remain competitive in today’s global environment and so personalisation must go hand in hand with Industry 4.0. Technology is providing manufacturers with the chance to offer personalised processes in line with market demands, without losing sight of the need to be technically and economically viable, as personalisation may be accompanied by increased costs.

The workshop was attended by more than fifty organisations including the State Agency for Research (AEI) and Royo Group, which is currently presiding over the platform.

Suavinex, Acrata cerámica, Unisa, Micuna and Ecus Sleep were on the roundtable, which was moderated by the journalist Miquel Hernandis. During the debate, companies had the opportunity to talk of their experiences with the personalisation of products and services and talked about the difficulties and hurdles they had to overcome.

The FORO TRANSFIERE event was also presented (for more details, visit https://transfiere.fycma.com). This is the only event in Spain that supports technology transfer between the public and private sectors.

Additionally, the CEO of Sisteplant, Ana Santiago, gave an overview of the current and future state of the private sector as regards personalisation and its links with Industry 4.0, highlighting the importance of technology to industry and the need to maintain a focused approach to its implementation.

The workshop was rounded off by a tour of the facilities at SUAVINEX during which attendees had the opportunity to see the company’s manufacturing process and how it has successfully integrated personalisation as part of the company strategy.

Vist Platecma’s website to view full documentation and a presentation of the workshop, as well as other industry and manufacturing news: (http://www.platecma.com/).

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LABORATORIOS & INNOVACIÓN

29 de Octubre de 2019

AITEX has recently been approved by ENAC (The National Accreditation Body) as a Certification Body for Personal Protection Equipment in compliance with ISO/IEC 17065:2012.

AITEX has recently been approved by ENAC (The National Accreditation Body) as a Certification Body for Personal Protection Equipment in compliance with ISO/IEC 17065:2012 within EU Regulation 2016/425, under the following evaluation of conformity schemes: Module B (EU Type Examination), Module C2 (Conformity of type based on production monitoring plus random supervised product monitoring) and Module D (Conformity of Type based on production QA).

The scope of Approval 155 C-PR364 granted to AITEX can be viewed on ENAC’s website (www.enac.es) covering the scope, products and hazards that AITEX can test. AITEX is also registered as Notified Body number 161 on the European Commission’s website (nando).

This new approval enables AITEX to provide certification of category II and III PPEs as both types require the application of Module B and, in the case of Category III, either Module C2 or D.

Depending on the evaluation procedure within (EU) 2016/425 which the client requires AITEX to test for as a Notified Body:

Module B: the EU Examination of Type is the part of the evaluation procedure that a Notified Body uses to approve the technical design of a PPE, verifying and certifying that the design complies with essential health and safety requirements required by the Regulation.

Module C2: the Notified Body will test the product to verify the QA procedures during manufacture and the homogeneity of the PPE and its conformity with the type described on the EU Type Examination Certificate and applicable health and safety requirements.

Module D: the Notified Body will evaluate the internal QA system to verify compliance with the requirements referred to in para. 3.2 Annexe VIII. It shall presume conformity with those requirements in respect of the elements of the quality system that comply with the corresponding specifications of the applicable harmonised standard.

The accreditation process integrated the requirements of ISO / IEC 17065: 2012 to the systems that AITEX previously applied, to certify under the conformity assessment schemes of Module B and C2 Personal Protection Equipment, establishing for these products the application procedures for Module D, which AITEX had previously only used for Marine Equipment. Thus, by integrating systematics with different scopes, AITEX has standardised within a single Accreditation Scope, the certifications for which it is approved, specifically in 155 C-PR364. For further details, visit the official ENAC website.

For more information:

ENAC: www.enac.es

European Commission:  Notified bodies nando

Photo of woman firefighter in helmet and mask standing near fire truck at fire station
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R+D PROJECTS

20th November 2019

Optimized-EBRODER
The introduction of new Information Technology and Industry 4.0 in the textile and garment industries is growing year by year, yet despite this growth it is still difficult for the consumer to find wearables and smart textiles on the high street. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that the use of automated machinery and IT tools in smart textile manufacturing is still limited.
A smart (or domotic) environment is one that is able to learn from its inhabitants and the surroundings and adapt to them. This definition not only supposes the ability to gather data on the surroundings and inhabitants and act accordingly, but that the environment itself is able to infer appropriate strategies based on observation and a knowledge of the inhabitant’s preferences.
Research in domotics focuses on enhancing the user’s quality of life by employing a range of integrated technologies to provide new services or enhance those already available.

 

The E-BRODER II project is researching and developing smart textiles using embroidery technology to create domotic applications and the project’s second year has concentrated on continuing the three ongoing lines of research to achieve better performance.

[+] Information on E-broder II

FEDER+Ivace+Declaracion-CS
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Seat Textile Challenge (25)

The second SEAT textile challenge, organised by AITEX-UPV Chair, was presented on the 21st of November.

The activity is included within the framework of the AITEX-UPV Chair programme and is designed to enable multidisciplinary groups of students at the Valencia Polytechnic to promote new innovative ideas focused on sustainability by applying textile technology in the car industry.
At the SEAT plant in Martorell, the students were given a presentation that stressed the importance of SEAT’s sustainability strategy. As well as encouraging students to take part in the second SEAT CHALLENGE where they can put forward new ideas on sustainability in the car industry using textile technology.
During the session, AITEX exhibited the research lines the Institute is currently developing related to sustainability and new materials in the car industry.
Participation in the challenge is aimed at students at Valencia Polytechnic University studying any degree or masters who are interested in introducing innovations to the car industry.

Awards

A first prize of 2,000€ is awarded to the winning team, with a second prize worth 1,000€, and a third prize of 500€. SEAT will also choose from among the participants, one person who will begin a work experience programme.

The forthcoming SEAT sessions will take place on the following dates, so students can start to prepare their ideas for presentation:

2nd session: Creativity. 28/11/19
3rd session: Selection of ideas. 12/12/19
4th session: Prototypes. 06/02/20
5th session: Briefing SEAT. 20/02/20

The semi-final will be held at AITEX on the 5th of March and the final will take place on the 26th of March at SEAT in Martorell, when the finalists will get a tour of the SEAT Catalonia plant.
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