By Priyoti Ferlin
Bangladesh RMG industry adopts digitized technology ‘Apparel 4.0’ paving competitiveness but posing threat to loss over 1.0 million job loss.
“Mohammadi Group installed automated knitting machines, Envoy Textiles Ltd has set robotic autoconers, DBL Group introduced auto dyes and chemical dispensing system and Beximco Group is using AI-infused ThreadSol software offering integrated planning process,”
Such adaptation of Hi-tech technologies may directly cut jobs over 10 lakh by next year, a recent study said.
The interactions between revolutionary technologies such as AI, ML, automation, IoT, 3D printing, augmented reality, virtual reality, energy storage and generation, quantum computing and robotics, are changing the very nature of the enterprise value chain.
“Apparel 4.0 technology can apply in smart clothing, robotics, simulation, industrial IOT, augmented reality, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication in knitting machines, smart factory, 3D printing, smart fabrics and AI-infused Industrial ERP (enterprise resource planning) etc,” Ahmedul Islam, a General Manager of a top rank garment said.
He said India, China and Vietnam are also rapidly implementing the Apparel 4.0 technologies in their factories.
“Sewbot technology, smart clothing, augmented reality, 3D printing, Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID), additive manufacturing and ERP, are the major new generation IT enabled digitaized technology, which many of our factory managers are planning to apply” Rahmatullah another manager said.
Those high tech will enable the country to make the garment production cost effective and efficient, he added.
But industry insiders said application of new generation technology may cause a heavy job loss in the future as humans will be replaced by machines.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, around 1.0 million workers may loss their jobs due to automation by 2030 in Bangladesh garment factories.
A recent government study projected the sewing operators, floor supervisor, pattern maker, Quality Controller, Production Planner, Merchandiser would be the major job victim for digitization at RMG.
Sewing operators who operate single needle lockstitch machine, double needle lockstitch machine, single and double needle chain stitch machine, Sewing Machine Mechanic
Fashion Designer, CAD-CAM Operator, Portfolio Developer, Production Planner and Controller are the other sector where other workers would lost their job.
As a supply hub of the world, the Bangladesh garment industry is focusing on compliance and environmental sustainability. The count of green factories in Bangladesh is continuously increasing and has already exceeded the number 100.
The cost of garment production has increased by 30 per cent in the country between 2014 and 2018. Also, the minimum wage of the garment workers has increased by 51 per cent since December 2018.
In Bangladesh, the readymade garments (RMG) industry acts as a catalyst for the prosperity of the nation and its competitiveness in international RMG market. Any brand with the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ tag, is considered as a high value brand across the world.
The RMG industry, with the biggest export earning capacity, has become a significant industry of the country.