Detailing Amazon’s Custom-Clothing Patent
In April, Amazon received an intriguing patent for an “on demand” apparel manufacturing system, which can quickly fill online orders for suits, dresses and other garments. Here’s how it would work.
Ordering and Printing Patterns
The process starts when customers submit online orders to the retailer for shirts and other articles of clothing, accessories, bedding, curtains and towels. The patterns, printed onto rolls of fabric or other material, are arranged to reduce scrap.
A “cut engine” then carves out the various pattern pieces, while cameras analyze them to make sure they aren’t being distorted in the process.
Moving the Pieces
A robotic arm with a mechanical gripper places all the pieces into a tote on a conveyor belt.
Sewing and Packing
The conveyor belt delivers the totes to a sewing station, where “an attendant and/or automated sewing machine” stitches the item together. The items are then examined at a quality control station, packed up and shipped to customers.