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K. P. Reddy named Manufacturing Leader

Compiled/partly written by Suzanne Sen Email Compiled/partly written by Suzanne Sen
October 2016
K. P. Reddy named Manufacturing Leader

The apparel and sewing industry is ready for another Industrial Revolution. K. P. Reddy, CEO of SoftWear Automation has been named a Manufacturing Leader of the Week by Industry Week for his work towards that future. His new automation for robots that sew fabric has sparked interest in China, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, where the technology has been rudimentary.

Robots allow for designs that before were too complicated, too specialized for manufacturing. Now smaller, more specific orders with more precise details can be handled, and more quickly.

Reddy is a serial entrepreneur, working in tech for more than 20 years with several manufacturing projects. This project’s IT and technology began at Georgia Tech 4 years ago with a grant for improving manufacture of military uniforms, which must be U.S.-made. The challenge with clothing is that it flexes and stretches. Seamstresses were aging, so it was necessary to understand their talent, their understanding of the fabric and translate it to manipulation of the fabric by automated systems. Computer vision was a solution. The company vision is for online ordering with robot production, mass customization. The $100 billion-a-year marketplace has little competition. Focus is on software design that works with robots from multiple sources. Tailors will move to consulting or technology, and clothing (back) to custom tailoring—but by robots.

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