i-Smart the Sewing Operators' Skill Evaluating Tool Developed by NIFT


The NIFT Team came up with an innovative solution for evaluating sewing operators’ skills during their training period. This technology solution is named i-SMART and the full name is Intelligent Skill Mapping and Rating Technology (i-SMART). In a recent webinar, the NIFT team and panel members from the apparel industry have shared a brief of this technology solution, its benefits, and they talk about the Patent of this development. Read the full press release on the same below.

The features and benefits of this industry 4.0 technology can be read at https://www.apparel4tech.com/home/i-smart

You can watch the full webinar recording video on YouTube by following this link.

The team of inventors Dr. Prabir Jana, Dr. Deepak Panghal and Dinesh Kumar from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, India, mentioned that sewing machine workers worldwide face gender discrimination, biased appraisal, wage inequality, work insecurity, and limited portability. The current skill evaluation system is subjective in nature and does not consider the important sewing parameters like average speed, sewing bursts, handling time, needle running time, etc. 

NIFT Webinar on I-Smart commercialization

The patent-pending i-SMART system objectively evaluates and calculates the numerical rating score of each operator and the fully computerised system, zero human interference and SaaS-based deployment. Explaining the benefit to the manufacturer the inventors explained that the skill matrix will be easy to develop and maintain, MTM based-thus worldwide recognition, utilising operator’s inherent strength-thus higher productivity and better quality, and digitalised skill matrix will be a step towards Industry 4.0 While the workers will be emancipated, zero human interference will result no bias, no discrimination, no harassment and no blackmail. The digital certificate will give them confidence and portability thereby a social change towards transparency and fair wage in the society.

While congratulating NIFT and inventors Dr. Yashawant, Head TIFAC-PFC said that out of 1000 odd patents filed by TIFAC every year only a few gets commercialised, he also praised the commendable effort by NIFT team for commercialising it in quick time before the patent being granted. He mentioned the importance of any commercialisation through all means of IP like trademark and industrial design and urged NIFT to take immediate steps towards that.

Ravi Singhee, Director, Magnum Clothing said “One of the biggest challenges that the industry faces today is that operator’s assessment is done by a person who can push them or entice them for favours. i-SMART will take away that human element from the assessment to bring objectivity and transparency. A lot of people from different parts of the country wanted to migrate to the garment manufacturing hubs of India. The ideal would be to set up the training and testing centres in those locations and each trainee can be tested and qualified for their skill levels before moving to manufacturing hubs that will address the human resource problems of the industry.

Comparing with UPI system of payment pay anytime anywhere, Ravi said i-SMART will bring unparalleled flexibility to sewing operator’s skill assessment, quantifying and qualifying skill, test anytime anywhere”.  Mr. Ravi said that integration of i-SMART with Skill India will give tremendous fillip to make people accountable for the training that they give. He also expressed gratitude to the NIFT team for the simplicity, honesty and humility in helping industry solving the problem in a genuine way possible.

Kaushl Narayan, Director, Silver Spark said “Silver Spark of Raymonds is the 4th largest suits manufacturer in the world. Silver Spark has embarked on a journey of Industry 4.0 and is using i-SMART for operation evaluation during training, and upgradation and appraisal. Emphasizing the importance of i-SMART, he mentioned that it will not only match the skill competency with the skill requirement, but it will also remove bias from operator evaluation.

Expressing deep gratitude to Raymonds, Bangalore and Magnum Clothing, Chennai for believing in the new technology and become one among the early adopters of the i-SMART system, Shri Shantmanu, DG, NIFT commented that other manufacturers will be inspired by them. He also mentioned that commercialising an innovation is a lengthy process involving clinical testing & industry validation and thanked Shahi Exports, and Pratibha Syntex for closely working with the inventors during the development stage and providing critical feedback. While congratulating on their stupendous achievement, DG, NIFT has also urged the inventors to explore and integrate i-SMART in the teaching process in technology programs across NIFT campuses. DG has also announced that NFDI is now ready to receive innovative ideas from students and alumni and convert to start-ups. DG-NIFT informed that to create an enabling environment for faculty members NIFT is also finalising its faculty start-up and entrepreneurship policy, which is under the broad framework in line with the National Innovation and Start-up Policy 2019 of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Capturing the essence of the i-SMART, Shri U.P.Singh, Secretary, MoT and chief guest in the event commented that i-SMART will take care of speed and accuracy in the evaluation and objectivise the evaluation process. He welcomed the suggestion to explore using i-SMART to evaluate the effectiveness of the training imparted under different skill India initiative. Wishing the team, a great success, Secretary suggested that all stakeholders make good use of it; be it manufacturing organisations for recruitment and annual appraisal of their workers or the training institutes for final evaluation after training.

In another article, we will cover the benefits of the i-Smart tool and explain the process of how it works.

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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