Smartex is a computer vision/AI startup targeting quality control in continuous manufacturing processes. Smartex’ product is instrumental in helping manufacturers transition to automated quality control during the manufacturing process, instead of manual roll-to-roll inspection long after the manufacturing process was completed.
Manufacturing processes in the textile and other roll-based industries (steel, paper, films, etc.) are depending on manual inspection. Quality control is often performed by human personnel that visually inspect the fabric (or other product) after entire rolls have been manufactured. Due to the complex nature, fast and enclosed processes, it is difficult and often impossible for human inspectors to inspect products during the manufacturing process. As inspection inside machines in real-time cannot be achieved, inspection happens roll-to-roll after significant quantities of material have been produced. This leads to massive quantities of waste, as faults are detected late and machines are adjusted and fixed late.
Smartex has developed a solution that combines advanced computer vision with an AI-based inspection software to analyze textile fabrics manufactured on circular knitting machines right at the source: inside the machine. Thanks to its flexible design, the system does not interfere with the machine and does not impact the overall manufacturing process. Smartex’s AI analyzes the captured video data and is able to identify defects immediately and send signals back to the operator or machine to stop the machine, correct the defects and minimize waste. Smartex helps reducing waste from manufacturing and improves efficiency for manufacturers by reducing the need for manual inspection of fabric. The company’s initial focus is on the textile industry, while the technology is more vastly applicable in industries that have roll-based processes like paper, metal, and plastic.