The project's work package 3 focused on mapping the smart options currently available on the market and how these could be adapted to the workwear industry.

Smart solutions are already widely available for various usages: identification, transmitting data about the user and the environment, storing information all in function of the user’s needs. They include communication systems allowing information transmission between two smart clothing, which consists of data transmission and data capture -imaging systems. Sensors capture data on from the wearer's physical or environmental physical or chemical processes, which, after processing, are sent to the transmitter. Radio waves emit and receive through the communication channel by antennas. The transmitter receives the receiver data and processes it according to data display devices.  Smart clothing use displays to monitor the functions. The data transmission system signal can be obtained by an unlimited number of receivers that are interoperable with the transmission system. Integrating electrical conductive components into textiles is a way to provide lightweight,

The textile used in the workwear can be a smart platform, such as by sewing, weaving, knitting, printing,  mordanting,  laminating or embedding RFID chips in conductive yarn or other conductive material into the textile and adding sensors.  Weaving and knitting technologies are used for manufacturing textile tapes with conductive properties. Sewing technology can be used for textile conductive tracks, but embroidery is suitable for the development of conductive areas for the manufacture of touch-sensitive sensors.

The research group studied the needs and usage of different user-groups and found the following solutions. These solutions already exist on the market and may be included in the workwear apparel.

-     Chemical engineers

  • their work would require location tracking solutions, RTLS (real-time location system) or RFID (radio frequency identification) can be integrated into the workwear to follow where the worker is going and if he going somewhere he should not be going,
  • options are available to allow speech recording and transforming the information into text,
  • solutions for work timing,
  • gas sensing solutions, which may detect the presence of dangerous gases,

 

-    Military

  • the uniform may be turned into a smart tool by having it monitor physiological data and harvest energy to upkeep the usage of the used tools,
  • the uniform’s textile may be treated to protect against chemicals,
  • the textile may also be treated to repel insects, by being sprayed, impregnate or thanks to the use of microcapsules,

 

-    Builders’ work wear

  • Their main concern is the apparel's comfort, ergonomy, and visibility: the workwear should allow mobility and excellent mobility, whatever the environment or the weather. Workwear can be made suitable to the right weather conditions: it can be fully waterproof (specific textile), warm (heating system), visible (LEDs and reflective stripes)
  • workers expect solutions that allow connectivity and interoperability, and that are easy to use: RFID solutions are available to allow to them to connect to each other, feel impacts, track workers, measure the user’s physiological data, etc.

 

Batteries and energy sources are a standard issue for all the prototypes; the researchers will work on finding the right type of battery to be incorporated in the workwear, as it should be washable and resist water or then be easily removable to allow the apparel to be washed. 

The research partners have developed prototypes for the different types of workwear users, using the existing solutions. It is important to keep in mind the whole supply management process when developing the new apparel.  

 


   
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