A patent has been awarded to the e-commerce juggernaut, Amazon, for an on-demand manufacturing system designed to produce clothing only after a customer order is placed. The patent describes a system in which computer software collects clothing orders from all over the world and comes up with an efficient plan for fulfilling them.
The computerized system would include all the essential equipment and machineries, such as textile printers, cutters and an assembly line, as well as cameras. The cameras would be designed to capture images of garments that would provide feedback on alterations needed in subsequent items.
According to the patent, the goods would be manufactured in batches based on factors such as the customer shipping address. This will help increase the efficiency.
The patent states, “Once various textile products are printed, cut and assembled according to the orders, they can be processed through a quality check, photographed for placement in an electronic commerce system, shipped to customers and/or stored in a materials handling facility for order fulfilment.”
It’s worth mentioning here that Amazon had applied for the patent in late 2015 and this step is the latest sign that the e-commerce giant has its sights set on being a bigger player in the clothing industry. The company has already started selling eight of its own fashion brands, representing everything from kids clothes to women’s dresses to dress shirts for men.
The inventors, two of them are Aaron Barnet and Nancy Liang, of this patent are working to make it clear if this system could work for other categories, such as footwear, bedding, curtains, towels” and be made of materials “including but not limited to paper, plastic, leather, rubber and other materials.