l PACKING A PUNCH: Salem student’s innovation set to revolutionise textile designing

A chat among Salem-based Sona School of Engineering college student S Nishanth and his senior Pranesh above espresso, in January 2020, has spurred a breakthrough in textile building. Punch playing cards, the key ingredient in a Jacquard loom, which are designed manually and establish the intricate models on fabrics this sort of as brocade or silk, have been presented a electronic makeover by this young university student of mechatronics.

In excess of a interval of two decades and soon after substantially demo and mistake, Nishanth conceptualised and perfected the Novatex Electric powered Cylinder, which digitises the doing work of Jacquard looms. It removes the requirement of reconfiguring 1000’s of punch playing cards, necessary for every single new structure. Nishanth completed the task, an attachment for the Jacquard looms, as a closing 12 months student previous yr.

Weavers can now not only swap over to a new pattern right away, but also create advanced types on materials inexpensively, suggests Nishanth. Appreciably, the punch-card-fed loom motivated the earliest desktops built by Charles Babbage.

The aged way: The 7-inch by 3-inch punch playing cards, in fact boards, aid produce stunning types, specifically on saris and dhotis, in the electricity and handloom sector. But the system is prohibitively pricey and unwieldy. A one new design and style demands as many as 2,000 punch cards, each individual costing 4 apiece totalling 8,000. The cost escalates if far more elaborate patterns are picked out. This clarifies why types on Kanchipuram, Banarasi and Ikat saris have remained stagnant over the a long time. A punch card is a piece of stiff paper that retains digital info represented by the existence or absence of holes in predefined situation, which determines unique patterns. Punch card makers, soon after getting the pattern from the designers, take a 7 days to change them into matching holes, a laborious and time-consuming procedure, before dispatching them to the weavers. The instead extensive wait, apart from the costly playing cards, predispose craftsmen to adhere to similar patterns 12 months immediately after 12 months.

Jacquard loom equipped with the Novatex Electric powered Cylinder

A lot quicker, cheaper: Digitisation, on the other hand, simplifies the 3-stage method enormously, describes Nishanth. 1st of all, the designer makes a sample on graph paper utilizing specific application, copied to a pen push. The push is now attached to Nishanth’s innovation, the Novatex Cylinder, established to be unveiled by September 2023.

Standard punch cards for looms

The device, priced at `60,000, will be sold in Tamil Nadu and later on in other states. Nishanth’s business, incorporated as Novatex Engineering, is currently being incubated by Ashok Jhunjhunwala-led IIT Madras Incubation Cell as component of its collaboration with Sona College’s Organization Incubation Mobile in Salem.

“This innovation will discover application in the textile market and will gain the fashion designers as perfectly as the small weavers in creating additional designs at reduced charge,” stated Chocko Valliappa, vice chairman, Sona Team of Institutions.

“Converting an plan into reality can be a pretty taxing and tough activity,” avers Nishanth. Given that no household assist was forthcoming, he counted on tiny organizations and prize money from competitions to finance his undertaking. “I faced a number of troubles and failures about the previous two a long time, optimising the remaining item. It involved hundreds of important and small alterations, every unexciting a large gap in our pockets,” recalled Nishanth. “The newest variation is in all probability the most successful we have devised, currently being 5 moments more compact, 10 instances speedier and fees only half to manufacture, as compared to the first prototype.”

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