Experimental digital twins: Data-supported efficiency increase in the development of textile products using the example of tufting

The development of new tufting products is associated with high material, time and personnel costs. Development times average 6-7 months for known materials and over 12 months for unknown materials.

The aim of the research project Resource T-EXDIZ is to transfer expert knowledge for the development of tufting products into digital form. An experimental digital material twin is used for this purpose. It enables advance simulation to improve product development and thus a more efficient use of physical resources. The basis for the project is provided by the findings of a project recently finalized from the research partner TFI (IGF 21166N), in which an experimental digital process twin of a tufting machine was developed. In the current project, this is being extended to include parameters for material properties of yarns and backings. For this purpose, the corresponding material properties (e.g. elongation, backing type), process parameters (e.g. pile height, needle stroke) and product properties (e.g. basis weight, pile density) are determined.

The identified parameters form the basis for a material data space in which expert knowledge is systematically recorded and graphically processed. Correlations and dependencies between the parameters are determined with the aid of correlation and cluster analysis as well as machine learning methods. The data structured in this way form the basis for building the experimental digital material twin.

By linking the digital process and material twins, the entire tufting process can be virtualized and used for new product development with the help of the developed AI model.

Based on the AI model, the current resource-intensive development process of tufting products is transformed into an AI -supported product development process and validated with the help of the associated industrial partners.


Funding program and project number: IGF 22002 N

Duration: 01.02.2022 - 31.07.2024


The IGF project "Data-supported efficiency increase in the development of textile products through experimentable digital twins using the example of tufting (Resource T-EXDIZ)" 22002 N of the Research Association Forschungskuratorium Textil e.V., Reinhardtstraße 14-16, 10117 Berlin is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action via the AiF within the framework of the program for the promotion of joint industrial research and development (IGF) on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.

Project Monitoring Committee:

  • Halbmond Teppichwerke Oelsnitz
  • Lydall Gerhardi GmbH & Co. KG
  • ITA – Institut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University
  • Imbut GmbH
  • KARL MAYER Holding GmbH & Co. KG
  • Groz-Beckert KG
  • io GmbH
  • MMI – Institut für Mensch-Maschine Interaktion der RWTH Aachen
  • Vorwerk – Hamelner Teppichwerke GmbH & Co. KG
  • Fiberlane GmbH & Co. KG
  • Textechno Herbert Stein GmbH & Co. KG
  • Freudenberg SE
  • codecentric AG