The apparel industry in high wage countries can only be competitive globally by rationalizing its production process with automation. A particular stress is to be laid on the handling. Up to now, the development of new features has concentrated on the sewing process itself. Due to this, the correct feeding of the textile material defines a challenge to be solved. For feeding the textiles, the exact compliance of position and orientation is of considerable importance. Difficulties lie in tracking the edge of the material due to its defects, e.g. outgoing threads. This paper describes a low‐cost infrared sensor system for contour tracking and detection of edge defects. Statistical analysis of the results obtained from 20 different fabrics is provided.
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