British inventor creates a new sewing system that eliminates the bobbin.
When you list the worlds top inventions the sewing machine is rarely included, it’s lucky if it makes it into the top 50!
But there are very few moments in our daily life when we are not close to something that’s been produced using a sewing machine.
Now a recent patent, developed by a Phuket expat, is set to bring the sewing machine back into the forefront. Templeton Hancock, a British sewing machine mechanic and former sewing machine demonstrator living in Rawai, has created a new Everlasting Bobbin Sewing (EBS) System that eliminates the need for constantly changing thread bobbins.
A bobbin is a spindle or cylinder, with or without flanges, on which wire, yarn, thread or film is wound. Bobbins are typically found in sewing machines, cameras, and within electronic equipment. In non-electrical applications the bobbin is used for tidy storage without tangles – Wikipedia
“The inception to create the EBS System came to me after a conversation I had with a customer who voiced her frustration with having to continually change the bobbin. It made me question why no one had come up with a satisfactory solution to discard it.”
“The EBS System offers huge benefits not just to manufactures but to everyone who regularly uses a sewing machine; it saves time, improves the quality and finish of garments, reduces waste and make the sewing machine more user-friendly and lessens the impact on the environment.”
The first patented sewing machine was in 1790 to an Englishman, Thomas Saint. Over the next 60 years, the machine was modified and improved to something that is still mechanically recognisable in comparison to today’s machines.
Since the 1980’s there have been significant electronic advancements to the sewing machine, but the need for a refillable bobbin has always harkened back to its introduction in 1853. Over the years, there have been many who have tried to solve this bobbin dilemma. The simple EBS System provides the solution.
So, how does it work?
With current technology, the needle and upper thread pass down into the machine bed. As the needle draws back up, the upper thread is left behind, just slightly, but it is enough that a loop is formed. Machines are timed so that a rotating hook underneath the machine, spinning off a centrally placed drive shaft, can catch this loop and pass it over the bobbin and bobbin case to create a locking stitch.
The EBS System is different. The drive shaft is moved to one side and the hook is placed within a bearing which has drive teeth on its circumference. A void is now created within the bearing which allows for a thread feed tube to supply endless amounts of thread to freely pass without interruption from the rotating hook, eliminating the need for a bobbin.
The bobbin holds, on average for #40 weight thread, around 34.3m of thread. In manufacturing this can equate to the bobbin running out on average, every 9-11 minutes. Methods of turn around to get the machine operational again can vary from 22 seconds to 3 minutes, cutting into the amount of hourly units produced and also increasing wastage/seconds garments for the item in production when the thread ran out.
Analysis of Operation in manufacturing puts aside an average 20% of Standard Allocated Hours (SAH) for changing the bobbin, adjustments and staff rest breaks. By removing the need to refill the bobbin and using the EBS System, manufacturing can be increased by as much as 19%.
Realising the problem with the bobbin, many manufacturers have opted for using a chain stitch instead of a locking thread for seaming. The downside being that the chain stitch uses more thread, creates a bulkier seam and is not as strong as the lock stitch.
By using the EBS System instead of a chain stitch, a factory making jeans (for example) could save an average of 8.9m of thread per unit produced (depending on method of manufacture), and at the same time produce a better quality garment with stronger and less bulky seams. 8.9 metres multiplied by the amount of units produced each day, week and month, equates to being considerable saving even before you add back in the garments that would usually be discarded as wastage/seconds which have now been mostly eliminated.
The EBS System is not just limited to clothing. Footwear, upholstery, luggage and automotive manufacturers are also to benefit from the lack of a bobbin. When the bobbin thread runs out, holes have been made in the material and it takes a short time before the machine operator notices.
The precision of the fit and strength of the material has been compromised and a labour intensive task now begins to reinforce the stitch and try to match the holes already created in the material.
A continuous stream of thread will reduce the amount of wastage of leather and vinyl products in the pursuit of perfection that is expected and demanded by consumers.
The EBS System is not just for industrial use.
The simplicity of the design makes it versatile to be used in the domestic market. The EBS System is a relief to home sewing enthusiasts whose interests are within home decor and quilting. No more will they suffer the frustration when the thread runs out in the middle of a project.
The versatility of the EBS System is that it can also be used with the current refillable bobbin for those small repairs and quick fixes that would require a variety of short lengths of different coloured thread.
The EBS System also looks to the future. A.I. and automation is making advances into the sewing industry, but these machines still need to be carefully monitored as they still rely on the need for a refillable bobbin. Using the EBS System machines will enable manufactures to run for 24 hours with very little supervision, with an endless flow of lower lockstitch thread.
US Patent #10156034 PCT#IB2019/050843
For further information contact Templeton Dean Hancock… [email protected]
Templeton Hancock, Phuket-based seining machine mechanic and inventor
Thailand braces itself for a ‘no deal’ Brexit
Embattled British PM Theresa May is working against the clock to get her Brexit deal through Parliament after the recent defeats..
The British lawmakers last week voted to reject the option of leaving the European Union’s without a deal, raising questions over the conditions for the UK’s leaving the EU bloc. The deadline for their divorce is only two weeks away.
But economists are warning Thailand to brace for some fallout from the UK exit from the EU because it is more likely to happen than not, just a matter of when.
First of all, no-deal Brexit means the UK will no longer be a part of the EU bloc and will have to revert to World Trade Organisation rules on trade. Made-in-UK goods will be subject to EU tariffs, like that of other non-EU nations. Meanwhile, the price of the EU-made merchandises in the UK may become more expensive as they will have to bear the cost of imported tariffs as well.
According to SCB Economic Intelligence Centre, a no-deal Brexit will impact the UK economy and, consequently, affect British purchasing power overseas. British demand for Thai exports, namely automobiles and parts, and processed chicken meat may reduce.
British expats will also have to face a worsening rate of exchange with the Thai baht, lessening the power of the British pound they bring into the Kingdom for living, retirement or holidays.
Nonetheless, the overall impact on Thai exports should not be significant because the Thai outbound shipment to the UK represents only 1.5 percent of total Thai exports, according to the the think tank of Siam Commercial Bank.
Brexit may also prompt Thailand and the EU to renegotiate some trade deals such as import quota to the EU. Thailand may have to renegotiate the export quota with the EU on processed chicken, as an example. And Thailand may also have to negotiate another chicken export deal with the UK separately after the UK separation from the EU.
Auramon Supthaweethum, Director-General of Department of Trade Negotiations, said Brexit could complicate the process of Thai-EU free trade negotiation, which is scheduled to resume in the second half of this year.
“At any rate, after the Thai general election, Thailand is set to continue to negotiate with the EU on the Thai-EU free trade deal regardless of the UK decision.”
On the bright side, Brexit may prompt the UK investors to pay more attention to potential markets beyond the EU border. At present, direct investment from the UK to Thailand is small, accounting for only 3.5 percent of the total foreign direct investment, according to SCB.
Kasikorn Research Centre note that in addition to Brexit, Thai investors should take into account the consequences of the EU and Japan’s Economic Partnership Agreement which came into force last month.
The EPA could affect the exports of Thai automobile which is part of the Japanese’ supply chains. The EPA will end tariffs of auto and parts between Japan and EU by 2026.
Kasikorn Bank’s think tank says, in light of Brexit, some Japanese automakers will likely relocate some of their car production from the UK to other EU countries to maintain the EU trade privileges. Nissan and Honda have already flagged this probability.
Thus, the destinations for Thai exported automobiles and parts, which are part of the supply chains of Japanese automakers, may also change in accordance with Japanese automakers’ revised business strategy.
While the actual impacts on trade and investment remain to be seen, Brexit has been chiefly attributed to the volatility of the British pound since the referendum in 2016.
The SCB Economic Intelligence Centre say the weaker British pound could dampen the sentiment of British arrivals. They note that UK holidaymakers are among the high spenders in Thailand with 77,600 baht per trip.
“At any rate, since the receipts from British travelers represent only 2.1 percent of the total, the impact on the Thai tourism industry will be insignificant.”
People have short memories. Why the Boeing 737 MAX will survive the current crisis.
If history is anything to go on people’s current fears about the Boeing 737 MAX jets will be short-lived.
The make0ver of the venerable 737 plane, the most popular passenger jet in history, was supposed to set Boeing on a path to success. Airlines said it was the plane they wanted – perfect for short-haul, cheap to run, new efficient engines.
Boeing didn’t go down the path of coming up with a new single-aisle jet to compete with the new Airbus 320 Neo series, instead they decided to come up with a revised 737. The revised plane has slightly larger and more powerful engines, is a little higher off the ground, features some new hi-tech construction materials making it lighter, upgraded avionics and, importantly, new software that was meant to make it even safer.
You can identify a 737 MAX because of the two-spoke winglets at the end of the wings.
Now two of the new series 737 MAX have crashed within six months with investigators speaking about ‘similarities’ in the early days of the crash investigation.
Travel site Kayak even added an option to screen out flights using the 737 Max jets.
If panic persisted, the media kept writing stories about it and airlines were unwilling to buy it, the future of Boeing would be in jeopardy.
That’s the current situation. But it also reflects a similar time during a four-month period in late 1965 and early 1966 when four new Boeing 727 jets crashed. Three of the crashes occurred while the planes were attempting to land at US airports. Two of them happened within three days of each other in November 1965. The 727 was the first commercial jet to fly with less than four jet engines.
Like the 737 MAX crashes, the US regulator, the FAA, defended the planes’ safety and refused to ground the 727s at the time. It issued a statement the day after the third fatal 727 crash, saying that it could find no pattern in the crashes. It declined to ground the jet.
At the time Boeing was still riding on its reputation built around the Boeing 707 jet, the first successful commercial passenger jet (the British Comet was the first commercial passenger jet in 1952 but had a series of catastrophic crashes from which it never recovered profitable sales).
Eventually the Civil Aeronautics Board, which was created in the wake of the crashes, cleared the 727 and blamed pilot error for the accidents. Pilots were not prepared to fly the 727, and that led to the crashes. The new wings of the revolutionary (for the time) 727 made the plane descend much faster than was possible in the past, giving pilots the chance to slow the planes down faster and land on much shorter runways than the jets of the time, a big selling point.
But the pilots at the controls of the four doomed jets in the 60s were apparently unprepared for how quickly the planes would descend with the new wings.
But Boeing did get past the 727 crisis. Increased training led to safer operation of the plane, and these kinds of crashes ended. Customers soon forgot.
The 727 went on to become the bestselling jet of its time for Boeing. It eventually sold 1,831 of the jets, a lot when flying in jets was still mostly reserved for the ‘jet set’ and people able to afford the expensive ticket prices of the time.
“I don’t know that people will care that much for very long,” says Shem Malmquist, a Boeing 727 and 777 Captain.
“They only worry about the price of the ticket.”
The Boeing 727 suffered four high-profile crashes in the mid 60s and went on to become a flying favourite.
Rock Thailand, Japanese start-ups eye Thai businesses
Noting Thailand as the new south east Asian regional innovation hub, the Japanese Embassy in Bangkok, in collaboration with Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, CP Group and True Corporation, launched Rock Thailand, a start-up incubation project.
Rock Thailand is being used to open a stage for 10 top technology start-ups from Japan to present their business models to 20 key Thai enterprises and take part in its networking session.
Japanese ambassador to Thailand, Shiro Sadoshima, said the Rock Thailand event is being held as part of Japan’s Open-Innovation Columbus project to support Japanese start-ups in the areas of innovation and knowledge exchange. The project began with the initiation of talks between leading Thai enterprises and Japanese start-ups.
Japan aims to promote cooperation between its start-ups and the Thai business community, said Pichet Durongkaveroj, minister of Digital Economy and Society, adding that this is what has led to the Open Innovation Columbus Project.
This is in line with the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy, which aims to drive the economy through innovations and digital transformation, including the Smart City project and development of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
Thailand is being seen as the new innovation hub of the region outside Japan – both in terms of trade and investment. Under the regime, small and medium enterprises stand to benefit from the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to connect businesses in Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and the global market.
Suphachai Chearavanont, CEO of CP Group, said the corporation attaches importance to the nation’s digital transformation.
“Our vision is not just for our group of companies, but for Thailand as a whole. Thailand needs to invest in research and development for start-up businesses and their ecosystem.
“The collaboration with the Embassy of Japan and the Digital Economy and Society Ministry enables us to exchange views with successful Japanese start-ups. We believe the power of leading start-ups from Japan will support us in developing innovations and advanced technologies and escalate the country to its Thailand 4.0 vision,” he said.
The event was co-hosted by CP Group and True.
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