Home Press release PTC Announces Intelligent Apparel Manufacturing Initiative, Extending the Reach of its Brand-To-Factory Strategy

PTC Announces Intelligent Apparel Manufacturing Initiative, Extending the Reach of its Brand-To-Factory Strategy


BOSTON – June. 6, 2019 —PTC is proud to announce the Intelligent Apparel Manufacturing (IAM) initiative. A response to the acute pressures placed on brand and retail businesses by today’s fast-paced, hyper-competitive market, the IAM initiative is designed to transform the way products are sourced and manufactured – across fashion and apparel.

Conceived in partnership with digitalization consultancy Black Swan Textiles, the IAM program leverages PTC’s FlexPLM® and ThingWorx® Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to bring the vision for Industry 4.0 alive for fashion and apparel manufacturers anywhere in the world.

With more users than any other PLM platform in the Retail, Footwear and Apparel industry, FlexPLM is already the industry’s most widely-used PLM solution. Built with FlexPLM, the IAM initiative will deliver even deeper integration between a single, centralized source of data and other business systems – establishing direct connectivity with manufacturing and opening the door to transformative new business models.

“Combining PTC’s technical expertise with Black Swan Textiles’ decades of experience in automation, manufacturing and product development, the IAM initiative will allow the fashion and apparel industry to significantly reduce time to market, shrink inventory and digitally connect a fragmented supply chain,” said Brion Carroll, VP of Global Business Development for PTC’s Retail Business Unit.

To establish a comprehensive link between PTC’s FlexPLM solution and the full complement of factory systems and hardware, the IAM initiative has been forged by new partnerships between PTC, Black Swan, and other key players in the connected supply chain such as Blacksmith International and Henderson Sewing Machine Co, Inc.

“To meet the demands of their customers, global manufacturers need access to real-time data from the shop floor in order to make informed decisions during the manufacturing process,” added Edward Hollyday, VP of Black Swan Textiles.

“By connecting different assets and sources of data such as 3D design, PLM, cutting and sewing machines, an existing factory can quickly become an ‘intelligent factory’ and begin delivering on the promise of the Industry 4.0 revolution. As a brand or retailer, the benefits of integrating multiple threads of data and obtaining real-time digital insights into the factory floor are profound, and we believe the IAM initiatives will give PTC customers a huge competitive advantage.”

Blacksmith International, a Utah based apparel manufacturer and global sourcing company in the vanguard of digital transformation, is currently implementing several solutions (including PTC’s FlexPLM and MOVE Warehouse Management) and IAM technologies to improve efficiency, transparency and bottom-line profits. “The ability to make business decisions based on up-to-the-minute data from the factory will drive the next wave of innovation, and it starts right here in Utah,” said Brian Sather, Blacksmith International. “We are proud to be working with Black Swan Textiles and PTC to architect the factory of the future: connected, transparent, and a fixture of the local community.”

Henderson Sewing Machine a third generation sewing machine distributor and systems integrator will also play a crucial role in the deployment of IAM hardware. One of the first and most pivotal parts of the initiative is centered around the ‘connected sewing machine’ where legacy sewing machines from all makes, models and stitch types will be connected to IAM, as Frank Henderson, CEO of Henderson Sewing Machines explains:

“The global manufacturing landscape is more competitive than ever, and the pressures placed on factories of all shapes and sizes demand a new level of connectivity and automation. Together with PTC and Black Swan Textiles, we are working to take manufacturers to that new level with the help of the Intelligent Apparel Manufacturing platform.”

Further details on the IAM initiative will be highlighted throughout PTC’s annual digital transformation conference, LiveWorx, which runs from June 10th-13th, in Boston, MA. Most notably, a panel discussion titled; “Meeting The Demands of Future-focused Brands and Consumers with the Brand-to-Factory Initiative” will take place on Wednesday, June 12th at 1 pm. Panelists Edward Hollyday (VP, Black Swan Textiles), Brian Sather (CEO, Blacksmith Manufacturing), Brion Carroll (VP, Global Business Development, PTC) and Frank Henderson (CEO, Henderson Sewing Machine) will discuss this initiative and explain how it builds on PTC’s existing Brand-to-Factory (B2F) strategy. “This is a must-attend discussion for brands, sourcing agents and manufacturers in the retail and apparel industries seeking ways to work more closely with their suppliers, and to connect proprietary hardware and software systems through an intuitive intermediary platform,” said Bill Brewster, SVP and General Manager of PTC’s Retail Business Unit.

In addition, the IAM platform will be available to experience first-hand in PTC’s dedicated Retail booth, which is located in Xtropolis – LiveWorx’s impressive 200,000 square foot exhibit hall. Black Swan Textiles and Henderson Sewing will be exhibiting a connected sewing machine as well as connecting in real-time to machines at Henderson Sewing in Andalusia, AL using the power of PTC’s ThingWorx platform.


PTC helps companies around the world reinvent the way they design, manufacture, operate, and service things in and for a smart, connected world. In 1986 we revolutionized digital 3D design, and in 1998 were first to market with Internet-based product lifecycle management. Today, our leading industrial innovation platform and field-proven solutions enable you to unlock value at the convergence of the physical and digital worlds. With PTC, manufacturers and an ecosystem of partners and developers can capitalize on the promise of the Internet of Things and augmented reality technology today and drive the future of innovation.






PTC, FlexPLM, ThingWorx, and the PTC logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of PTC Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. 

Lydia Mageean Lydia Mageean has been part of the WhichPLM team for eight years now. She has a creative and media background, and is responsible for maintaining and updating our website content, liaising with advertisers, working on special projects like our PLM Project Pack, or our Annual Publications, and more.Joining mid-2013 as our Online Editor, she has since become WhichPLM’s Editor. In addition to taking on writing and interviewing responsibilities, Lydia has also become the primary point of contact for news, events, features and other aspects of our ever-growing online content library and tools.