AFFOA® Adopts PTC FlexPLM® To Fuel The Future of Advanced Functional Fabrics

Updated: May 19

Press Release

This press release by AFFOA and PTC Retail was picked up by WhichPLM May 5, 2021. We're sharing because it represents innovation in the industry, and the push for a more sustainable and localized supply chain.

Engineers, material scientists, and textile designers at the groundbreaking AFFOA Institute will pioneer new products and sophisticated fabrics with the support of product lifecycle management (PLM) software.

Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, Inc. (AFFOA) will implement PTC’s industry-leading FlexPLM platform to support its mission to revolutionize domestic manufacturing in America. FlexPLM will serve as the core of AFFOA’s program, targeting the digital transformation of traditional fibers, yarns and textiles into integrated technology systems for consumer and military use.

Across its Cambridge, MA, headquarters, and its Pennsylvania Fabric Discovery Center at Drexel University, AFFOA’s team of engineers, material scientists, and textile designers will use FlexPLM to replace ad-hoc legacy systems and processes, and as a tool for both internal collaboration and the secure sharing of technical data with government agencies, its members and with its external vendors.

As a non-profit Institute, AFFOA’s objective is the creation of a sustainable, scalable, high-tech ecosystem for the research, development, and world-leading domestic production of innovative functional fabrics. In this role, AFFOA supports its members – which range from consumer product companies and startups to manufacturers and academic institutions – in transitioning from working with traditional fibers and textiles, to creating value-add products and services through the integration of semiconductors, “smart” yarns and other networked devices and systems. These integrated systems will give rise to new innovations in energy storage and conversion, temperature regulation, health monitoring, and cosmetic advances such as color-changing garments.

This technical complexity demanded a level of precision and multi-product architecture above and beyond the scope of traditional apparel and retail PLM systems. And since AFFOA receives funding from the US Department of Defense, its data must be standardized and transparent to a degree that inflexible databases could not support. These were key selection criteria in AFFOA’s decision to implement PTC FlexPLM, as VP of Manufacturing Operations, Tsachi Avrahami, explains: