On November 16th and 17th of 2017, Shima Seiki celebrated its 55th Anniversary milestone after nearly 6 decades of continuous innovation. As the leading flat-bed knitting machine manufacturer, we’ve gathered over 1500 guests from around the world to be a part of our memorable moment in history. Roughly 35% of visitors came from Japan itself, with the remaining 65% coming from other parts of the world including China, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Bangladesh and other countries of South Asia, in addition to Italy, UK, Spain, Portugal, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Africa, USA and South America.


Upon entering the Big Whale visitors were welcomed with an art installation portraying the waste of the apparel industry, along with a brief video on how Shima Seiki can be your sustainable solution. The video showed the current problems facing the textiles industry in terms of working conditions, environmental concerns and economics, followed by Shima Seiki’s solutions to the problems through APEX3 design system and MACH2XS WHOLEGARMENT knitting machine integration.

Guests were then guided to the machine area where we exhibited the latest innovations with increased efficiency and capabilities. Some of the machines & concepts proposed were:

MACH2XS123-8L | MACH2XS123-15L | MACH2XS123-15S

  • The most technically advanced computerized flat knitting machine to date.
  • SlideNeedles on 4 needle beds as well as i-DSCS+DTC digital stitch control is continued from the MACH2X series, permitting high-quality knitting of sophisticated WHOLEGARMENT knitwear in all needles.
  • In addition, the patented spring-type moveable sinker system for an even greater range of patterning and knitting of dimensional structures.

SWG061N2 15-gauge | SWG091N2 18-gauge | SWG091N2 -gauge

  • This machine is capable of high-quality knitting of WHOLEGARMENT accessories.
  • this includes gloves, socks, five-toe socks, leg warmers, scarves, mufflers, hats, neckties and other accessory items.
  • It is capable of knitting other smaller garments such as kids wear and ladies’ legwear and tank tops.

SVR123SP-SV 14-gauge

  • This machine has inlay capability for producing knit-weave hybrid fabrics.
  • It also featured a loop presser bed mounted above the rear needle bed, along with the new i-Plating option that allows inverse-plating capability within the same course and for individual needles

SRY183LP-SC 16-gauge

  • This machine featured two loop presser beds mounted above both front and rear needle beds.
  • Garment-size knitting width (72-inch / 180cm) allows the SRY to produce fabrics for long dresses by knitting sideways on with unlimited hem length using short row knitting.
  • Intarsia patterns can be produced without the inefficiencies normally associated with it.

Prototype: 21-gauge Glove Knitting Machine

  • Going back to our original machine from 1962, we introduced a World’s first prototype glove knitting machine featuring 21-gauge capabilities.
  • This featured removable needle selection drum and belt-drive, which allows for size changes without exchanging needle selection drums.
  • Efficiency and productivity have improved while maintenance has become easier.

Prototype: 3D Scanning Device for Bespoke (Customized) Knitwear

  • This 3D Scanning Device features LED strobe lights that allow fast body scanning which processed over a million points of data in 1 second.
  • This information is transferred to the SDS-ONE APEX3 design system for processing and programming for a custom-fit knitwear.
  • Some of the product examples included bespoke compression medical applications for treating diseases such as lymphedema and ulcers.

SIP-160F3S Digital inkjet printer

  • This printing machine showcased its compact model with the capability to print with reactive dyes and pigment inks, including a white color.

Future Zone:

  • After the machine section, guests were introduced to the Future Zone, where we introduced many of the latest VR technologies available.
  • The 3D Virtual Models created on the SDS-ONE APEX3 were combined with Microsoft’s VR Technology to present a virtual showroom.
  • Our new app-based virtual showroom is now available for preview at VR-knit.com.

SDS-ONE APEX3 Design System Demo Area:

  • Following this was the SDS-ONE APEX3 demo rooms where we showcased capabilities of the design system in 3 rooms each equipped with seating for 30 persons.

Finally, there was a realistic life-sized imitation of polar bears to show how sustainable production can help reduce greenhouse gasses that are affecting the polar bear’s habitat.

Knit Samples:

After viewing the first floor, the visitors were taken to the 2nd floor where we showcased more than 500 knitted items on over 300 mannequins. Some of these samples included domestic Japanese brands, overseas brands, SHIMA Samples from the Total Design Center, as well as student projects from schools across the world.

Fashion Show:

To finish the event off, we hosted our own fashion show combining animated 3D models created on the SDS-ONE APEX3 along with real models. In summary, there were 66 different looks displayed by 29 models where 20 were simulated garments and the remaining were actual pieces. During this show, guests enjoyed both Japanese and International cuisine while being entertained with traditional and modern Japanese singers and dancers.

We couldn’t have made it this far without the great support and interest from our customers. We are truly glad to have avid believers and users of our technology during our 55-year history and hope to continue providing innovative solutions to the fashion industry. We look forward to increasing our reach with our knit-innovations and hope you will be able to join our next milestone event.


Visit the 55th Anniversary Page for more information.