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The Project is Over, Waiting to Launch It

I was silently working on a project – was writing a book on garment manufacturing. Book writing part is over. Now I am waiting for the book launch day.

The name of my new book is Garment Manufacturing: Processes, Practices and Technology.

I have already shared about my upcoming book on facebook and created one Facebook fan page for the book where all updates will be shared time to time. (To receive update on book and free contents like the the book fan page.)

Initial copies, which will be given to industry experts and entrepreneurs for their reviews, are on print.

Sewing Thread Consumption Calculation Template (Download Excel Template)

An excel template is very useful for the formula based calculations. So the thread consumption calculation template is.

You might know the thread consumption ratios for different machines.

But if you don’t have a template, you are wasting time in estimating sewing thread requirement calculation.

Don’t know how to make the template?

No problem. I have developed one template on excel for you.

Go ahead and download the free template. (Find download button below)

3 Resources for Sewing Machine Folders and Attachments (Product Catalogue and Book)

Do you know exactly what folder(s) or attachment you need for your machines making the new style? Or
Do you know which folder will be suitable for the new style?

To get an idea follow the catalogue for sewing machine attachments and guides. Even if you have one catalogue you can learn a lot. In industrial apparel sewing, machine attachments are common. Folder and attachments assist to produce quality products and improve productivity.

Attachments can be made locally if you know exactly what you need. It takes time and you are not sure if you will get right output with the locally made attachment.

Here are a few suppliers who supply ready-made folders and attachments. They have their attachment catalogue. You can refer the item number and order it.

Difference between Production and Productivity


Sometimes you might need to explain what is the difference between production and productivity? I have explained it here.

Production is defined as a process or procedure to transform a set of input to output having the desired utility and quality.

What is Sedex?

Sedexglobal.com home page screen
This term is related to suppliers' ethical compliance in the apparel industry. And also applies to 30+ different industries.

What is Sedex?


The abbreviation of Sedex is Supplier Ethical Data Exchange.

Apparel Merchandising Notes

apparel merchandising note

Are you recently appointed as a merchandiser in a garment manufacturing company?

Are you facing new challenges every day? And have a lot of questions in your mind? 

Don't get frustrated. If you do not know something, learn it now while you are doing your job. 

What you need is notes on apparel merchandising to learn merchandising. 

Coats Group plc Announces Acquisition of GSD Corporate Ltd

This news was originally published in GSD official site.

Coats Group plc, the world’s leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, has acquired 100% of GSD Corporate Ltd, which becomes a Coats Group company.
 
GSD, a UK based company, supplies expert management solutions that analyse time, cost and production capability in the sewn products sector with the focus on maximising productivity and controlling costs. GSD will become part of Coats Global Services, which was launched in 2013 in response to customer demands to help them realise productivity and supply chain improvements, develop technical skills and enhance corporate responsibility.

Challenges in Production Planning and Control in Apparel Manufacturing

This is a guest submission from Ashish Kumar Gupta

You could not meet your production plan every time.

You can try your best to execute and control the production plan. But you never know what surprise is waiting for you at the end.

Why so?

Reason - you are working in the challenging environment.
Challenges for PPC Department


Production planning and control department of a garment manufacturing unit is responsible for the timely shipment.

Generally shipment is sent by sea as it is the cheapest mode of transport but if the shipment is delayed and can’t be sent by sea, it is shipped by air at the expense of manufacturer .Though it is very costly and affects the profitability of the organization badly but has to be done to avoid the order cancellation.

Re-occurrences of these incidents can lead to the loss of valuable clients. Any problem in the planning can lead to a chain of unpleasant events affecting the shipment schedule of subsequent orders. Thus production control should be seen as an inseparable function of production planning.

In this article we will discuss various challenges in Production Planning and Production Controlling in the apparel manufacturing.

  1. Delay in Raw Material Sourcing and approval
  2. Delay in Sample Approval
  3. Production Delay
  4. Recording and communication wrong data
  5. Failing in Final QA inspection

1. Delay in Raw Material Sourcing and Approval


Raw material should be procured by the factory well in advance to accommodate the time taken in inspection and testing as directed by the buyer. A plan should consider the worst case scenario when the procured raw material fails the test and buyer is not willing to accept the anomaly.

In such cases there should be enough time to replace the raw material without effecting the subsequent operations.

2. Delay in Sample Approval


Importance of sample cannot be undermined as buyers strongly follow the process. Buyer would not accept the product if the sample at any stage has failed. Generally garment manufacturer starts the production after the approval of Gold Seal sample/sealer sample.

If the sample approval is delayed it will lead to the delay in production. Factories set up a separate sampling department to effectively handle the sampling. Merchandiser is responsible for the timely approval of the sample. A production planner should keep a keen eye on the sample approval.

3. Production Delays


Production can be delayed due to many unforeseen circumstances

  • Labor Strike
  • Machine Breakdown
  • Critical operation slowing down the efficiency
  • Absenteeism
  • Natural calamity
  • Production being held due to quality problems

Production planner should keep some buffer to adjust the delay. In case the delay is very critical the planner should take swift action and make the necessary amendments to ensure that the production plan remains viable.

4. Recording and Communicating Wrong Data


With proper planning, a disaster can be averted. But a simple problem can play havoc if comes out of blue. Recording wrong production data for the sake of inflating the production figures to avoid the ire of management can lead to an even bigger disaster.

A factory should device a production reporting system which is robust and can’t be tinkered with as all the decisions will be based on the data only.

Different factories follow different systems for recording the data both manually and electronically. Effective data recording will help in effective planning.

5. Failing of Final QA Inspection


Once a shipment is ready it is offered to the buyer QA for inspection. The inspection is carried out on the basis of AQL standards as prescribed by the buyer. If a shipment fails the inspection, it is subjected to rechecking and offered to buyer after rectifying the quality issues. The process will continue till the buyer approves the shipment. Re-screening the shipment is very tedious.

Most of the time re-screening may involve opening packed pieces and refinishing the garments. Rework anywhere any time in the manufacturing leads to wastage which might be avoided by doing the right work first time. It may delay the shipment and can even lead to air shipment which most of the times is on the cost of the manufacturer.

Conclusion


A planner need to have a cut off time of 3-7 days to give go ahead for the production of the order if the production order (PO) has cleared all the necessary pre-production approvals and the raw material is in-house.

A process can be devised where the merchandiser has to give the PO production certificate verifying all the necessary approvals and material requirement to the planner so that he can schedule the production. Production Planner should have a good network of fabricators so that some orders can be outsourced to maintain the sanity of the production plan.

Ashish Kumar Gupta is a Master of Fashion Technology from NIFT and he holds a Bachelors degree in Textile Technology. He was associated with Madura Exports as Assistant Quality Manager for two and half years. At present he is working with Lovely Professional University as an Assistant Professor.

SewEasy – A Software that Establishes Garment Standard Minute

In the apparel manufacturing industry we have few products (software) those are helping business owners to standardize labour cost by establishing standard time from design to sewing stages. SewEasy is one of them. In this post I will be talking about SewEasy software.

SewEasy Dashboard

SewEasy is a Pre-determined Motion Time System (PMTS) for the apparel manufacturing industry. SewEasy is recognized by Manchester University as MTM software for the apparel. SewEasy is developed by SewEasy Pvt. Ltd. a Sri Lanka based company.

This technology simplifies the SAM calculation procedure for apparel sewing process by automating tedious calculations necessary for establishing standard minute values (SMV, SAM). SewEasy is a transparent and consistent sewing room planning system based on MTM. This product is ideal for Lean transformation in garment manufacturing.

To estimate labor cost you need to determine accurate work content of individual operations and have the standard time for the complete garment stitching. The manual time study method for estimating standard time for operations is not cost effective in low volume orders and repeat style change.

Benefits of SewEasy Software


A Tool for Productivity Improvement and Cost Reduction
If the SMVs are correct, the skill development can commence almost instantaneously, due to the elimination of arguments and mistrust. Bottleneck elimination will be a cooperative affair between the sewing machine operators and supervisory management. Coupling incentives with continuous improvement guarantees maximum benefits to all stake holders.

SewEasy standards benefit mostly the sewing machinist who is keen to earn more by minimizing defects, yet pressurized due to loose or tight targets that cause un-balanced sewing lines.

Minimize Absenteeism and Labour Turnover

Absenteeism and high labour turnover are chronic problem in the apparel manufacturing. SewEasy helps in these areas too. Balanced lines and realistic targets lead to industrial harmony in factories. Practical skills development effort will convince the machine operators that supervisory management is on their side and working towards same shared goals. Absenteeism and high labour turnover can be reduced by focused effort.

Most of the challenges faced by factories and potential solutions are inter-related. SewEasy can bring quick improvement in most pressing issues in sewing floor.

Count Material Handling Time

The report of SewEasy highlights the added-value, focusing the IE’s attention upon the handling waste instantly.

Global Access using a Web Browser

A high fashion garment design sketched in one continent, typed in to the SewEasy system by the fashion designer’s assistant herself; can be explained by a factory analyst or a supervisor to a sewing machine operator in another continent. Both ends of the global supply chain will access SewEasy using a web browser.

Software Implementation Time


Keerthi Abe, Managing Director, SewEasy says exiting staff of the factory (provided garment manufacturer has industrial engineers) can be trained within a day. They provide further training industrial engineers and analysts to impart professional skill. This system can be implemented in a factory as quick as one week time. No need to hire new team member to run this system. Exiting production team can be easily trained to handle this system.

Visit SewEasy for more details.


Different Types of Sewing Line Layout (with Pictures)

Have you designed the line layout in your factory? 

No? All was already set there? You don't need to do anything on designing or re-designing the layout. 

Fine!

Do you know that different types of line layout exist in the garment industry? If you don't know go ahead and read this article. If you already know, you are also welcome to read this post or at least see the images of different types of line layout.

What is line layout?

The sewing line layout can be defined as the way sewing workstations are placed in the sewing floor to form a line (or batch) that works on single style. The purpose of choosing one line layout over other is to achieve best production with existing resources.

The line layout in a factory is not changed frequently. Line layout is designed at the time of plant set up and after that if factory wants to change production system they might need to redesign the line layout. You may reallocate sewing machines while setting line for new styles but you don't change the form of line. 

Different Types of Line Layout

Though there are multiple options of sewing line layout to choose from, most garment manufacturers are comfortable with straight lines having center table in between two rows of machines. 

In this article I will be showing you different types of line layout found in garment industry. This article would not tell you which line layout is good and which one is not so good when compared with others. 

The other common sewing line layouts are as following. 


1. Line with center table and operators facing same direction (Figure-1):


In the line a centre table is placed in between two rows of sewing machines. All operators sit on workstation facing same direction. Operators pick bundles from center table and after stitching dispose bundles on the center tables. 
Figure 1: Straight line.
Image courtesy: Denim Experts, Bangladesh

2. Line with center table and operators facing opposite direction (Figure -2)

Machine layout is same as above one. Difference is on operators’ sitting position. Operators sit on the machine keeping center table left side. This layout is more convenient to all operators for picking up work from left side.
Figure-2. Straight line operator facing opposite direction
Image source: Stitch World via Facebook 


3. Straight line without center table and one raw of machines


In this layout no center table is used for material handling. Instead cutting and finished garments are kept of hangers, on baskets or on trolleys. See the different form of layout where machines are placed in a straight line but no center table is used.

 (a) Overhead material movement (Fig-3): Garment components are placed clipped on hanger. and transported on a rail. 
Fig. 3: Straight line layout with overhead material transportation
Image courtesy: Sahu Exports


 (b) Trolley for material transportation (Fig-4): In this layout instead of center table trolleys are used for material transportation. 
Fig-4: Straight line layout with trolleys


 (c) Line having individual disposal basket (Fig-5): Instead of centre table individual disposal baskets are provided to operators. 
Fig-5: Straight line layout with individual disposal basket
Image source: Stitch World via Facebook 

4. Side by side machine layout (Fig -6): 


In this layout sewing machines are placed side by side. Two rows of machines are faced each other. This type of layout is used for single piece production system.
Fig -6: Side by Side machine layout
Image source: Alibaba.com


5. U-shaped line layout (Fig - 7): 


This kind of line layout is used in lean manufacturing. Machines are placed side by side and U-shape is formed to make a line. Operators sit inside. No center table is used. This line layout is also known as modular line.
Fig. 7: U-shaped line layout.
Image source: Stitch World via Facebook

6. Modular line layout:


In lean manufacturing, to reduce material transportation and increase the machine utilization sewing machines are placed in such a way that neither it forms a U-shape nor a straight line. Instead machines placed that suits better to work into multiple sewing machines sitting in single chair. I don’t know what the exact name of this kind of layout is. This layout is named as modular layout to differentiate from the above one.

7. Machine layout in UPS system (Fig-8)

This is bonus for you. I found this while searching on the web. Machines are placed in straight line but in an angle. In the other UPS workstation machines can be placed side by side.

Fig-8: Line layout in UPS system
Image source: Unknown

Conclusion:

Now it is upto you. You may choose one layout for your factory from the above list. When one layout is selected out of above, you need to consider following fine points
  • Space utilization - Space required per workstation compared to other line layout
  • Means of material transportation
  • Order volume and shipment lead time 
  • Production systems to be implemented  

PS: If you have a different layout in your factory, take a snap of the line and share with us in Facebook page or send me by mail.