What is Inline Inspection in the Garment Industry?

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Definition of inline garment inspection. Various formats of inline inspection in the garment industry.Purpose of following inline quality inspection process by garment factories. Reasons for why buyers recommended inline garment inspection.

Inspection means checking the quality of a work or a product. Inline Inspection means checking quality of the product in the process instead of checking at the end of the process when product is completely made. Inline inspection in a garment factory means checking of semi-stitched garments or partially stitched garments while pieces are still inside the line and all sewing operations are not yet stitched.

Inline inspection is also known as roving quality checking or roaming quality checking. Inline inspection is done for 100% of garments or certain percentage of total stitched pieces. Various format of inline checking exits in the garment stitching.

Inline quality inspection in the garment industry
Inline quality inspection in the garment industry 

1) Inline checking at check points: Quality checker checks semi-stitched garment at fixed workstation inside the sewing line at critical operations only. This checking station is known as checkpoint. At this checkpoint quality checker checks all operations done up to that point. 100% garments are checked at this check points. A line may have multiple checkpoints depending on product type.

2) Roving quality checking: A quality checker may be appointed to check garments at all workstations in a sewing line randomly. This inline checker goes to every workstation and randomly pick bundles and checks few pieces. He concentrates only one operation at which he checking. Checking workstation is not provided at each workstation in the line, so this checker checks stitch quality of the garment by standing

3) Traffic light System: Traffic Light System for quality checking is also one example of inline inspection. You can read more about traffic light system in this article.

4) Inline inspection by buyer QA representative: Whether factory follows inline garment inspection process or not, some buyers send their quality personnel to check garments in the initial days of production start and middle of the production. This inspection process also known as mid-line inspection. Quality checker checked garment following AQL and prepare reports and give feedback to the factory representative. Factory takes corrective actions based on QA’s comments.

Inline garment inspection is recommended by many international apparel buyers. This inspection process improves garment stitching quality and reduce rate of defective garment at the end of sewing line. Stitching mistakes is detected at early stage rather checking the defective garment after garment is completely made and defects found in the starting operations. Quality checker or line supervisor can train the operator who is making defects if he is identified by inline quality inspector.

Purpose of inline garment inspection


1. The main purpose is to stop defect generation at source. Early detective of defective garment can save time and money for repair work. If a defect is not detected when it made and following processes are done on that defective piece defective piece may become more critical. This makes more difficult to open the seam again the repair the garment. Thus repair cost would be high.

2. To improve productivity: Chances of defect generation reduces. Thus no possibility of piling up WIP in certain operations and no chance to stopping work at few operations and let the line to dry.

3. Early feedback to cutting department: If garments are checked inline, defects related to cutting can be detected at the initial 2 to 3 operations. Sewing floor can inform cutting department about the cutting issues if it exits. Based on the feedback from sewing line cutting department take action quickly and cut following lays accordingly.

4. Reduce workload of the end-of-line checker.

For styles with complex operations and having many numbers of operations, inline inspection must be followed by factories.

In one of my earlier articles I have listed explained various inspection stages followed by garment factories. Inline inspection is one of those inspection stages.

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Online Clothing Study: What is Inline Inspection in the Garment Industry?
What is Inline Inspection in the Garment Industry?
Definition of inline garment inspection. Various formats of inline inspection in the garment industry.Purpose of following inline quality inspection process by garment factories. Reasons for why buyers recommended inline garment inspection.
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