Involvement of Industrial Engineers in Cutting Department of a Sewing Factory

What all activities Industrial Engineer can do in cutting department? - This question was asked by one of the OCS readers. 

In this post, I have answered this question with the possible involvement of IE departments in the cutting department.

In the garment industry Industrial Engineers (IE) mainly focus on the sewing department of a factory. IEs perform various activities in the sewing floor and improve production processes. IE skills and knowledge can be applied in the other departments too, like cutting department and finishing department in a garment factory.
Most factories employ Industrial Engineers for sewing department and they are supposed to be responsible for sewing room activities only. They can initiate improving process in cutting department by introducing Industrial Engineering tools and techniques.

Industrial Engineering for Cutting Department
When it come activities of cutting department, IEs can be involved in the following activities.

Time Study for cutting room activities and setting Standard Time – Cutting room activities like fabric spreading, cutting, re-cutting, ply numbering and bundling can be standardized. The standard time for each activity can be measured. Calculation of cutting SAM is explained in this article.

Making standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all cutting activities – You might know the importance of SOPs for processes and activities to produce the desired output. IE department can involve themselves in preparing SOPs for cutting department.

Measuring KPIs – An IE can measure cutting room KPIs. Like marker efficiency%, fabric utilization percentage, cutting quality, and machine and manpower utilization.

Designing cutting room layout - Cutting room layout can be re-designed if needed to improve work flow from one section to another section.

Suggesting good material handling equipment – Good material handling equipment improve cutting room performance; improve quality of cut parts etc. You can find suitable equipment for cutting department too. For example, you can work on improving manual layering method, cutting process and bundling and numbering method.

Finding a solution for cutting room issues- There is always a scope of improvement in cutting room performance. As an IE you can start practising problem-solving to solve day to day cutting room issues.

Studying and analyzing manpower requirement in cutting room – Scientific calculation of manpower requirement in the cutting room is neglected. You can introduce it and reduce excess manpower from the cutting room.

The above mentioned activities can be included under IE’s responsibility. To get benefit out of IE’s involvement in cutting section, they need to concentrate fully for cutting department only. You need to build a separate IE team who would perform these tasks.

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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