What is Needle Down Time?

The term ‘needle downtime (NDT)’ is often used in the apparel industry to express total time or percentage of total work time of a machine runs in sewing garment. This is actually a needle running time.

The word ‘downtime’ (or 'downtime') sometimes makes confusion and many may mean it as machine idle time and is considered as one of kind of non-productive time. When I penned down to write this post, I also had confusion about the correct meaning of this phrase. For the clarification, I seek help from industry experts and asked for their opinions. I send a mail to Dr. Prabir Jana (My teacher, Professor, NIFT) and Mr. Keerthi Abe (MD, SewEasy).

Dr. Prabir Jana has explained this term very well. Traditionally 'downtime' word is associated with 'anything not working'. However, in case of sewing machine, it is just opposite 'sewing machine works when a needle is down'. He suggested using the word 'needle running time' to avoid confusion.

Mr. Keerthi Abe explained Needle downtime as ‘Needle up & down going time’.

Needle downtime is considered as one of the performance measures (KPI) for sewing floor as well as sewing factory performance.

I hope you understand what does it actually mean. Drop a message in the following comment box if you need further clarification.

Also See: How to calculate needle downtime for a sewing machine

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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