Why Your Line Efficiency is Low - Identify the Reasons

On the shop floor, every day the production and IE team work hard to improve the line efficiency or at least they try to maintain the monthly average efficiency (benchmark efficiency). But the efficiency level goes down from time to time.

Let’s check the fact.

What is the average efficiency of your production lines?

Let’s assume the average line efficiency of your factory is 60% (Monthly average).

How the balance 40% standard time is lost? Where that 40% of the standard time is gone? (The efficiency data might be different to your factory).

You need to study the fact, analyze data and find out the root causes for having low efficiency.

Ask these questions to yourself and note down the answers to identify the reasons how a factory loss line efficiency.

A dry line - Do you often find that most of the operators in the line sit idle due to a shortage of feeding?

Idle times - Do you see operators sit idle for some reasons? If so what are the reasons?

Quality issues - Do you need to stop operators if they are not making desired quality? Do you send the defective garments back to the line for repair work? Does it build a bottleneck in the line? Think of an alternative way of repair work?

Set-up efficiency loss - Does your line takes too much time to set up it for a new style?

Balancing loss /Imbalance line - How much time you lost due to balancing loss in the OB?

Operator absenteeism - Do you often see some of your operators are absent? Do you have enough floaters in the place of the absentees? What you do to reduce the absenteeism rate?

Off-standard work - Do you need to move operators from their job to another job on which they don’t have the skill?

Low employee morale – Money is one of the best motivators to motivate workers and employees and it works. Do you have a performance incentive scheme for the shop floor workers?

Overtime work - It is a common practice that many of us work 2-3 hours after regular shifts. Does the excess overtime reduce operator’s performance? Think – can you stop working overtime by producing daily target qty within the regular shift hours?

Low skilled operators – How many of the employees do not have the required skill? Do you have any plan to train them?

Uncounted time – Do you have the record of all lost-time hours? How much time is not counted in the lost efficiency?

I know many of you have a good IE and production team who can identify the root causes of low efficiency of the line.

Identify the reasons and prepare a plan to work on improving the average efficiency level.

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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