Showing posts from March, 2019

Advanced Time Study Tools and Their Applications

Time study is a method of measuring the total time taken by a specific operation containing one or more sub-elements by a well-trained operator in ideal working condition by a specific method. To be accurate time study helps to define how much time will be taken by an average operator in average working condition with 100% skill level.

The aim of a time study has always been an observational method which would allow efficient, accurate, and reliable data collection and also able to capture a greater degree of work complexity.

For convenience and better understanding, I’ve divided the time study process into three generations based on the use of modern technologies and up-gradation.

The first generation time study tool comprises of a notebook with a time study table and a stopwatch. The stopwatch is used for measuring the time taken for any process. The time recorded is then used for calculating the basic time and then the standard time with the use of a formula. This is a very primit…

Why Indirect Manpower is not Included in the Efficiency Report?

Why we only add direct manpower in the efficiency report? Can't we add a quality person, input man, line leader, line supervisor i.e. indirect manpower? … A question from an OCS reader. When you are talking about the efficiency report, it includes line efficiency and required information for calculating the line efficiency. Though you can keep a record of supporting manpower in the efficiency report without including their attended hours in efficiency calculation. 

Efficiency is calculated as Hours produced against Hours worked. Or total minutes produced against total minutes worked (attended minutes) by the direct employees.

To get minutes produced from each employee, standard time need to be assigned to all jobs that are performed by manpower working in a line. But in practice, we can’t assign SAM for line supervisor's job and their job is not included in the style (operation bulletin). Therefore, we are not getting any produced hours from line supervisors and line leaders. …

Can an Operator Hit 100% Efficiency?

My answer is “yes” your operator can hit 100% efficiency. Provided that the operator has been given with enough work, good workstation layout and a good machine. You know the efficiency calculation formula. For calculating employee efficiency you need a standard time of their task.

The first time many disbelieve me, because they heard that it is impossible. But when I showed them how it is possible, they liked it and get the confidence to hit the target.

You must know how standard minute is being calculated. Let's say the standard time (SAM) is established using a PMTS software. What parameters you add to calculate SAM of an operation? If parameters are set right then you will find few machinists who will hit 100% efficiency.
Here are the eight main parameters those are considered in calculating garment SAM. Before questioning your machinist you must choose correct options from each parameter to establish right SAM of an operation.

1. Machine rpm – Do you provide your operators sam…

Transparency: A Certificate or The Behavior?

This article is contributed by Laszlo Szabo from DataS, Romania.

During the 29 years in the apparel industry with the visits to more than 400 garment factories around the world, I got used with the continuous lamentation of the apparel manufacturers regarding the prices as  “… that bad brands don’t want to pay more …” or “… the buyers should take part in our imminent growing costs …” and other similar approaches.

In general, the expressions could differ, but the meanings are the same whether it is in Africa, Asia or Europe.

First what comes in my mind is that the apparel manufacturer in the before or next second is a buyer of another supplier – like fabric mills, trimmings or like us, for a software solution provider.

What it could be the manufacturer’s reaction if I would use the same arguments like - the AI (Artificial Intelligence), the robotics are magnets for the IT professionals and you should take part in my employee's imminent salary increase …’?
In the last year(s) a larg…

Fabric Testing Equipment for the Textile Industry

Testing is one of the most integral parts of any product development and maintains product quality. The results indicate how well the product will stand against the effect of time, how will the product differ from when it was produced, will the product be able to fulfil its purpose. But most importantly is the product made up to its required specifications? In this article, we are going to discuss the various testing equipment/apparatus that are being used for certifying quality levels of different fabrics being tested.

During a recent visit to a textile laboratory, I was amazed by the number of tests through which a quality fabric has to pass before it is to be converted to a garment. Below are the comprised details of the various testing equipment used in fabric testing laboratory.
1. Bursting strength tester This test is used as a general guide to determine the strength of any fabric. It is done by putting the sample in a mould through which pressure is applied from the bottom of th…

Introduction to Spinning Process

Spinning is the process of conversion of textile fibers and filaments into yarns for weaving or knitting into fabrics. In this article, we are going to know about the various processes which lead to the formation of worsted spun yarns.

Worsted spun yarns differ from the regular woollen yarn in various properties. Only fibers with long staple length (4 inches or longer) are taken for further processing. The yarns are carded and combed thus making them stronger, finer and smoother. Worsted yarns are used mostly for weaving as it is able to withstand the rigorous weaving process and produce smooth woven fabric.

The spinning of worsted spun yarn is carried on through the following process
Blending Wool as in raw material comes in the form of a bale. During blending a number of bales are mixed together to minimize variations throughout the yarn and thus in the fabric. This homogeneous mixture also ensures uniformity in the properties of the yarn. It is done by opening up the bales simulta…

Classify Garment Defects

To improve the ready-made garment quality, somehow you need to reduce the defect generation in the garments at the source. To know the defect source and taking action in reducing defect generation, you need to know the defects, cause of the defect and its effect.

The analysis of defects and types of defects present in the garments, frequency of defect generation and source of defects can be done better through the garment defect classification.
Classify garment defects  There are different practices for classifying the visual defects followed in the garment industry. Let's classify garment defects and faults. Primarily garment defects are classified based on

Defect source or process where defects are added to a garmentDefect severity level  1. Classification of defects based on the defect source In a finished garment or in a semi-garment, different types of defects are found. Some defects

Raw materials (Fabrics and trims) - All kind of fabric defects fall under this category. Exampl…

Overall Efficiency Vs On-Standard Efficiency

You may know the definition of Efficiency. You may know how to calculate the efficiency of a production line or an individual sewing operator. But do you know -
What is On-standard efficiency and overall efficiency? How to calculate on-standard efficiency and overall efficiency?What are the differences between these two efficiency terms? These are the new terms to many industrial engineers and production people. If these terms are also new to you, read this post.

Workers performance and production line performance is measured in efficiency. Efficiency is calculated using the formula that we have discussed in an earlier post with an example.

Efficiency Calculation formula  Efficiency (%) = (Total minutes produced / Total minutes attended at work)*100 
When the On-Standard Efficiency and Overall Efficiency are measured In a normal workday, operators spend their total attended time following categories
doing standard work doing off-standard work (doing a task which is not familiar to t…

Review Last Year's Performance Using These 5 Trend Charts

In the new year, you may be starting some new improvement projects for the betterment of the work and factory performance. Before you start a new improvement project and become busy with the new assignments, it would be a good idea summarising last year's data and review last year's performance.
Review Last Year's Performance Using these 5 Trend Charts It is time to look back and review the last year's performance. How much you have achieved in the previous year. What all KPIs are not meet your goal. In which all KPIs you have beaten the last year's benchmark performance.  You can analyse the available data as many as you want.

A factory must review these 5 KPIs. 
The last year's factory performance trends would help you in planning this year's goal. Let's prepare the last 12 months monthly performance trend and last 5 years Yearly Performance Trend on the below KPIs

1. Line Efficiency Trends Calculate monthly line efficiency and draw a trend chart on a…

How to Estimate Garment Production?

Estimating garment production is one of the tasks an engineer and production supervisors do on a daily basis. 

This is the basic requirement for production management and each people who are working in production must know how to estimate daily production in a garment factory. 

In this post, I have explained the calculation procedure for estimating daily garment production.

Production is the total number of garments stitched by operators in a line in a day. Production is also termed as daily output. To estimate production, you need the following information.
Standard allowed minutes (SAM) of the garmentHow many operators are working in the line?How many hours line will work in a day?Average Line efficiency level?Total break time for lunch and tea break (if any).The formula for production estimation  Daily production = (Total man minutes available in a day/SAM) * Average Line efficiency
Total available man-minutes =(Total no. of operators * Working hours in a day * 60)

Let's assume

Moving Bundles in the Assembly Section Seems a Difficult Job

Moving bundles in the assembly section seems an impractical task for many. Whether it is a trouser line, or shirt line or a t-shirt line, normally, operators try to avoid moving bundles in the production line.

There are some benefits of moving garments in bundles in a line from loading to the last operation of the style. But in practice, factories can't follow the bundle movement when garments enter into assembly section of the production line. Moving bundles in preparatory sections are okay.

I tried hard to explain line supervisors and engineers why they should follow bundle till pieces reach the output. All understand it but they convinced me why they should not/can't move bundle in assembly section. Here are few of them -
Moving a single piece gives better productivity and convenient for workers. In the assembly section, almost all garment parts are attached together in a single piece. so individual garments can be moved from one machine to another without any major issues.I…

Who Should Count Operator's Production?

In the manufacturing sector, measuring production of the line, or recording machine's production is a common practice. So, we capture daily production and keep the production record. My question, who should count the operator's production?

In many garment factories, workers count it and write their production quantity on a paper, (in one factory I had observed operators carry a notebook to record their daily production). Their notes (production counting) help them in measuring their work and their earning. Their notes help supervisors to check target and actual production, in line balancing and production motoring. No doubt it's a good practice.

Let's look at it from the engineering point of view. Where operators count their production after completing each bundle, they waste their productive time. They are lowering their potential performance and daily earning. Which in turn reduces the line productivity and factory productivity. Reduction of profits and factory capac…

Automatic Workstation for Elastic Cutting and Joining Elastic Ends

In the automatic sewing machines and sewing workstation list, today I am adding one more automatic sewing machine - automatic elastic cutting and joining elastic ends.

You know, elastic cut-and-join is one of the common operations for attaching elastic at the waistband. Use of this operation includes in leggings manufacturing, innerwear (panties and briefs), shorts with the closed waistband. In the traditional method, helper measure the elastic, mark on it and cut the elastic manually. In the next operation, a zig-zag or lockstitch or overlock machine is used for joining the two ends of the elastic.

Here one more important point to be noted. When you join two ends of an elastic, it should be butt seam. To maintain even thickness of the waistband overlapping of the elastic ends is avoided while ends are joined together. The Zig-zag sewing machine is used for this operation.

Now an automatic elastic sewing machine is available, which can cut and join the elastic operation. By using this…

Implementation of MES in an Apparel Manufacturing Plant

In the previous article it was discussed about the need for having a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and why is it needed to be integrated with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to have complete control and insight over the business. In this article, we are going to know about how the MES system can be integrated into an apparel production process to monitor all the level of the production process.

MES is an electronic system that helps manufacturers become paperless. MES is a much more efficient system which is ere proof and collects data in a much more efficient way. It monitors the entire manufacture process of the industry from raw material to the finished product. MES allows management to see what is actually happening and allows them to make the decision based on that information. As discussed in the previous article its advantages are immense with improved process flow visibility, minimization of the manual data entry process, processing based on those data, adjusting r…

Top 5 Activities an IE Does in a Garment Factory

We know industrial engineers (IE) do a lot of tasks as listed in my earlier post. They take care of work-study activities, process improvement, MIS system, production management etc.

What are the top activities IEs do in your factory?

Daily activities one needs to perform depend on the job responsibilities and job profile of the engineer in the department. If you are an IE manager, your job will be more on managing team, coordinating with other departments and data analysis area. But if you are a junior IE or a work-study officer, most possibly you will spend your time on Time study, capacity study, making operation bulletin, making the daily production report, thread consumption calculation etc.

Depending on the maturity level of IE department in a company and company's primary focus in improvement and growth, factory involves its IE team in different activities. So, IE’s jobs will be different from one company to another.

In fact, there are many activities performed by IE depart…

How Many Parts are There in a Men's Shirt?

A simple question for you - How many components (parts) are there in a men's shirt?
To make a shirt or doing product analysis of a shirt, you need to know how many components you need to cut to make the garment.

The number of parts and components in a men's shirt may vary - depending on the shirt design. You know men's shirt comes with 2 chest pockets as well as without a pocket. There are shirts with pocket flaps but some don't have pocket flaps. In this post, I will explain about the garment parts and garment components with an example. Read it and answer this question.

When we talk about the garment parts, we broadly name the garment parts. Like, we consider a collar as one part of a shirt. In a formal men's shirt, you will find below parts.
Front panel (left and right panels)Back panelBack YokeFront PlacketCollarCuffChest pocketSleevesSleeve plackets A men's shirt collar is made of at least 6 components as followings
2 layers in a collar (fabric)2 layers in a…

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