Technology for Material Movement in Sewing Floor (Automation)

Technology for material movement in sewing floor

Material movement is a very important aspect in any manufacturing plant and so is in apparel manufacturing plant. In any plant there are various materials that have to be constantly moved from one section to another and thus require equipment or machines for moving the material (including moving garment components in a production line).

Material movement requires a material handling system for the appropriate movement of materials where a good material handling system becomes necessary and need of the hour. It is considered better for the factory’s performance and smooth material flow. A right material handling system reduces the material transportation time, waiting time at work and reduces delay. In sewing department, material handling system is designed based on line layout, which is required for movement of bundles from one workstation to another and also for storing.

Material handling can be done by several ways such as Conventional table where a side bench or side table is placed for loading cuttings and disposing stitched garments, while in Centre table a bench is placed in between two rows of machines, whereas in some place’s trolleys, bags or bins are used. In many units overhead rail and hanger is also used for transporting materials.

The equipment being used can be classified into the following categories based on the level of automation.

1. Basic Level Of Automation: Manual Hanger System

Manual hanger system is an evolved form of material handling and movement system in the industry earlier tables and bins are used. Hanger system has several components such as hanger, rail, conveyer, etc. and runs on conveyor where manual hanger system has manual conveyor and runs short distance on rails. The rail allows unilateral movement of hangers over the path.

Hanger system reduces the labour intensity, operational personnel to improve production efficiency making full use of the production factory space. It is very light and flexible; the fork design is easy for the transfer of products. Manual hangers system avoid fold in the process of manual transmission, improve the quality of products.

It has the advantage of floor space optimization, by allowing components and complete vehicles to be moved safely above normal working height.

2. Advanced Level of Technology: Computerised Automated Hanger System

Using automated and computerised hanger system or other computerised material movement systems can help in a many ways. It has a wide range of benefits such as it reduces dependency on manpower due to which cost, time and chances of error gets reduced, it also records the material movement simultaneously which help in improving quality control. These systems help in obtaining safer, cleaner, spacious work place which is easy to work and has an uninterrupted workflow. It increases the productivity and reduces the throughput time. Overall, these systems help in achieving better performance in terms of production output and it’s easier for the manpower to work.

Some of the benefits of automatic system of material movement over manual system are as follows:
  1. It has automatically addressable system with the ability to transport and integrate lines over bridges.
  2. In this each section can be configured as per the operation to position the pieces close to the need point.
  3. Real time information can be achieved from the lines and has the ability to connect the data on real time with the ERP.
  4. Auto balancing can be done within the same operation.
  5. It has a function of accurate traceability and accountability.
  6. Able to get quality and off standard information.
  7. Easy to integrate with automatic machines.
  8. Easy to integrate departments over different floors.
  9. Clear visibility, to manage the line by eye and easy to locate bottle necks.
  10. Ability to run multiple styles in one line.

3. Machine and Equipment required for advanced level of technology (computerized hanger system):

A comparative analysis of 3 different automatic hanger systems
UPS system comparative analysis

Fig 1: Smart MRT Hanger System

Fig 2: Eton Hanger System

Related post: Automatic overhead material handing systems for the garment industry

4. Material Movement for Sewing in Polo Shirt



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