This article mainly covers the central structure of a denim garment unit. It covers the core structure along with the brief structural description of departments. The departments and functions given here is the most exercised structure but it vary unit to unit to with certain specifications.
Table of contents
- Fabric inspection department (FID)
- Work in Process (WIP)
- GDP & Washing
- Quality assurance & Quality control
- Product development (PD)
- Production Planning & Control (PPC)
- Industrial engineering (IE)
Fabric Inspection Department (FID)
Fabric inspection department is a very important department it provides a base to the company because no order can be run without the working report of FID. When an order is booked and company wants to start working on it, firstly PCR activity report is generated for that by PPC and is forwarded to FID who gets MS (Merchandiser Sheet) on the behalf of that PCR activity report and starts working. The tests performed in FID are;
- Visual fabric inspection test
- Skew test
- Shrinkage test
- Shade matching test
- Ounce test
It is the first test performed in FID to check the fabric visually for weaving defects. Fabric is taken from the store room by the help of PCR activity report and rolls are brought for checking. An inspection machine is used for this purpose which has diagonal glass surface and lot of tube lights on its top, fabric roll is adjusted on one side of the machine and a specific length of fabric is unrolled from the roll to pass over the machine and to reach on other side where observer is standing. When machine runs, fabric also starts unrolled from roll and pass on a smooth speed so that observer easily mark fault if there is any under the light of several tube lights. Some of the defects, which are noted during this process are;
- Miss pick
- Double pick
- Wrong drawing
- Double ends
- Short ends
- Broken ends
- Startup mark
- Poly thread
- Loose ends
There are two systems to evaluate defects; one is japan10 point system and other is Americans 4 point system. Japanese system is not used, now American system is mostly used in the industry. Actually it is the system to score a fault by seeing its length against 4 points as shown below.
|Fault length (inches)||Points|
According to the table 1, score is allotted to any defect having any specific length to calculate DHU (defects per Hundred Units). At the end, average of all rolls is calculated according to the given below formula;
Point per 100 square meters =
Total points * 100 / total fabric inspected*average width
It gives us average DHU per roll, we have DHU tolerance limit so if final score lie within the tolerance then fabric is passed and if it cross the tolerance limits then rejected. Different companies use different DHU tolerance limits, majority uses 15 points per roll in square meters length and 28 points per roll in linear meters length but normally calculations are based on square meters length. On the behalf of this evaluation, fabric is also categorized as A grade, B grade, C grade etc.
Skew means twist, tilt, slanted or distorted, as it is showing its meanings this test is done to check the skew in the fabric which is produced when warp or weft changes its position due to very high twist in yarn. It is required in woven and especially in denim to accommodate the shape of body as body is not flat, it also has curvature, slanted and also flat portions but at the same time it is also a fault so a specific amount of skew is accepted. Silhouette of the garment will also be disturbed, if it crosses the tolerance limit. The method used to find it out in FID is that fabric of specific amount of length is taken from a roll normally 1 meter each side when folded, after folding both sides from opposite to each other (one side right, other will be left), a cut from 3-4 inches of edge is marked and fabric is torn and same with the other side is done. After doing this, one side of folding is fixed in hands by equaling the edges of fold and a jerk is given to get a final shape after shredding process which results in difference of sides as one side is fixed in hands. That difference is noted and according to the given formula skew is calculated.
- Difference between sides = X so X / 2 = Y
- Percentage is taken by dividing Y with width of that roll Z;
- Y / Z * 100 = Skew in %age
If the result is out of tolerance range then the fabric would be rejected.
It is a very important test performed in FID because your bulk totally depends on the shrinkage results. Customer provides us all required information about the product but his all measurements are the measurements which are finally required so in order to achieve that we have to be very careful during this test. On the behalf of FID test report, decisions are made and during Marker Making in GGT seam allowances plus shrinkage is added and then pattern is finalized to get final results after all processes like stitching and washing, now if this shrinkage test is not conducted rightly then definitely all further results based on this would suffer a lot.
Before wash, 4-5 swatches from different fabric rolls are cut and traced of 25 cm2 dimensions with the help of irremovable ink and that is then over locked by O/L machine to make legs. Then washing standard from PD is taken and according to that standard washing process is preceded. After washing process, shrinkage of those 4-5 legs is taken and that is reported sampling room that prepares 8 samples according to the shrinkage report. After that 100% taking swatches from all the rolls makes legs, and then these 100 % legs and 8 samples are taken together to washing. After washing, samples are sent back to sampling for their working and legs are given to FID. FID makes a shrinkage report by noting the difference as before wash is 25 cm, that difference is then multiplied with 4 to get results out of 1 square meter. Warp and weft shrinkage is determined separately according to the above-described method.
Shade matching test
It is also very important test to be performed in FID. It is a natural phenomenon that during dying process, there is a shade variance between lots and rolls even sometimes within a roll so it is very necessary to know about shades exist in roll because during spreading and cutting processes if garment pieces are from different shades then the final garment would be rejected by the customer as it will be having different parts from different shade families like front panels from one shade and back panels from another shade which will create a prominent difference and final look of the garment would be suffering, giving a bad impression to observer. This test is done under the light of tube lights or any other specific light source according to the demand. The method to perform this test is that swatches are compared with original sample and difference of color tone, hue is noted upon which families are created, means less the difference marked as 1 and greater the difference then number 2 would be marked and so on up to the highest difference between swatch and sample. As this is performed by simple naked eye so it is recommended that the observer must be having a good sense of colors and no color blindness problem as well.
Shrinkage and shading reports are used to compare with the fabric sourcing report because after this step fabric is allocated to cutting department and finally the quality manger and merchandiser sign shrinkage and shading reports. Shrinkage and shading reports are forwarded to cutting department from where these move to next departments
In knitwear, fabric is deal in Kgs while in woven it is deal in meters. In knitwear GSM (grams per square meter) is found while in woven and especially denim, ounces are used rather than GSM. Method of calculating ounces is that a disk of fabric is cut with the help of GSM disk cutter then that is weighed on electronic weighing balance. That weight is then divided with 0.339066 to get ounces. It is important during packing and shipping of an order.
It is another very important department. After FID, main task is done here that is to observe the trend of fabric after stitching, problems during stitching are identified before bulk starts and all setting of machines and gauge sets are finalized here. It minimizes the risk factor in bulk production as all same working is done here as in bulk; it is a type of preventive action. The samples are prepared here are known as PCR which stands for Production Control Run/Production Confirmation Run and commonly known as Pre Production Samples. The main jobs of this department is to check the first time marker measurement, before wash and after wash measurements, after comparing before and after wash amendment are recommended and shrinkage decision for the bulk production is taken.
During marker measurement; part quantity is noted, parts direction and overall measurements like waist, hip, thigh, knee, bottom, back rise, front rise and inseam are taken. Shrinkage is added weft wise in some parts like waist, hip, thigh, knee and bottom while warp wise shrinkage is added in some parts like inseam, front rise and back rise.
Customer gives his requirements of before wash and after wash as well so before wash sample prepared are checked for before wash measurements and also after wash measurements are taken and both are compared to see that what is the trend of garment after wash and how much difference is between ours and customer standard measurements. On the behalf of that comparison amendments are done and final decision for the bulk production is taken.
Garber Garment Technology (GGT)
CAD stands for Computer Aided Designing and CAM stands for Computer Aided Manufacturing. It is the latest advancement in the field of garment industry. GGT has almost abolished the time consuming method of manual pattern making where people had to suffer if they needed variety of sizes because in manual pattern making you have to prepare patterns of each part for each size separately while GGT is very fast to solve such kind of problems by the help of rule table where reading or pattern points are known only and pattern design system PDS where pattern is in front of the user, this process is technically given name of grading, no need of each pattern only one base size is required and after that prepare as many pattern as you want from that base size. There are some others brands that are can also be used for the purpose of CAD systems.
- RICH PEACE
- BULL MARK
First I would like to discuss the hardware parts of the GGT one by one.
It is a some kind of scanner that is used to scan the original pattern as it is to the computer with the help of a mouse and a digitizing table. This pattern will be the base pattern and will be used for grading process.
No need to discuss this part so deeply except that it is used to process the input by manipulating the software (Accu Mark, grading and pattern system).
It is a kind of printer which is used when marker is made to print the marker for cutting process.
Before discussing the software part, first the flow of GGT should be viewed.
Cutting is the process to separate fabric parts as replicas of the pattern pieces in the marker plan.
The most important and crucial process in the garment industry is cutting process. There is a general saying that cutting makes a company or breaks a company which shows the importance of cutting process. Its fault can not be tolerated and any mishap in cutting will result in wastage of fabric. If during cutting by mistake a pattern is cut wrongly e.g. short length or unwanted cut on the pattern then what will happen? Definitely that mistake will an impact to the whole spread and all pieces of that specific part will be damaged and would not be used resulting in waste of fabric, and fabric is money so finally we will get a loss in terms of money. Hence this process should and must be handled very carefully to avoid any nonconformance to the plan.
Before cutting there is a prerequisite of this process and that is spreading; spreading means to superimpose fabric layers or plies to get optimum number of pieces in minimum time to make best utilization of cutting blade. Spreading can be manual and automatic as well; majority of the industry is using manual spreading method. It has two basic types;
- Face up / Single ply
- Face to face / Double ply
Spread height is a very important factor which defines the life of cutting blade. Number of plies per spread, depends on type of fabric and height of blade, common industry is using 4 to 4.5 inches of height for a spread regardless the focus on certain number of plies which might be different for different fabrics. Spread height is also a very important factor in cutting because objectives of cutting are to get optimum number of pieces within minimum time and best utilizing the cutter blade therefore we cannot afford to cut plies one by one or so many plies because in both cutting objectives are disturbed.
Points to be considered
There are some points which should be considered during spreading to increase efficiency and minimize the wastage and cutting problems.
- Shade sequence, the process to organizing all the shades in a fabric roll in a specific sequence to avoid shade difference at the end of the process.
- Alignment of plies; the plies should be aligned properly both length and width wise.
- Correct ply tension; this factor becomes very important in manual spreading where tension depends on lay-man. It should be proper not so tight and not so loose because in both cases final patterns after cutting will be disturbed.
- Fabric faults; fabric faults should be eliminated during spreading otherwise our patterns would suffer.
- Distortion of spread; during the manual cutting, the spread may be distorted due to the base plate of the cutter so to avoid this glazed paper can be used.
Cutting types and cutting instruments
The most important tool of cutting process is cutter which converts our theoretical plan into reality. There are many types of cutting instruments which can be used for cutting purposes. As I have discussed before that there are two methods of spreading so cutting has also two types;
- Manual cutting
- Automatic cutting
Manual cutting is the type where we make marker and take a print through plotter which is used then for cutting by laying that on the spread. Cutting instruments which are used for manual cutting;
- Hand shear
- Straight knife
- Round knife
- Drills and shear markers
Straight knife is very popular and mostly used in the industry
Automatic cutting is the type where we make marker but don use plotter rather this we simply give command to our automatic cutting system which firstly do spreading and then cutting. Cutting instruments used for automatic cutting are;
- Straight knife
- Die cutter
- Laser cutter
- Plasma cutter
- Water jet cutter
- Ultrasonic cutter
Folding is a process of writing all required information on pieces after cutting process. This is an important process to avoid mix-up of bundles. This process provides the following information on every piece like;
Order #, Cut #, # of plies, side e.g. Left or Right, Size and Bundle #
Apart from the fabric loss due to the fabric flaws, there are two causes of fabric loss in the production process:
- Marking loss or marker fallout, this is formed because of the gaps and other non-usable areas that take place between the garment panels of a marker and called as buffer loss.
- Spreading loss, which is the fabric loss that exists during the spreading process other than the loss caused by the marker arrangement; these include the end loss, width loss, splicing loss and remnant loss.
Points to improve cutting room efficiency
- Careful handling
- Advance machinery
- Proper maintenance
- Training and development
- Pleasant working conditions
- Minimizing the wastages; use end cutters to minimize end loss, use electronic sensor to for proper alignment to minimize width loss.
- Purchasing of good quality fabric
- Good marker planning
- Safety of employees
The documents generated by cutting department contains.
- Inspection report
- DHU report (Defects per Hundred Units
- Cutting tracing repot
Work In Process Control (WIP) Department
WIP has the responsibility to receive pieces after counting from cutting department and feed those pieces into the dry line / lines according to the PPC plan with by keeping the sequence of small parts first, back panels and then front panels. They have the right to receive total required pieces and responsibility to make a smooth feeding. If pieces get shortage due to WIP people then they are bound for re-cutting and if shortage is due to stitching people then that is their headache for re-cutting. This section is only one who completely knows the status of lines and orders as well and keeps update relevant departments like PPC even PPC makes plan of induction after consulting with WIP. After assembly 2, WIP again receives semi-finished garments and feeds to GDP & washing department and then to finishing.
Stitching department is the backbone for all production departments. Before discussing the operations of stitching I would like to share some information about some basic terminologies.
Stitch is a specific configuration of sewing thread in a repeated unit for the purpose of making a seam or stitching.
Stitching is the series of stitches use to finish the edges or for decorative purpose on a single or more than one plies of material
It is a line where two or more plies of material are attached.
Basically there are two types of stitches,
- Lock stitch interlacing
- Chain stitch Inter looping
It is the process of passing one thread over or around other thread or loop of another thread
It is the process of passing a loop from another loop of another thread and
|Lock stitch||Chain stitch|
According to ASTM American Society for Testing and Material there are 6 basic types of stitches;
- Class 100 single thread chain stitch
- Class 200 hand stitch
- Class 300 lock stitch
- Class 400 multi thread chain stitch
- Class 500 over edging
- Class 600 cover stitch
On the basis of these stitch types, machines are designed for stitching process, the machines which are used on the basis of these types are;
- Lock stitch
- Over lock / Safety
- Interlock / Flat lock
Now, lets discuss the seam types, according to ASTM standards there are 6 basic types of seam.
- Super Impose (SS)
- Lapped Seam (LS)
- Bound Seam (BS)
- Flat Seam (FS)
- Edge Finishing (EF)
- Ornamental Seam (OS)
A very important machine part is needle without it stitch formation process is impossible because it passes the thread across the material therefore it is very important to have the basic information it. There are two basic types of needle;
- Straight needles
- Curved needles
Straight needles are further divided into two categories; Point needle / sharp tip needle and second are Ballpoint needle / Displace needle.
Point needle is used for heavy fabric because ballpoint needle will not penetrate to a heavy material easily and it might be broken. It has three level of sharpness;
Ball point needle is used for delicate fabrics because point needle will cut the yarn called as needle chew, leave marks which cannot be removed and that will be more prominent in washing. It has three shapes;
Stitching department starts working just after receiving pieces from WIP department with the help technical sheet provided by PD department and style bulletin provided by Industrial Engineering. Technical sheet contains all the information required with the addition of a graphical sketch to show the shape and measurements of the garment. Style bulletin is a document which contains number of operations in a sequence required to complete a garment and on the behalf of this document; layout of stitching department is set by adding, removing or changing the positions of sewing machines. Machine gauges are set and according to the operation performed on which machine; seam allowance has been added in marker making to avoid any measurement problem. Stitching department follows the sewing sequence of style bulletin which is shown below.
- Small part section
- Back panel section
- Front panel section
- Assembly section
Small part section
Small part section is the area where only small parts are prepared and transferred to the sections concerned. Small parts which are required first means parts of back panel are prepared on priority base. Here in this section; the operations like, small parts tracing if necessary, pair making, back pocket hemming, coin / watch pocket hemming, facing attachment with pocket bags, bone pocket making if there is any, loop making, embroidery / mock stitch on parts, belt making, are performed. After these operations, parts are taken to quality checking table where parts are checked for all operations and in case of any quality issue or missing operation, those are noted by the quality checker of quality department and is sent back for re-work on that and when parts are confirmed as OK by the checker then parts are transferred to the concerned sections e.g. back pockets to back panel section and facing plus pocket bags to front panel section and belt to assembly 1 etc. Quality department check the following point of quality for the small parts;
- Strictly follow Tech Book and sample about thread variation
- Use needle according to fabric construction
- Check pattern as per Tech Book/Sample
- Make all sizes as per teck book/sample
- Check SPI(stitch per inch) at all operations
- GGT pattern put small final table
- Check label with cut details
Back panel section
It starts working from the back yoke attachment with back panel with chain stitch. Second operation is feedo top stitching on yoke. Back rise attachment with chain stitch and then feedo top stitching normally. Then back pockets are attached with lock stitch. Last step is label (size, brand etc) attachment. After all this, panels go for quality checking same as in small part section.
Front panel section
Front panel section starts working by attaching coin pocket with facing. This patch is attached with pocket bags and then with front panel, sometimes with the addition of twill tape. Then notch-patching operation is performed. Single and double flies attachment operation is done after notch patching. Then making of stitch is done. Crotching operation is performed to join the left and right panels after stitch making. Extra flies cutting and label (care, shading, etc.) attachment are the next operations respectively. Same like previous sections, quality checker checks the panels for various defects like uneven seam, missing stitch, broken stitch, waist measurement etc. if rejected then send back for rework otherwise panels are sent to assembly 1 section. It is notable that all labels which are attached during stitching process, are put in poly bags to avoid any damage of label during washing process because it is the requirement of customer that size, care, brand etc. label should be attached in stitching not in finishing.
Assembly section is divided into two further sections; Assembly 1 and Assembly 2 section.
Assembly 1 starts working after bar tack operation on stitch where after bar tack operation, back and front panels are sent to matching area to match the bundle #, cut #, and size. First operation of assembly 1 is inseam attachment with normally chain stitch machine and after that double needle feedo topstitching. Outseam attachment with normally single needle lock stitch machine is the next operation. Then waistband is attached with waistband attachment machine by using a folder for the easy take in of waistband by folding it to the required position. This waistband attachment machine can operate up to 12 needles at a time but usually 3 to 4 needles are used.
Assembly 2 is the last section of stitching department where some operations like; close waist band ends, loop attachment, bottom hemming, bar tacking on loops and eyelet making, are performed to give the finishing touch to the garment in stitching department. Same like all previous sections; final quality checking is done after assembly 1&2 for waist and inseam confirmation and other stitching defects. The pieces which are rejected by quality checker are sent back for rework and are not counted in the production output; only the OK pieces are considered the production output. After quality checking, pieces are handed over to WIP again who transfers these pieces to GDP and washing department.
GDP and Washing Department
These processes are totally handled with dry like sand, sand paper etc. as inputs to give a special look to garment. There are main three dry processes which are used in industry;
- Sand blasting
Scraping is the process to remove the color of the garment from the required area. Sand papers are used to rub the surface of garment which results in removal of color.
Grinding is the process to destroy or tear off a garment at the pointed area with the help of a grinding machine. As a result we get a garment giving rough or destroying effect that is the reason it is also called as destroy effect. Grinding machines are used for some simple areas like bottom hemming but some sensitive areas where grinding machine cannot reach or there is a risk of seam damage, then pistols are used. These pistols have the same grinding material on their tip and can easily reach to any area due to small size and light weight.
Sand blasting is the process of throwing sand with the help of pressure gun to a particular area of garment. When sand is thrown with a high pressure, it gives an effect of color removal. The difference between sand blast and scraping is only that in sand blast more area is targeted at a time while in scraping; as it is manual work less area is covered.
These include all kind of washings and all kind of sprays. Some of those are written in this report.
- Spray (KMnO4)
- Pinning effect
- Rinse wash / garment wash
- Resin wash
- Stone wash
- Enzyme wash
- Bleach wash and many more washes
- Garment dye
- Over dye / Tint dye
Spray of KMnO4 is used on garment for giving dirty look. Actually dirty look means that garment will be looked dirty after some use because spray totally removes the color of garment area where it is used but garment gives a yellow look on that area so to eliminate that effect, garment is sent for neutralization process and after this process garment gives a white look at the spray area.
Rinse wash is also called simple garment wash and soaking as well in the industry as it uses only detergent and water to give softness and removal of stains.
Resin wash is special kind of wash which is used to give a hard feel and contracting effect as well; actually resin is the name of chemical which is used in this wash. The simple process is that a garment is coated with resin chemical according to the requirements of customer. If there is a need of contracting effect then simple clips are used for this purpose to hold the specific contracted area and the garment is hanged to be dried under the simple sun light. When it gets dried then it is put into the oven for a specific time from 5 to 20 minutes and temperature from 150 to 250 centigrade depending upon the garment type and customer requirement. After this step, garment is taken out and that contacting effect becomes permanent.
Stone wash is the process of using small stones called pumice in washing process which gives a rubbing effect on garment.
Enzyme wash is another very special wash which gives a smooth and clear look of garment. The process for this is that a coating of enzymes is given to a garment and a time of 20 to 120 minutes depends on the requirement is given; during this time enzymes eat the rough fibers and color of garment which results in a clear and smooth look of garment.
Garment dye is the process to dye a grey / white garment completely to get a required shade.
Over dye / Tint
Over dye / Tint dye is a process to dye an already dyed garment to get a new effect with the mixture of two colors. There is little bit difference between over dye and tint dye; over dye is the process to dye an already dyed garment while tint dye is the process where color is given to some required areas rather than the whole garment like whisker style.
Washing focuses on required shade achievement; light shades are preferred because darker can be given another process cycle to match with light but light can not be treated like this to match with darker one and not on measurements. Another very important point which should be discussed here, time and temperature are two very important factors of dyeing and washing and an appropriate ratio of both should be used otherwise our garment will be damaged.
Finishing Department (Beauty Parlour)
This department takes semi finished garments from GDP and washing department and does all required processes on garment to give it final shape for packing. Working of this department starts from garment stock area. Stock area issues garments for finishing processes on the basis of order no. and shipment plan provided by the PPC department, priority is given to the orders which have to be shipped earlier. Flow of garments in finishing department is given below to provide an over view about working style of finishing department.
- Loop cutting
- Inside checking
- Buttons & rivets attachment
- General checking
- Card Attachment
- Super final checking
- Final measurement checking
Loop cutting is the process of cutting extra loops which were attached in stitching department.
Trimming section starts working after receiving garments from loop cutting section. The process of cutting extra threads on a garment is called trimming. In this process, threads are cut from both out and inside of the garment. A line in charge and quality checker as well checks the garment to confirm for missing threads. If quality checker confirms the garment as OK then it goes to inside checking and he / she rejects then garment goes back to rechecking.
Inside checking is a very important section that checks the garment
completely from inside for missing threads during trimming, stains during washing and dyeing, small holes or cuts (raffo, filling of cuts or hole with hand stitch in such a way that they look like a normal garment) during stitching and all stitching faults like open seam, open fold, broken stitch, missing stitch etc. The results of this process may be one of three; alteration, stains and raffo. In case of any stitching fault, garment will go to alteration section; in case of stains, garment will go to the stain removing section and in case of fabric damage like unwanted cut or hole, garment will go to raffo section. A very important point here is that if these faults are minor and stains are removable then garment will be OK after these process but if these fault are major and stains are irremovable then garment will be rejected and go to B-2 section. This process is very important because inside checking will not be conducted again in any next section.
Buttons & rivets attachment
In this section button and rivets are attached as per customer requirement.
Press is the process to remove all unnecessary wrinkles and creases from the garments to give them a good look. Before the starting of this process, quality checker checks the measurements of randomly selected garments one by one to see after wash trend of garments by making a specs sheet; if measurements are in minus then during pressing those areas are stretched to accommodate that little bit difference and if measurement are in plus then go for normal pressing because in the final measurement section, OK pieces will be sent to packing while the pieces with plus measurements will be sent to washing where those pieces will be given high temperature causing contraction and again pressing will be done. Different types of pressing are being used in industry like steam pressing, iron pressing and top pressing,
It is the process of checking a garment from outside for its shape, stitching faults, trim and accessories missing, bar tack missing etc. This checking is conducted on 100% by the production people and main focus is look of the garment. After checking, checker has to attach his code # on the garment for proof that he checked that garment.
Super final checking
Super final checking is the process of checking a garment in depth for every parameter and normally conducted by the QC department. Checkers code sticker is attached to the garment; in case of any problem regarding this stage that code will be the proof of checker who checked that garment. In case of any problem missed by general checkers, super checkers send garments back to them for rechecking but once they forward and defect is noticed in packing then these checkers will be responsible.
Final measurement checking
This is last step before garments are entered into packing section where 100% measurements are checked like waist, inseam, thigh, knee etc. and defect like wrong labels are pointed out. In case of OK, garments will sent to packing and in case of – / +, respective action will be taken.
The garments received from finishing floor are sent first for size sticker, hang tag clips and spare kit (if require) attachment. Then garments go for leg stickers if necessary and a person is standing at the end makes sure that no garment is missed for the necessary stickers. After this, ratio wise sizing is performed and then shading process to make families of available shades to make it possible that one shade would be packed in one carton. After shading, according to the customer instructions garments are packed first in poly bags and then in carton. There are two types of packing;
Solid is that kind of packing in which one size is packed in one carton while sorted is the kind in which packing is done according to the given ratio.
When garments are packed, all required information is pasted on the carton plus barcode according to the customer demand. Carton barcode sticker is optional but per garment, barcode sticker is must because open price is not offered. After packing, internal audit is conducted and if internal auditor is satisfied then company calls the external audit for final audit and after final audit, order is ready to ship now.
Quality Assurance / Quality Control Department
It is a process based approach which focuses on right first time operations. It uses preventive actions rather than corrective action and there is a saying that prevention is better than cure.
It is a product based approach which is used to segregate good one from bad one. It uses corrective actions after occurring of a problem by living within the tolerance limits.
Quality assurance department is using Statistical Process Control (SPC) to standardize the processes that will result in right first time operation. Daily DHU report of every production department is prepared by the inline quality persons, by the help of that report a summary is made which clearly points out the problematic area e.g. if there is more faults at waist band attachment, when problem is pointed out then quality assurance tries to find the root cause of that problem and finally makes such kind of arrangements so that problem would not be created again.
Now we discuss the working of supportive departments which have a lot of contribution in the output of production departments.
Product Development Department (PDD)
Product development means to create something new by transforming your ideas into reality.. This department plays a great role and converts all customers information and requirement into technical form. After confection approval (CA), this department generates a document called Merchandiser Sheet which has all details regarding an order for the purpose of procurement and initial work in FID on that order. Second main document generated by this department is Technical Sheet which contains all technical information regarding that order with the addition of a graphical representation. This technical sheet contains all measurements and stitching sequence with the reference for requirement of machines to be used. This technical sheet is firstly issued to sampling department and after sampling, PD does some essential amendments and then final sheet is issued to all production departments.
PPC stands for Production Planning and Control and Production Planning and Coordination. It is the backbone of a company as it performs the above mentioned very tough tasks. This department starts working from Inquiry step to dispatch of an order. All problems in production, quality, finishing etc. are looked after by the PPC department. The process of working of PPC is that from inquiry step, it gets involved when merchandiser informs PPC about quantity and expected date of a new order. By the help of WIP, PPC gets the vacancy status of lines and by consulting with IE, the difficulty level of garment, PPC gives its expected date of feeding and delivery if it matches with customers expected date, well & good, if not then merchandiser negotiates with customer for changing the date. To make a plan, PPC requires fabric availability status, CA, trims and accessories availability status.
On the basis of CA, PPC makes the cutting plan; on the trims and accessories availability status, plan for stitching is prepared and on the basis of stitching plan, shipments plan is finalized. PPC knows the status of every running order with the help of; productivity report, cutting stock report, stitching report, finishing and packing report and dispatch report.
To know the flow of orders, a forecasting plan is prepared by PPC after consulting the difficulty level of the product with IE department. This sforecasting plan gives an idea about the order run time. It is an attentive plan, planned on actual dates and later on it might be changed to meet the circumstances as it is impossible to plan 100% in apparel industry but if the difference between decided dates and actual running dates is more than the tolerance then the matter is discussed with merchandiser. It also provides an rough idea about the feeding and expected outing date.
The second main job of PPC is follow up of processes to find progress, problems that disturb the flow of process etc and PPC then tries its best to resolve the issues to make a steady flow. Master order status report proves to be very helpful for follow up as it has all information regarding fabric & trims availability and order progress status.
Industrial Engineering Department
Industrial Engineering is defined as the process of productivity improvement through standardization of operations for ease in work and best utilization of all available resources. Some people defines it in a very simple way that to get maximum output with minimum input. It is mainly used in industry for the objectives;
- Piece rate development
- Capacity calculations
- Lines balancing
- Method standardization
- Performance evaluation
- To achieve these objectives, IE uses the tools;
- Motion study to minimize the motions by decreasing distance between operations and departments.
- Time study to calculate the accurate time to complete a specific procedure or operation.
- Ergonomics study of interaction of workers and their environment, factors involve are temperature, noise, fluff, music, sitting height and ventilation.
- Learning curve is a graph between time and learning of an operator.