Case Study on Beam Gaiting Downtime Reduction

Case Study on Beam Gaiting Downtime Reduction

Vilas Gharat
President (Textile Association India-Mumbai)
Managing Director (Gharat & Associates)


Loom Downtime Reduction:
It has been observed that day by day Loom technology is improving at rapid speed resulting into very high-speed machines. There are many units installing such high speed machines and unable to get desire production due to high machine downtime.

Please find below Loom downtime analysis which has been carried out in one of modern weaving unit. The highest downtime is due to BEAM GAITING and hence I would like to present my paper on simple method of reduction of down time known as SMED.

Loom downtime analysis
Fig: Loom downtime analysis

What is S.M.D.?
It is known as Single Minute Exchange of Dies and its Japanese technology developed by Mr. Shigeo Shingo. It is one of the lean methods for drastic reduction in changing time in production process.

It provides a rapid and efficient way of converting current product to next product in shortest time. It is “Revolutionizes Basic Concept of ‘Set-Up Change’.”

Before explaining how it can be used in Beam Gaiting activities for reduction downtime, I would like to give you very common example of above method.

Generally, we require 5 to 10 mins to change car flat tire but in car race such as Formula One we observe all four tires and other activities are carried out by group of experts in few seconds. It is same method they are adopting known as SMED.

From the above it is very clear that we cannot afford to waste the time in a race. The operations are fast, tools are in its place and also man power.

Replacing the Flat Tyre of Car

  1. Find Jack, Tommy bar, spanner, in short tools.
  2. Place and locate Jack below the car and lift the jack.
  3. Loosen the nuts.
  4. Remove the wheel
  5. Bring another wheel
  6. Locate and insert new wheel
  7. Tighten the nuts.
  8. Remove the jack and collect the tools.
  9. Place it back in the car
  10. Final tightening of the nuts

Ability to Distinguish:
It is very important to master the distinction between Internal and External activities. Please find chart of Internal and External activities of tire changing activities.

distinguish between internal and external activity
Table: Distinguish between internal and external activity

If you observe above chart you will notice that 50% activities are external which can be carried out in advance and kept ready to complete in actual changing time. The same method can be adopted in case of Beam Gaiting as mentioned below.

SMED for Beam Gaiting
Please find below case study taken in one of modern textile unit having rapier looms with 20 shafts. Initially beam gaiting actual operations recorded in Video – noting step by step timings. Then the chart is prepared as mentioned below.

Activities Recorded In Video Shooting:

No. Start End Total Activity
1 Loom stop
2 Tension release/pkg removal/cover
3 Beam cut/cloth winding/ temple
4 Reed removal
5 Emptying beam
6 Beam unloaded
7 Heald frame support removal
8 Removing leno and mounting on stand
9 Taking away empty beam
10 Taking out drop pin bars
11 Heald frame removal
12 Suction cleaning starts
13 Taking awayheald frame/ drop pin
Bar and reed
14 Bringing curtain
15 Air cleaning
16 Width setting
17 Fixing reed pieces
18 Taking out opener
19 Maintenance
20 Setting tape guide
21 Removing curtain
22 Measuring reed length / greasing
23 Temple plate setting / rapier hook
24 Stroke setting
25 Checking alignment
26 Bringing beam trolley
27 Beam loading starts
28 Rapier fixing (rh)
29 Drop-pin fixing / cover fixing (rh rapier stroke), fixing bottom h/f
30 Ends straightening / transfer trolley
Out from loom
31 Fixing of beam barrel support rollers
32 Parallelizing of ends
33 Beam locked
34 Reed fixing
35 Threading of beam gaiting cloth
36 Tying of knots
37 Heald frame top support fixing
38 Pulling of warp sheet
39 Relocking of beam
40 Temple setting / thumb ends fixing / Feeder threading
41 Cover fixing (rh opener)/ bottom h/f
Support / suction pipe fixing
42 Main motor start / design
Feeding (plain)
43 Ends drawing started
44 Loom started (picks inserted)
45 Leno fixing (spool)
46 Leno device fixing
47 Leno setting
48 Ends drawing started in heald wire
49 Spool ends drawing / design feeding /
Weft applied as per pattern
50 Threading of false selvedge
51 Missing heald wire fixing
52 Loom started / drop pin support fixing
53 Double end and pattern checking (heald frame lifted in sequence)
54 Loom started
55 Cloth torn
56 Wrong drawn attended
57 Sample worked (for stop marks )
58 Contrast color sample worked
59 Loom running in
60 Sample checking 0n screen
61 Loom started for production

Then all above activities are separated as Internal and External with time taken to complete those activities. The recorded shooting is shown in slow motion to team of loom shed beam gaiters’, fitters and supervisors. We had very long session of brain storming for how to carry out external activities in advance and execute at time of change in minimum time same as Formula 1 race video.

Finally, we carried out changes as per following chart and carried out following steps.

Steps-1: Present status

  • Video shooting

Step-2: Internal and external set up time

Internal set-up:

  • Those activities which need stopping the equipment,
  • Like, removal and mounting of
  • Beam.

External set-up:

  • Those activities which can be carried out without stopping the equipment i.e. Loom.

Please find table below showing segregating Internal & External activities just for your information.


After conducting many trails, we could get following result with one-month summary. The earlier time for beam gaiting of 594 mins gradually reduced step by stem …

  • Step 1 594 Mins.
  • Step 2 269 Mins.
  • Step 3 112 Mins.
  • Final 49 Mins.

Saving 545 Mins. (9 Machine Hrs for every beam gaiting.)


Before After
S/N Average Time 594 45
1 Internal Activity 60 22
2 External Activity 7 45
3 Parallel 30 47
Time 112 49

What is Beam Gaiting?
Beam Gaiting is a way of changing style on looms i.e sort change. In broadly it can said as, the drawn weavers beams are fixed on weaving machines, threads are tied and heald shafts are coupled. This operation is called Beam Gaiting.

Why we choose Beam Gaiting?
After data analysis we found that major portion of Loom detention was due to Gaiting activity i.e 7 to 9 Hours detention per Gaiting.

How to implement SMED activity?

  1. Data collection for past three months.
  2. Training on SMED.
  3. Internal TQM Cell.
  4. Formation of cross functional teams.
  5. Video shooting of existing Beam Gaiting process.
  6. Viewing of video with team members.
  7. Brainstorming-continuous by all team members including HOD.
  8. Recording formats.

You may also like:

  1. Loom Data Monitoring System in Weaving Mill
  2. Basic Concept on Loom Timing Cycle
  3. Different Parts of Loom and Their Functions with Pictures
  4. Indian Handloom Industry: Issues and Challenges in Recent Time

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