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:

1Loom stop
2Tension release/pkg removal/cover
3Beam cut/cloth winding/ temple
4Reed removal
5Emptying beam
6Beam unloaded
7Heald frame support removal
8Removing leno and mounting on stand
9Taking away empty beam
10Taking out drop pin bars
11Heald frame removal
12Suction cleaning starts
13Taking awayheald frame/ drop pin
Bar and reed
14Bringing curtain
15Air cleaning
16Width setting
17Fixing reed pieces
18Taking out opener
20Setting tape guide
21Removing curtain
22Measuring reed length / greasing
23Temple plate setting / rapier hook
24Stroke setting
25Checking alignment
26Bringing beam trolley
27Beam loading starts
28Rapier fixing (rh)
29Drop-pin fixing / cover fixing (rh rapier stroke), fixing bottom h/f
30Ends straightening / transfer trolley
Out from loom
31Fixing of beam barrel support rollers
32Parallelizing of ends
33Beam locked
34Reed fixing
35Threading of beam gaiting cloth
36Tying of knots
37Heald frame top support fixing
38Pulling of warp sheet
39Relocking of beam
40Temple setting / thumb ends fixing / Feeder threading
41Cover fixing (rh opener)/ bottom h/f
Support / suction pipe fixing
42Main motor start / design
Feeding (plain)
43Ends drawing started
44Loom started (picks inserted)
45Leno fixing (spool)
46Leno device fixing
47Leno setting
48Ends drawing started in heald wire
49Spool ends drawing / design feeding /
Weft applied as per pattern
50Threading of false selvedge
51Missing heald wire fixing
52Loom started / drop pin support fixing
53Double end and pattern checking (heald frame lifted in sequence)
54Loom started
55Cloth torn
56Wrong drawn attended
57Sample worked (for stop marks )
58Contrast color sample worked
59Loom running in
60Sample checking 0n screen
61Loom 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.)


S/NAverage Time59445
1Internal Activity6022
2External Activity745

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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