Implementation of Quick Changeover in Garment Industry
Executive IE officer at Pratibha Syntex, Indore
The time taken from the last output of running style to the first output of next style is called changeover time. For example style A running in the line and it’s last piece output timing was 1:00 p.m. and the new style B feed in the line and it’s first piece output timing was 2:30 p.m. so the time duration between 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. is called changeover time and how fast we can reduce this time with a effective process is called Quick changeover time (QCOT). Quick changeover is a lean manufacturing technique that helps to reduce the waste in the process of manufacturing and save time and money by improving process in garment industry. It is an essential for manufacturing companies which produce more than one products. In this topic, I will discuss implementation of changeover, problems facing at the time of changeover and benefits of quick changeover in apparel industry.
Implementation of Quick Changeover in Garment Industry:
1. Identify internal and external activities:
The first step for the implementation of quick changeover in sewing line is to identify the required activities for the changeover and classify them as internal and external activities. Internal activities are those that can only be performed while the machine is shut down like adjusting or fitting the tools, moving the machines or line setting etc. On the other hand external activities can be performed while a machine is still running like preparing the changeover docket, preparing the machines which are going to use for the change over, pre planning of manpower according to their skills etc. By the documentation we can reduce the internal activities and perform the external ones in advance.
2. Convert internal to external activities:
The next step in quick changeover is to convert internal activities as possible to external activities. It means finding ways to perform them while the machine is still running. For example preparing tools and material in advance. You can use standardized tools and fixtures that can be quickly attached or detached. By the converting internal activities to external activities you can reduce the change over time.
3. Streamline and simplify activities:
The third step in quick changeover is to streamline and simplify the internal and external activities. It means finding the ways to make activities more faster, easier and reliable with combine them, eliminate unwanted or non value added activities etc. For example, you can use guides to reduce errors and adjustments, use one-touch or no-touch mechanisms to reduce manual operations. By streamlining and simplifying activities, you can increase the efficiency and quality of the changeover.
4. Implement and standardize improvements:
The last step in quick changeover is to implement and standardize the improvements that you have identified. For this you have to Prepare documentation for that you have to analyse in changeover and applying them consistently and continuously. You have to make SOP and make them visual. You also need to train your team members and others to follow the best SOP and make further suggestions for improvement. You also need to monitor the results and performance of the changeover and use feedback and data to identify and resolve any issues. By implementing and standardizing improvements, you can enhance the benefits of quick changeover. 
Problems Facing at the Time of Changeover:
Many difficulties occur during style changeover in the garment industry, some of the critical ones include:
- Prolonged machine setting time
- Non availability of tools for initial machine setting
- Sudden plan change
- Supervisor sample not ready
- Initial quality setting takes a longer time
- Old style creates a blockage
- Operator training given at the time of Batch Setting
- No measure of operator COT performance
- Parallel Batch Settings making it difficult to control
- Non availability of specialized machines.
Benefits of Quick Changeover:
Quick changeover, offers several benefits in various industries
a) Reduced Downtime: Quick changeovers reduce the time of processes, leading increased production efficiency and capacity utilization.
b) Cost Savings: Reduced downtime and lower inventory levels lead to cost savings in labor, storage, and equipment maintenance.
c) Improved Quality: Streamlined changeovers often result in minimum errors and defects during changeover, improving overall product qualities
In conclusion, quick changeover, also known as QCOT, is a fundamental lean manufacturing technique aimed at reducing waste, saving time, and improving overall efficiency in production processes. It involves identifying and categorizing internal and external activities, converting internal tasks to external ones, streamlining and simplifying processes, and implementing standardized improvements. While implementing QCOT, manufacturers often encounter challenges such as prolonged machine setting times and the unavailability of tools, but the benefits are substantial. Quick changeover in garment industry leads to reduced downtime, cost savings, and improved product quality, making it an essential practice for industries that produce multiple products. By continuously striving to minimize changeover times and optimize processes, companies can enhance their competitiveness and meet the demands of a dynamic manufacturing environment.
- https://www.linkedin.com/advice/0/what-best-practices-examples-quick-changeover-lean 
- https://apparelresources.com/business-news/manufacturing/reduction-style-changeover-time- critical-success/
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.