Module & Responsibility of Industrial Engineering Department for Apparel Production

Module and Responsibility of Industrial Engineering Department for Apparel Production

Amarnath Sharma
MBA, NIFT-Bangalore, India


Gone are the days when we used to do everything in apparel production. In modern sewing structure drastically changes has been done for taking out maximum benefit from production. Through development of some extra department with very less manpower and cost company may able to increase cost competitiveness by enhancing productivity and quality of goods produced on shop floor. In this article I will explain on different modules and responsibilities of industrial engineering department for apparel production.

Module of Industrial Engineering Department

  1. Product engineering
  2. Planning
  3. Work study

A. Product engineering:
Technically analysis of apparel from quality and productivity point of view.

  1. Product quality related technical analysis
  2. Productivity related analysis

1. Product quality related technical analysis:

  • Raw-material testing i.e. fabric interlining, button etc
  • Shrinkage of fabric
  • Pattern crosscheck for measurement.
  • Dying and printing analysis i.e. color fastness, shades etc
  • Embroidery and handwork analysis
  • Research study for how to cut stitch and finish different kind of product i.e. method machine and skill required.
  • Children safety i.e. button, eyelet, snap dyes etc.

2. Productivity related analysis:

  • Operation analysis
  • Process analysis.
  • Motion study.
  • Time study.
  • Modern equipment and technology adaptation.
  • Synchronization.
  • Layout.

B. Planning:
Planning for execution of work based on motion and time study of IED and company’s available infrastructure.

  1. Material requirement planning
  2. Production scheduling
  3. Labor and machinery planning

C. Work study:
Case study and analysis at shop floor to find out the reason behind shortfall of planned output and actual output.

  1. Line balancing
  2. Method improvement
  3. Trained and motivated employee

Briefing of all the above heads;

Product quality related technical analysis:

1. Raw material testing: Every kind of raw material would be tested as per their required standard. Fabric would be tested for color shade, shrinkage, strength etc. Accordingly every kind of accessories would be tested.

2. Shrinkage of fabric: This is an important process and must be checked for correct fitting of final garments.

3. Pattern crosscheck for measurement: Pattern must be checked for correct styling and measurement.

4. Dying and printing: Color shade, design and color fastness must be checked.

5. Embroidery and handwork: Design and material must be analyzed.

6. How to cut, stitch and finish: Correct method must be analyzed for cut, stitch and finish i.e. sophisticated fabric may be cut only 50 plies in a layer on the other hand if fabric is having center salvage color shade problem then lay mark would be changing accordingly. Similarly every aspect of cutting, stitching and finishing would be analyzed. In this segment every new product would be analyzed for method, machine and skill requirement and this would be differing from product to product.

7. Product safety: Children garments must be analyzed for button and snap pull test, chemical washes etc.

Productivity related analysis:

1. Operation analysis: Research and analysis for timing and method for any operation.

2. Process analysis: Analysis for flow of work of any new product according to the space layout, machinery available and material flow

3. Motion study: Research of every part of body movement of operator while executing any particular operation so that useless activity may be removed and better efficient time of any operation.

4. Time study: Research for actual time for executing any particular operation or process.

5. Modern equipment and technology adaptation: Research for latest technology for executing an operation in better cost effective and quality competitiveness.

6. Synchronization: Research for distribution of equal time of work to every operator involved for better production line balancing and smooth flow of work.

7. Layout: Most effective arrangement of plant, machinery, equipment and material for minimization of handling and distribution time for higher output.

This is an important department and may work separately although this department may have to work with close co-ordination with IED.

1. Material requirement planning: For every new style, requirement of material must be made. In most of the factories merchandising department, either by manual process or through ERP raises bill of material.

2. Production scheduling: This is the main area where planning department should concentrate. Depending on every styles motion and time study, number of process and factories available infrastructure a detailed plan must be made considering their delivery dates. This plan must be made on different percentage of efficiency of different production units for better achievement of plan. Through these plans, any company may be able to book their future order for available capacity of manufacturing units.

3. Labor and machinery planning: Every new apparel design required different kind of different number of machines and their operator. A detailed plan must be made for better utilization of each factories machineries and manpower.

Work study:
This department evaluates, each apparel sewing line for planned output and actual output. If the actual output is less than the planned output than on the shop floor executive of this department do the case study and try to find out the reason and solution so that desire output must come out from sewing line. Following are the main tools of these departments;

1. Line balancing: Sewing line must be evaluated after learning curve for time and work balancing of each operator. If any unbalances observed because of the different level of efficiency of different operator than after evaluation a new plan must be made for smooth flow of work.

2. Method improvement: For every sewing operation, plenty of method may be use. Therefore for any bottleneck operation a new better method must be find out for assisting or helping operator.

3. Trained and motivated employee: For higher productivity this is an important tool and company should start policies and schemes for trained and motivated employee. For example ‘target with quality achieve incentive’ etc.

A checklist must be made for every important step, which is required before bulk production of any apparel design. Requirement may vary from design to design. Detailed checklist may be developed with fixed format for every department process. If 5 to 10 garments produced of each design under this department considering all above points, drastically improvement in productivity and quality may achieve. If possible industrial engineering department should review every sample before finalization so that apparel production friendly process may be adapted right from the beginning.

Materials actual consumption in production must be crosscheck before bulk production through this department.

Planning made by planning department must be circulated to each and every department so that every department would act accordingly i.e. material procurement, store, merchandising etc. By creating 5 to 10 employees department, depending on volume of business, all above may done before mass production.

Module of Industrial Engineering Department for Production

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