Line Balancing in Apparel Production: Objectives, Importance & Limitations

Last Updated on 22/03/2021

Line Balancing in Apparel Production: Objectives, Importance & Limitations

Noor Ahmed Raaz
Faculty Member, Dept. of Textile Engineering,
Atish Dipankar University of Science & Technology


Line Balancing
A line is defined as a group of operators under the control of one production supervisor. Balancing is the technique of maintaining the same level of inventory at each and every operation at any point of time to meet the production target and to produce garments of acceptable quality. It is a function of the work study office to provide management with information to help the efficient and productive running of the factory, and part of this information is the process known as line balancing. Generally we know line balancing in apparel production means allocation of sewing machine according to design. It is done for proper allocation of operation and helper in a sewing line in such a way that smooth production can be possible with minimizing the idle time. Line balancing is a vital key in the efficient running of a line.

Line Balancing in Apparel Production

Line Balancing is leveling the workload across all processes in a cell or value stream to remove bottlenecks and excess capacity. A constraint slows the process down and results if waiting for downstream operations and excess capacity results in waiting and absorption of fixed costs.

It is the allocation of sewing machine, according to style and design of the garments. It depends on what types of garments we have to produce. It is done to increasing productivity.

You may also like: How to Improve Productivity and Saving Cost in Sewing Department

When you consider mass production, garments are produced in lines or set of machines instead of single machine. A line may be assembly line, modular line or section, a line set with online finishing and packing. A line includes multiple work stations with varied work contents. Production per hour is varied depending on work content (standard minutes of particular task/operation), allocation of total manpower to a particular operation, operator skill level and machine capacity. Operation with lowest production per hour is called as bottleneck operation for that line.

Objectives of Line Balancing
Match the production rate after all wastes have been removed to the talk time at each process of the value stream.

  1. Regular material flow.
  2. Maximum uses of man power and machine capacity.
  3. Minimum process time.
  4. Minimizing slack time.
  5. Minimizing workstation.
  6. Maximum output at the desired time.
  7. Quality maintenance of the garment.
  8. Reduce production cost.

Importance of Line Balancing

  1. Line balancing helps to know about new machine required for new style.
  2. It becomes easier to distribute particular job to each operator.
  3. It becomes possible to deliver goods at right time at the agreed quality for list cost.
  4. Good line balancing increase the rate of production.
  5. Line balancing helps to compare the required machinery with the existing one and compare balance.
  6. It also helps in the determination of labor requirement.
  7. Good balancing reduces production time.
  8. Profit of a factory can be ensured by proper line balancing.
  9. Proper line balancing ensured optimum production at the agreed quality.
  10. It reduces faults in the finished product.

Example of Line Balancing

1. Machine layout with actual production.

  • Process#1. Production 40 pieces by 1 machine end production 40 pieces.
  • Process#2. Production 45 pieces by 1 machine end production 40 pieces.
  • Process#3. Production 75 pieces by 1 machine end production 40 pieces.
  • Process#4. Production 80 pieces by 1 machine end production 40 pieces.
  • Process#5. Production 50 pieces by 1 machine end production 40 pieces.

Output: 40pices/hour.

Analysis: Insufficient production due to lack of supply.

2. Machine layout for balancing production.

Machine layout for balancing production

Analysis: Action plan for further development.

Replace skilled or experienced operator for process#3, then production will increase, when production will be 80pices/hour. Then same target 90pices for process 1, 3 & 4 and research on it, how production can be increased. The following action can be done.

Limitations of Line Balancing

  1. Production lines were designed so that conveyor belts paced the speed of the employees work. This arrangement wasn’t appreciated by the employees.
  2. Inevitable changes lead to production lines being out of balance.
  3. Rebalancing causes disruptions to production

You may also like:

  1. Line Balancing and Bottleneck in Garment Production Line
  2. Module & Responsibility of Industrial Engineering Department for Apparel Production
  3. An Overview of Work Study in Textile & Apparel Industry
  4. Working Procedure of Method Study in Garment Industry
  5. How to Calculate the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of Apparel Industries
  6. Industrial Engineering Formulas for Textile Students and Professionals

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