Metal Detection Procedure in Garment Industry

Metal Detection Procedure in Garment Industry

Shubham Anil Jain
Sr. Consultant
Cent Edge Solutions LLP, Bangalore, India


It is commonly observed that, in the garment industry, metal detection is necessary aspect of the production process. Nowadays metal detector is considered as a very important concern for garment manufacturers. Normally, it has become a compulsory buyer recommendation that all the export products should be metal detected. Metal detector may help at the time of production stage, ensuring that all the products are harmless and free from metal contaminants. It is found that, metal detection procedure in garment could be the final needle detection system and regarding the machine calibration (whether a machine is working properly or not) is checked by a 9-point calibration system.

Metal Detection in Garment Industry
Fig: Metal detection in garment industry

Following are some of the objectives of metal detection in garments:

  1. To obtain a needle-free final product.
  2. To ensure that a metal-free final product in carton.
  3. To have a secure product safety.
  4. Metal detection is found to be compulsory for all children wear garments, and this also can change according to the buyer wise requirement.
  5. To meet the customer satisfaction regarding product safety.

Metal Detection Procedure in Garment Industry:

a) To make sure that customer requirement & product safety is being maintained, garment industry should have metal detecting process generally by using the conveyor type metal detecting machine basically before packaging and with record for follow up reference.

b) There is a area of “Metal Detecting Zone” & “Packaging Zone” specifically for Infants, Kids or customer with special request also have a “Sharp Metal Free Zone”. It is restricted to bring needles, scissors, staples & any other kind of sharp metal tools into this zone. If the customer asks for the whole factory to be a “Sharp Metal Control Factory” then the factory should adhere to the customer’s requirement.

c) There is a conveyor type metal detection machine available for metal detecting procedure. Particularly small flat table type metal detection machine can only be used for assessing the products of accessories.

d) Then it is supposed that all products of the required orders should pass from conveyor type metal detection machine for metal detection at least for one time or as per customer’s requirement prior to packaging.

e) One has to keep all metal passed goods at quarantine area till the next hour calibration; after completed the next hour machines calibration; then authorized machine operator can pass this (Completed metal passed) goods for next process.

Note: Without doing the metal detector machines calibration; authorized metal detector operator cannot check (Pass through) the products or garments through the metal detection machines.

f) Then all inspected goods quantity should keep in separate area and clearly identified from the unchecked pieces quantity to avoid the any mix up or confusion.

g) If the product is found to be “failed” in metal detection process, the follow up procedure should be taken as below:

  1. Keep that contaminated product particularly on a non-metal table or plastic table and by using the hand held metal detector inspect the product thoroughly to find out the metal part.
  2. If it happens that the metal part still cannot be detected, then that product should be stored in a designated marked specific box, particularly in Red Box, with sealed and proper instruction. Contaminated product should be destroyed as per the destruction procedure.
  3. If the case is that product is not suitable for conveyor type of metal detection machine because of the presence of metal attachment, then the hand held type metal detector should be used for inspection (If required).
  4. All the records and samples must be kept of any contamination items with proper starting date, and time, product type, product quantity and the reasons of secondary actions to be kept in a secure location.

Metal Detector Machine Calibration by 9 Point System:

  1. Calibrate (Test) machine 3 times every day particularly in the beginning, middle, and end of a working period by using around 1.2mm sphere ferrous checks cards to check machine sensitivity.
  2. Always test at 9 points at every time.
  3. For this you have to test from the top, center, and bottom position in the left, middle, and right side of the machine, total of 9 points.
  4. If any point is not detected by the machine should go for rechecking the point again.

You may also like: 4 Point Fabric Inspection System in Apparel Manufacturing

In the garment and apparel industry, metal detecting machines are particularly utilized to find needles or metal items that may have been accidentally lodged in finished garments. It is also important to make sure that garments and apparels meant to be sold or exported should be inspected of all sort of metal contaminants. Exporting garments incorporated with needles or other unwanted metal articles will definitely results in legal actions towards the manufacturing company along with bad publicity and heavy financial losses. Thus, garment companies tends to invest in metal detecting machines that thoroughly scan garments for needle or metal contamination. Nowadays, needle detection has become an integral part in the garment manufacturing companies that produce apparel for babies or kids. Also specially, companies that are exporting apparel to Japan have to be seriously careful as the country continuously focuses on the importance of all imported apparel undergoing metal and needle detection procedures.


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