Traffic Light System in Garment Industry

Traffic Light System in Garment Industry

Swati Wadekar
Executive IE officer at Pratibha Syntex, Indore


Traffic light system is most effective tool in garment manufacturing industry for the garment quality inspection. Like other quality inspection tools, the traffic light inspection system is widely used in garment manufacturing. This is inline checking system which is alert operators to concentrate on their work. By the implementation of traffic light system, quality issues in sewing line can be highlight. In this system three different color cards are placed at each and every working station in sewing line. Green color shows that the quality meets as per the buyer’s expectations, yellow color shows need to pay more attention and red color shows quality standards does not meets the buyer’s expectations. The purpose of this system is to determine the quality problems within the needlepoint and to give proper solution to stop it from recurring immediately. [1]

Traffic Light System in Garment Industry

Quality Checker Role in Traffic Light System:
In this system, one roving quality checker is allotted for each line. Roving quality checker randomly checks 7 pcs from each and every work station. If he/she found 0 defect then the green color card highlighted at the work station. If he/she found 1 defect so yellow color card highlighted and if 2 or more defects are found then red color card highlighted.

Zero defectGreen color

One defect Yellow color

Two or more defectsRed color

Defect foundColor codeInspectionAction required
ZeroGreen colorOnce per hourNone
OneYellow colorTwice per hourInform to operator and production Supervisor to make the necessary correction in the process.
Two or moreRed color3 times per hourImmediately stop production and inform to supervisor to make the necessary correction. Involve technician and mechanic to solving the problem.

Traffic Light System Implementation in Sewing Line:

  1. The roving quality checker will check every operation on the line (manual or sewing) in random order.
  2. If any of the garments are rejected then the bundle is considered rejected and is held back.
  3. The quality checker will instruct the operator to re-check all the garments within that bundle and repair any garments that are not to the correct standard for that operation.
  4. The traffic light chart & the daily in-line inspection report should be updated using the correct fault code letter and color sequence identification before leaving the operation.

Advantages of Implementation of Traffic Light System in Garment Manufacturing Industry:

  • Higher alteration rate stand as a severe bottleneck in achieving an interrupted production flow, and adding up unnecessary production cost and time so with the implementation of traffic light system you can reduce the alteration rate on time.
  • This system is to determine the quality problems within the needlepoint and to give remedies to stop it from recurring immediately.
  • You can measure operator’s performance level in quality with this system.
  • This system helps to tracking operators sewing quality and operator wise defects
  • The traffic light system reduces defects leading to reworking / alteration and to improve factory efficiency.
  • A traffic light system minimizes the defect rates of production.
  • Traffic light system alert operators to more concentrate on their jobs.
  • Traffic Light System helps to reduce the work pressure on the quality department and improve the level of quality in sewing lines at the same time.

Quality Inspection Reports in Garment Manufacturing Industry:
The result is marked on the Traffic Light Chart or Daily In-line Audit Sheet. Roving quality checker makes the normal random audit route as follows by considering the 3 highest defect-making operations / Critical operations on the previous day. Two visits for top 3 defect making operations / Critical operations in two hours (a quarter of a shift).

– One visit for other operations in two hours

  • It is marked on the “Daily Inline Audit Sheet”.
  • In-line Auditor then inspects each operation as per the random audit sequence four times per day.
  • In each visit to an operation, Inline Auditor selects 7 pieces /components randomly and checks them.
  • The Traffic Light Chart (TL Chart) is updated with the color given for the visit.
  • The relevant record is made on the “Daily In-line Audit sheet” with fault code.

– No. defects out of 7 checked components, Mark as “ Π ”.

  • Actions taken for Red dots by the Supervisor / Technician and the team are noted down on the reverse side of the “Daily In-line Audit Sheet”.
  • If any operation gets a Red dot, In-line Auditor makes a 2nd visit to audit the relevant operation again in the same quarter.
  • At the end of the day, In-line the auditor summarizes the quality performance of the operation and it is marked on the “In-line Quality Performance” board hung in front of the line.
  • The top three operations that made the highest no. of defectives are marked together with relevant fault code on the “Daily In-line Audit Sheet” and “RFT Meeting Minute” as inputs for the RFT meeting.

In-line Auditor provides the following information:

  • No. of Red dots for the shift / a day with fault code.
  • No. of defectives found & no of components audited at the In-line Audit.
  • Top three operations making the highest no of defectives with fault codes as per the In-line audit result.
  • Top three operations making highest no. of defectives with fault codes as per the End-line inspection result.
  • No. of seconds garments.
  • No. of rejected or kill garment report.

The Traffic Light System in garment manufacturing presents a structured and proactive approach to quality inspection, fostering a culture of continuous improvement. Its meticulous record-keeping and analysis allow for timely identification and rectification of quality issues within the sewing line. This system not only minimizes defects during production but also instills a culture of ongoing enhancement in the garment manufacturing industry. Poorly managed factory loses productivity up to 10% due to repair and reject. Hence implementation of traffic light system will help to get more quality products from the operators.


  1. Prasanta Sarkar (2012), Traffic Light System for Quality Inspection in Garment Manufacturing,
  2. S.Kavitha (2013), Traffic Light System – A Visual Quality Control Tool,
  3. Goldnfiber (2015), An overview of Traffic Light System
  4. Garments Academy (2019), Traffic Light system in Garments Sewing Line

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  1. Section Wise Quality Control in Garment Industry
  2. Quality Control in Garment Factory: A Comprehensive Review
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  5. Basic Concept of Quality, Quality Control and Inspection in Apparel Industry

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