We talk about measures or practices which can eventually work towards increasing productivity as it is the ultimate goal every manufacturer aims to achieve. But we disregard a very basic reality that working towards this goal demands incorporation of certain actions in the mainstream processes.
Cutting room in a garment factory is one such extent which needs to abide by these fundamental actions. It is the last place where we want errors. Despite this, we come across situations, daily, where finding a roll or a small piece of fabric becomes a task, where plans go haywire due to on-floor variations and where a loss of even a miniscule 1m fabric can sometimes cost a hefty amount.
So what basic practices can be followed, which may ease our work and trim the jumble on the cutting floor?
Let us look at 6 Good Practices of the Cutting Floor:
- Measuring roll lengths and width
Fabric rolls may not always arrive in the same meter-age and width as ordered.There would be differences. Measuring the length and width of roll severy time they arrive in the factory becomes a significant pre requisite. This is because knowing the actual yardage of fabric available before laying reduces the chances of fabric/garment components falling short at a later stage. Also, knowing the roll width drastically eases the marker making process and avoids any on-floor surprises of in-roll width variations.It also helps in knowing the supplier performance.
- Ensure that each roll is checked for yardage and widthduring roll inspection before going into production (100% roll inspection).
- Make a roll list report which shows the excess/shortage in each roll.
- Knowledge of actual fabric yardage in hand.
- Optimised marker utilisation and redundancy in marker making when width variation is encountered.
- Lesser chances of incomplete components being cut.
- Provides a better view of supplier performance due to the actual known roll length.
- Segregation of rolls by Shade/Shrinkage/Width
In my last blog I reiterated the benefits of grouping fabric on the floor. Once the roll lengths and width are determined, the fabric rolls can be segregated or grouped together on the basis of next area of deviation, i.e., by shade/shrinkage/width. These differences occur from roll to roll, and are highly crucial to the quality of the end product.
- Check for shade variation within a roll as well as from roll to roll.
- Ensure that visual observations are carried out under standardized conditions.
- Quality Tests of shade using standard samples.
- Practicing width segregation through 100% fabric inspection before sending it out for production.
The concept of shrinkage templates can be used effectively,where, a sample area is cut from the main fabric, marked for dimensions, washed and then checked again for dimensional changes.
A = Distance between gauge marks before washing
B = Distance between gauge marks after washing
S = % shrinkage.
- Increased utilisation of fabric.
- Adhere to the highest quality standards.
- Reduce rejection percentage.
- Conform to standard end loss
End loss is a necessary allowance given at the end of each ply to facilitate cutting. The standard end loss is defined by the factory for a particular type of fabric. But, if this standard margin is not maintained during laying, it either ends up with more end loss- increasing the end loss wastage or lesser than what was mentioned on the layslip- putting the cutting ease at risk. Thus, careful maintenance of margins by following standard end loss becomes essential during spreading of fabric rolls.
- By use of automatic spreader for laying fabric instead of manual laying, wherever possible.
- By training the layer person to conform by the standard end loss.
- Avoid unnecessary wastage of fabric.
- Record all on floor data
In my past blog I have emphasised on the eminent need of feedback in order to effectively control material usage in the cutting room.It becomes important to keep a record of the on floor data with vigilance of a supervisor. This would include: lay details, marker details, allowances (edge and splice allowances), remnant lengths and their processing, defect alteration (before and after cutting), cutting instructions.
- By developing proper formats for recording on-floor data.
- By maintaining worksheets
- By using smart phone applications for recording data. View one such tool here.
- The supervisor will have a better know-how of the work progress at all times.
- Keeps a check on which work is overdue and needs attention.
- Easy access to reports and real-time performance.
- Keep roll ends safely
If often happens that after completion of a lay, short lengths of material is left over. This generally takes place because the roll length is not an exact multiple of the cutting ply length. Now, if there is a considerable difference between the two, these rolls can be further made use of. Hence, we can store these roll ends safely for reuse and reduce wastage significantly.
- By maintaining proper end bit racks
- By measuring the end bits
- By proper tagging of end bits: length, roll no., shade and shrinkage
- Track every inch of fabric
- Cleaner cutting room due to proper management of end bits.
- Use end bits for smaller markers
In order to minimize the fabric loss, it’s important to use the fabric available in hand judiciously. Now, what can be done to use the remaining fabric which generally goes into end bit loss post cutting? If we store these end bits wisely, smaller markers can be taken out from them. So instead of adding this remaining fabric to end bit loss, we can utilize it to the maximum!
- By selecting usable bits keeping in mind the smallest marker.
- Maximum utilisation of end bits
- Minimum wastage due to usage of small bits
- Rest of the fabric can be saved in roll form and be used for different orders.
Well, these are some simple cutting room practices which if taken care of can prove beneficial in optimising fabric usage, saving time, cost and increasing productivity.
So, when are you checking your factory for these?
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