Production planning in sewn product manufacturing is very important. An experienced planner survives the most uncertain environment. His duty is to plan resources and material in an way that he can optimize utilization, save time and cost. Cut planning and marker making being the core of production planning, ensures maximum utilization of fabric. After all we are experts at making the “Best Cutplan”, or so we think!
However there’s one key aspect the industry has been overlooking since ages now. The big picture. The sole objective of planning is not to ensure fabric saving on paper, it is to ensure physical fabric saving, in roll form, on the production floor. So does your “Best Cutplan” really save you fabric? Let us take a look at a very simple example.
Let us assume you have a very simple order of 50 pieces:
The two best possible cutplan solutions with their markers are as follows:
And the “Best Cutplan” award undoubtedly goes to Plan B for saving 1% fabric over Plan A.
But this just shows fabric saving on paper. Would this actually result in fabric saving on floor? We can never be sure owing to the vast non uniformity of fabric roll lengths.
Let us assume you have the following rolls of total length 130m to complete the order.
Now let us see how these plans fare on the production floor.
After real time execution of the plans, we actually see that Plan B which was supposed to save 1% fabric is wasteful.
Plan B is eventually leading you to
– Use 2% extra fabric than plan A,
– Waste 5.4 % fabric
there-by wasting fabric in cutplan and making you prone to the risk of short shipping.
Therefore, owing to the vast variation of fabric rolls on the production floor, it is naive to expect even your “Best Cutplan” and related markers to save you fabric on the floor. Why? Because to save fabric, you need to accommodate fabric rolls in your plan. Simple.
So, to summarise:
• No Cutplan is the “Best Cutplan” unless it physically saves fabric.
• Fabric can only be saved if fabric is taken into account while planning.
The need of the hour is a robust and flexible cut plan and roll plan which considers fabric rolls and other on-floor variations along with order quantity and marker efficiency.
A plan which ensures saving in roll form rather than smaller end pieces so an improved buying decision can be made in future.
A plan which constantly takes feedback from the floor and optimises itself for best results after each variation on the floor.
In my next article, I will elaborate on how to create such a plan that results in physical saving of the biggest investment – Fabric.