‘Layout’ is simply the orientation of product or process flow. From our day to day life it has so many significant impacts. In the RMG sector, every section has a specific kind of layout system as per work standard. Garments finishing is the last stage among top three stages (Cutting>Sewing>Finishing). Whether it is knit, denim, woven, sweater or lingerie, finishing unit has some style of line layout as per company or space or product. This is called conventional way of Finishing layout, which is widely used. But this conventional system reduces finishing efficiency. As finishing efficiency has direct impact on CMT cost (Cut, Make & Trim), now it’s time to reshape our layout from conventional to ‘Rail-line layout’ system. In this article, it will be discussed about rail-line layout system, how to implement it & its advantages for garments finishing unit. Though we are going to discuss about finishing layout system, you can implement this kind of layout system in your sewing floor also.
What is Conventional Layout System and Rail-Line Layout System?
Conventional layout system is the layout system which we mostly use in our finishing floor. We have fixed finishing lines of fixed length & width with aisles among them. We put Trimmer (Manual or auto), specification checker, visual checker, iron man, keep operator for trims & accessories adding, Final checkup, folding (Manual or auto), wrapping & packing etc.
On contrary, rail-line layout system contains all the process from above, same manpower, same space, just need a rail line system with hanger. This rail-line may be a hollow steel or plastic pipe hanging up little bit arch where hanger can be moved easily. Or it may be a moving conveyor with hanging garments attachment. A
Conventional Layout Vs Rail Line Layout System of Garments Finishing Unit
RailLine Layout System
- Layout starts at the point of hanger box keeping table, yellow marked. On same side, there is input rack or trolley. From there Garments loader will bring & hang garments in hanger to start the flow. You can see turning we mention 0.5 manpower. That means if you make the rail-line layout system in your floor such a way that two parallel lines share side by side input point; then one person can be used for two lines for garments turning. We keep this turning in finishing line to do manpower optimization. But in conventional way we use turning helper in sewing & most of the case use one person.
- Another best use of this layout is adding accessories in finishing line. Here button attach shown in finishing line. By this way hook & bar, buckle, snap button can be attached in finishing to avoid destruction or breakage while transportation or washing. Garments loader will flow the hanger to the assistant operator for button positioning (It may be avoided as per garments type or requirement); after that button attach operator will do his/her work while keeping the garments in hanger. Then next operation of loop cutting followed by tack & wrapping operation of care label, as per product requirement.
- Followed by tread trimming operation, there were some space for garments hanging as input for thread trimmer helper. Then comes inside quality check. It may be subdivided into front or back part or left or right side inside QC. There will be defect trolley keeping them segregated with different types of defective product. This types of layout system strongly avoids backward flow. It need to keep defective product stored, after a fixed time interval it will be collected & fixed by line supervisor, QC supervisor or line manager with necessary remedies.
- If it needs dust cleaning then full garments will be open from hanger, clean, turn & hang it to the line. In this section side stand can be kept to keep defective garments if found. Then pass it through rail-line to topside thread trimmer. Number of topside thread trimmer is less than inside thread trimmer. After that workstation of topside thread trimmer with defect stand or trolley. After that garments pocket cleaning.
- It comes ironing operation now. There will be waist side press, side press, crease press etc. as per product requirements. It is better to keep one or two defect stand. There will be iron quality checker with segregated defect rack or trolley followed by measurement QC.
- It’s time to add necessary trims, stickers etc. as per requirements. After that audit table to check final product.
- Then comes folding, wrapping or packing table as per product requirements. In this section, manpower can be shared with another line. By following this layout system, there will be much open space to keep line wise finishing rack, trims & accessories keeping rack etc.
Follow ‘Visual Management: A tool of Lean Management for Finishing Unit’ article for more information
Advantages of Rail-Line Layout of Garments Finishing Unit
- Optimal manpower
- Disciplined workplace
- No crease in garments
- Proper utilization of space
- No dust from excessive hand touch
- Lean Management in Finishing line
Limitations of Rail-Line Layout of Garments Finishing Unit
- Cannot be useful for short length product like tank top or lingerie
- Improper line layout may cause improper process management
- Bad quality hanger or mishandling can cause defective products
We need improvement in every section of garments unit. For achieving this, it is necessary to start now with slow but continuous improvement. Though there are some limitations of this layout system, why not try a proto-type of one line in your finishing unit? With proper plan & set-up system it is easy to implement. In the long run you will get the advantages. There are so many renown buyers who want this kind of layout system for sewing & finishing unit. For example, Walmart, Levis, hagger etc. buyer have some pre-condition before order placement to have this kind of layout system for their quality products. Hopefully very soon we will adopt this layout orientation for our sewing & finishing product not only for quality product but also for following lean management.
Sharmin Akther Diba
Industrial & Production Engineer
Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: Sharmin Akther Diba