QUALITY SYSTEM IN LABOR-INTENSIVE MANUFACTURİNG

What is Quality?

Quality is the degree to which customers can the best meet their expectations. At the same time, it is a performance indicator that shows the conformity of the product to the determined criteria and its error-free status.In other words, quality is a performance indicator that shows the amount of deviation of the product or service produced from the product or service desired by the customer.

Quality is a complete process from production to distribution. In this article; We will talk about production quality, which is the most costly and critical process in labor-intensive industries.In order to ensure production quality, quality must be traceable in each process from the raw material input to the product delivery.

What is Quality Control?

Quality control; is the process of checking the conformity of the product to customer demands. As a result of in-production quality control processes, production losses and product errors are detected.

In factories, it is aimed to transfer each operation of the previous operation, each process of the previous process without errors by accepting the customer as the customer of the last process at the end of the process.For this reason, statistical process control is performed for the next operation, end-of-line quality control is performed for the next process, and final quality control is performed for the last process.

Eliminating activities that do not create added value is important for businesses to achieve their profit goals in a competitive environment.

While performing value added analysis 3 main questions are asked.

    1. Do we physically change the product or service?
    2. Does the customer agree to pay in return of this process?
    3. Was it done correctly the first time it was done?

Work done outside of these is extra labor which does not save money for the business, but only creates costs.

In quality control, it is necessary to establish a system that will prevent the repetition of previous mistakes by recording the control and evaluating it together with the analysis.Otherwise, the control process will bring additional cost that does not add value to the business and the cost caused by the problems will not be reduced by repeated operations.A correct quality control system established in the enterprise, recording the results and making improvements according to the analysis results will significantly reduce the additional costs arising from rework and increase the profitability of the company.

Benefits to be obtained by establishing a quality control system;

  • Ensuring that the product or service conforms to the customer demands,
  • Increasing customer satisfaction by minimizing customer complaints,
  • Increasing employee awareness and minimizing errors and related lost times,
  • Ensuring that the problems will not be repeated by producing solutions to the continuing problems,
  • Minimizing the maintenance process, which is a non-value-creating operation,

Keeping the quality at the desired standards in labor-intensive production is quite difficult compared to other production types.In order to achieve this standardization, method standardization studies should be carried out, the product and quality should be monitored instantly, and solutions should be found immediately to the problems.

Traceability

The concept of traceability is that a product or service can be traced back instantaneously from the perspective of management systems in general.

Thanks to traceability, when any error is encountered, returning to the production history;it is possible to access detailed information such as on which line it was produced, which operations were carried out by which operator, which errors were found by which quality control personnel, and when they were made. Thus, action areas can be determined easily and solutions can be reached.

In addition, the company’s access to such important information is very valuable for its customers.Imagine that you are the manager of a brand and there are contract manufacturing workshops that produce your products.There is a traceable production system in these workshops.When a product you sell in your store returns from the end customer for a reason, you can access the information on which operations were carried out by which operator in which workshop, on which line, on which machines.In this period when information is rich, reaching such important information is invaluable for companies. With the @rgeMAS production tracking system, both the measurability and quality traceability of the production are ensured.

Importance of bundle system for quality tracking

The bundle system is the basis of traceability and measurability. Operator-based productivity and quality can be measured instantly.If an error is detected, an immediate solution is provided by having the error repaired by the person who made the mistake.Therefore, a discipline about maintenance is created and semi-finished products waiting to be repaired are not seen in production.

The real-time measurement of quality creates a chance to intervene immediately to problems.

In the bundle system, besides knowing which product belongs to which bundle, the labor and material history is also clear.By knowing which operator is performing each operation of each product, the source of the problems is analyzed and a permanent solution is provided.At the same time, awareness is created on the part of the operator. Raising awareness in the people doing the work will often ensure that the problems are solved directly.

Thanks to the @rgeMAS system; By displaying quality information on each operator’s own device and on the TV screens, awareness of the people doing job is further increased. In addition, quality results are used as a complement to the bonus system.

Quality control in @rgeMAS system consists of 6 main parts. The system allows these data to be recorded and analyzed at the same time.

The concept of bottleneck in production refers to the weakest link of the process. The production capacity of the factory is only as much as the production capacity of the bottleneck process.

The most important issue to be considered in bottleneck management is; The bottleneck is to provide timely and quality products to the process.As Eliyahu M. Goldratt states in his book “The Goal”; Having the quality control process in front of the bottleneck process will ensure that the wrong goods processed in the bottleneck are reduced and more sales-oriented materials are processed in the bottleneck.

The first and most important bottleneck of garment companies is the sewing process.Therefore, to manage the sewing bottleneck, the fabric, accessory, and thread given to this department should be given on time and in good quality. For this purpose, fabric quality control and classification processes are extremely important.For this purpose, fabric quality control and classification processes are extremely important.

Fabric quality control

It is the quality control process that detects fabric defects before the fabric cutting.The operator performs the quality control of the fabric on a lighted board that moves at a speed of 8 – 20 meters per minute.As soon as it detects any fault, it stops the motor that moves the fabric, marks the location of the fault on the fabric and starts the motor again.

When the entire fabric is checked, the fabric is classified according to the number of faults per meter.During the inspection, if the operator encounters more than normal number of errors of different types or a large number of errors of the same type, it makes the necessary warning to the production department and ensures that possible errors in production are eliminated.

With the @rgeMAS system, detailed analyzes can be made by recording the number of defects, the type of defects, the number of attachments, and the fabric quantity detected in each fabric roll.

Classification

After the fabric is cut, before it enters the sewing line and becomes a product,the section where all parts of a product (body, sleeve, collar, cuff, etc.) are checked and matched is called the classification section.At this point, all the parts to be assembled are checked, and the faulty parts are separated and replaced with a good part.It is the first part where the checkpoint is made for a model. Now the fabric has been specially cut for that model and its control has begun.

Inline quality control

Product control within the production line is carried out by inline control staff by controlling all the operation products.

After the collar is prepared in a shirt production foundation, it is attached to the shirt in the assembly section and closed.After all these processes are completed, due to the collar preparation,if there is a disorder in the collar symmetry;Only after the collar closing stitch and collar fitting stitch are removed, repair can be made.After the process is completed and other workmanship is done on it, it is repaired again.it will both waste of time and unnecessary labor will be done.Here, the purpose of Inline quality control is to detect possible errors in advance and in the place, and to prevent the sewing department, which is already a bottleneck, from wasting time and labor unnecessarily.

In the sewing line, the inline control elements control a certain number of random products from each operation, from the first operation to the last operation of the line, which they are responsible for ,in the first period, while the product is being sewn, and detect possible errors that may arise due to measurement, fabric, machine and sewing.In the second period, it only checks critical operations where  faults are found in the first period and have a high probability of failure.When the single period passes, all operations are checked again… In this way, 8 periods are completed until the end of the day.The measurements and controls made are recorded in the @rgeMAS system using hand terminals.

In reports; informations such as how many observations were taken from each operation in each period / hour, how many errors were found, the error classes found and their explanations can be easily accessed.The performance of each inline control element can be tracked with the information of how many observations and errors detected throughout the day.

Operations and operators detected errors during inline control can be compared with the results of the end-of-line control report, which is 100% control.By determining the relationship between these variables, the direction and severity of this relationship with the correlation analysis, how successful is the inline quality control process  can be determined.

End-of-line control

It is the section where the control personnel control and record the products 100% at the end of sewing.In end-of-line control, it is aimed not to go to the next process with faulty products.

In the end-of-line control analysis in @rgeMAS system; the results of operation quality, operator quality, line and production order quality can be evaluated.

Quality defects; It may be due to the operation method, operator competence, the operator working with the wrong method, not using the right person for the right job, the need for methodological change due to fabric type, machine quality and environmental conditions.With this type of control and interpretation of its results, the most common operation/operator/production order can be handled, and the causes of errors can be investigated and solutions can be found.By examining the change in the date-based quality performances of each one of them, the impact of the solutions found on the quality can be discussed.

Final quality control

It is the section where the control personnel control and record the products 100% for the last time just before packaging.Data obtained from final quality control; is recorded as 1st quality, 2nd quality, repair, stain, defect.

Final quality control; It is the section where all the products are checked, in order to prevent the sending of faulty products to the customer.

Product-based analysis can be performed in both end-of-line control and final control.

While performing product-based analysis with the @rgeMAS system;

  • The order quantity of each production order,
  • The number of products checked,
  • Faulty product quantity,
  • Number of checks (including repeat checks),
  • Number of errors,
  • Rates of quality,
  • Instant quality status of the product
  • Quantity of first quality product (1. quality)
  • Quantity of 2nd quality products (defects, stains, etc with details),
  • The number of products to be repaired (products with instant repair),
  • Number of repaired products (including products that have been repaired and are in good condition),
  • Rft (Right First Time) – Number of products rightly produced the first time,
  • Each product, how many times it has been checked by which controller,
  • Error details found in each control,

Detailed analyzes can be made by accessing their informations.

Inspection

Inspection is carried out in order to make the final controls of the products delivered to the warehouse to be shipped by sampling ,and to make the product comply with the quality standards before being sent to the customer.

In the @rgeMAS system, for each production order, the number of products to be controlled, determined according to AQL (Acceptable Quality Level) standards, is determined on a size basis.Inspection personnel performs measurement and visual control according to this determined number and records the observed errors.If the number of detected defects and the criticality level (minor / major) are below the lower error limit determined according to AQL standards, all products are opened and rechecked in production.

Inspection is a statistical quality control process to confirm that no faulty product has been sent to the customer. Therefore, customer satisfaction is increased by ensuring that the highest quality product is sent to the customer.

ARGE BİLİŞİM CO LTD

“Quality systems application notes compilation”

Pınar EKMEN

Productivity and Quality Consultant