Matrix Clothing – Winning competition with a balance between man and machine
The most overlooked aspect of the apparel industry is keeping pace with the existing skills, resources and planned production in a concise way. The same does not apply to Matrix Clothing which enjoys the services of skilled sewing operators who have the technical know-how as well as understanding of the importance of quality. The company runs the Apparel Skill Development Academy (ASDA) whose aim is to train and provide necessary basic skills in efficient sewing and also imbibe in them the significance of the cost of quality and production principles of apparel manufacturing.
Reaping benefits of the same, 95% of the workers in one of the Matrix’s unit are provided by ASDA. “What keeps us going with these operators is that they are the most technically sound sewing operators we can ever get and who are fulfilling our requirements in a way they are taught,” claims Ganesh.
The technical know-how of the trained operators in the academy can be contributed to the technical training imparted in the academy. The company believes in training the operators on upgraded version of the machines right from the beginning. Behind this firm strategy are the reasons of small payback period and support from the Government in terms of subsidy available under ATUFS.
“Training the operators on old technology might be a major reason for attrition which has become a headache for almost all export houses. “Improving the ergonomics of the workstation to enhance the productivity and boosting morale of the workers are something one must not take casually, else the sustainability rate of the workers in a company will go down,” avers a thoughtful Ganesh.
We provide on-machine training where bottleneck operations on sewing lines are identified every week. A trainer is then assigned to work with the operators on these bottleneck operations and train them on the best method.
Shopfloor, the heart of any production house, has to be efficient enough to overcome challenges of quality and productivity. The company ensures best quality garments coming out of the section with the help of three main focus areas – quick changeover, on-machine training and skill matrix. Matrix Clothing has a dedicated changeover team to ensure that the 3Ms, i.e. Man, Machine and Material, are present in required numbers during the changeover. Also, the machines which are to be replaced during changeover of style are preset according to the settings required on actual fabric (off-line) to minimize machine setting time in line.
– Nikhil Kumar, Production Manager, Matrix Clothing
In fact Matrix Clothing gives a lot of emphasis on-machine training where bottleneck operations on sewing lines are identified every week. A trainer is then assigned to work with the operators on these bottleneck operations and train them on the best method. Apart from this, the existing skills of operators are mapped on a skill matrix made for each line/ production floor. Nikhil Kumar, Production Manager, Matrix Clothing informs, “The operations in the skill matrix are also monitored weekly with skill pool deficiency. We then deploy the operators who need to be multi-trained. These operators are then trained on the operations identified and thus we keep on replenishing our skill pool regularly.”
Shopfloor, the heart of any production house, has to be efficient enough to overcome challenges of quality and productivity. Low efficiency not only impacts the production but also the quality. Matrix calculates the overall efficiency by combining the efficiencies of feeding systems, sewing lines and finishing of garments, thus comparing the efficiency of the entire piece rather than an operation. And, to ensure this to happen, all three processes are carried out on the same floor.
The second major problem of increasing cost of production is handled by the apparel manufacturer by scrapping the traditional bundle system on sewing floor. “Since we have production and finishing on the same floor, instead of sending sewn pieces to finishing line in bundles, we transfer these pieces to the finishing department one after another. Such a set-up helps in less material movement and maintaining smooth flow of work between sewing and finishing. It helps in keeping finishing WIP under control as well,” shares Nikhil.
Matrix follows the system of monetary incentives where if a production line exceeds the target efficiency, each operator from the line is awarded. Karthikeyan Manivel, Manager - Industrial Engineering, Matrix Clothing
Another lean concept that Matrix implements is Just in Time. It strictly monitors the flow of fabric from the cutting section to the production floor. The fabric that leaves the cutting section is in sync with the production requirements which ensures low inventory and faster turnaround time.
Maintaining its production in a systematic and qualitative way, Matrix never ignores the fact that it is the manpower that is behind the machines and the driving force of production. It, therefore, follows the system of monetary incentive where if a production line exceeds the target efficiency, each operator from the line is awarded. This helps in establishing better balance between sewing and finishing and at the same time, operators are motivated to give their best for their respective teams,” concludes Karthikeyan Manivel, Manager - Industrial Engineering, Matrix Clothing.
Sewing operators provided by Apparel Skill Development Academy (ASDA) working at Matrix Clothing
Matrix ensures low WIP by executing sewing and finishing operations on the same floor
The factory has invested in SNLS sewing machines by Brother and Juki