Ma­trix Cloth­ing – Win­ning com­pe­ti­tion with a bal­ance be­tween man and machine

Stitch World - - PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT -

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

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