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Quality Control System in Garments Industry | Quality Control System in Apparel Industry | Quality Control System for Knitted Garment Industry

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Introduction:
Quality means customer needs is to be satisfied. Failure to maintain an adequate quality standard can therefore be unsuccessful. But maintaining an adequate standard of quality also costs effort. From the first investigation to find out what the potential customer for a new product really wants, through the processes of design, specification, controlled manufacture and sale.

There are a number of factors on which quality fitness of garment industry is based such as - performance, reliability, durability, visual and perceived quality of the garment. Quality needs to be defined in terms of a particular framework of cost.

In the garment industry quality control is practiced right from the initial stage of sourcing raw materials to the stage of final finished garment. For textile and apparel industry product quality is calculated in terms of quality and standard of fibres, yarns, fabric construction, colour fastness, surface designs and the final finished garment products. However quality expectations for export are related to the type of customer segments and the retail outlets.

Objectives:
  1. To maximize the production of goods within the specified tolerances correctly the first time. 
  2. To achieve a satisfactory design of the fabric or garment in relation to the level of choice in design, styles, colours, suitability of components and fitness of product for the market.
Requirements:
The Quality System Requirements are based on the principle of PDCA Cycle.
Process Cycle
  1. Understanding the customers' quality requirements.
  2. Organizing & training quality control department.
  3. Ensuring proper flow of quality requirements to the QC department.
  4. Ensuring proper flow of quality requirements to the Production Department.
  5. Establishing quality plans, parameters, inspection systems, frequency, sampling techniques, etc..
  6. Inspection, testing, measurements as per plan.
  7. Record deviations
  8. Feed back to Production Department.
  9. Plan for further improvement.
Establishing the Quality Requirements:
The first step for quality control is to understand, establish & accept the customers' quality requirements. This involves the following steps.
  1. Getting customers specifications regarding the quality
  2. Referring our past performance
  3. Discussing with the Quality Control Department
  4. Discussing with the Production Department
  5. Giving the Feed Back to the customers
  6. Receiving the revised quality requirements from the customers
  7. Accepting the quality parameters
Various Steps of Inspection & Quality Control:
The following levels are discussed at the Garment Making Department assuming that this department is receiving the ready to cut dyed & finished fabrics from the Dyeing & Finishing Department.

Before or Pre-production Inspection
The following parameters & defects are checked prior to cutting.
  1. Shade Matching
  2. Fabric Construction
  3. GSM (grams per square metre)
  4. Whales & courses if required)
  5. Diameter
  6. Dyeing Levelness
  7. Ecological parameters if required
  8. Softness
  9. Shrinkage
  10. Matching of Rib, Collars & Cuffs
  11. Fabric Holes
  12. Vertical & Horizontal Stripes
  13. Knitting defects such as missing loops, sinker lines, etc.
  14. Bowing
  15. Skewing
  16. Yarn defects such as thick & thin places
  17. Dirts & Stains
During Production Inspection
  1. Verify cutting patterns
  2. Cut components measurements
  3. Cutting shapes
  4. Fabric defects
  5. Other specific parameters as required by the customers Rib, Collars & Cuffs matching
  6. Stitching defects
  7. Sewing threads matching
  8. Dirts & Stains
  9. Measurements
  10. Labels
  11. Trims & Accessories
Before Production Inspection
Many of the important parameters of Pre-productions, During productions & Final inspection parameters. This is to ensure that wrong or major defective garments are not packed.

Final Inspection

A. PACKING & ASSORTMENT
  1. Wrong Model
  2. Wrong Quantity
  3. Missing labels & tags
  4. Wrong Size & Colour assortment
  5. Wrong Folding
B. FABRIC DEFECTS
  1. Wrong Shade
  2. Uneven dyeing
  3. Holes
  4. Knitting stripes
  5. Thick & Thin places
  6. Dirt & Stains
  7. Oil stains
  8. Sinker line
  9. Poor softness
  10. Higher Shrinkage
  11. Crease Marks
C. WORKMANSHIP DEFECTS
  1. Open seam
  2. Puckering
  3. Needle holes & marks
  4. Unbalanced sleeve edge
  5. Unbalanced placket
  6. Insecure shoulder stitch
  7. Incorrect side shape
  8. Bottom hem bowing
  9. Uneven neck shape
  10. Cross labels
  11. Broken & Missing stitch
  12. Insecured buttons
  13. Untrimmed threads & fabrics
  14. Poor Ironing
  15. Double stitch
D. GENERAL DEFECTS
  1. Shade variation within the garment parts
  2. Shade variation between the garments
  3. Defective printing
  4. Defective embroidery
  5. Defective buttons
E. MEASUREMENT DEVIATIONS 
Compare the garment measurements against the Customers' Measurement Charts.
Following are the some of the important garments' measurement aspects to be considered.
  1. Garment length
  2. Body width
  3. Shoulder length
  4. Arm hole
  5. Arm Opening
  6. Sleeve length
  7. Placket length
  8. Placket width
  9. Neck width
  10. Neck opening
  11. Hemming width
  12. IRib or Collar width
AQL ( Acceptable Quality Level )
A certain proportion of defective will always occur in any manufacturing process. If the percentage does not exceed a certain limit, it will be economical to allow the defective to go through instead of screening the entire lot. This limit is called the "Acceptable Quality Level" ( AQL )

Considering the practical & economic aspects, Sampling Techniques are adopted to Accept or Reject a Lot on the basis of the Samples drawn at Random from the lot. It has been found and accepted that a scientifically designed sampling & inspection plan protects a Manufacturer as well as the Buyer economically.

American Military Standards known as MIL-STD-105A to 105E is accepted world-wide for sampling sizes. It has the following sample size levels. Normally for Garment Industry 105D or 105E are followed.
  1. Special Inspection Levels ( S1, S2, S3 & S4 )
  2. General Inspection Levels ( I, II & III )
  3. It has various AQL levels from 0.040 to 25 for Accepting or Rejecting the lots. Normally for Garment industry, the AQL levels of 2.5, 4.0 and 6.5 are followed.
Ecological Parameters:
Now all the Customers are asking for Ecological Parameters. Now European Buyers are stressing this. Following are main Ecological Parameters to be considered.
  1. pH range
  2. Formaldehyde levels
  3. Extractable heavy metals
  4. Chlorinated phenols ( PCP, TeCP)
  5. Forbidden Amines of MAK III A1& A2 categories
  6. Pesticides
  7. Chlorinated Organic carriers
  8. Biocide finishes
  9. Flame retardant finishes
  10. Colour fastness to Water
  11. Colour fastness to acid & alkali perspiration
  12. Colour fastness to wet & dry rubbing
  13. Colour fastness to saliva
  14. Emission of volatile chemicals
  15. Other specific parameters as required by the customers
 

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