Machine Maintenance in Textile- Plays Key Role in Better Productivity

Amarnath Sharma
MBA, NIFT-Bangalore, India

Machine Maintenance:
Machine plays very important role in every industry. Garment industry also is not separate from this. Since last fifteen years there is big boom in industry for Automation and ultra modern, self sufficient Garment Factories.Out Sourse work is minimized. Purchasing Machinery is excellent thing but at the same time we have to consider the maintenance of Normally, Senior Management does not much care about the proper  Maintenance part. 
Mainly, there is two kind of Maintenance;
  1. Schedule/Planned/Routine Maintenance and
  2. Breakdown/Immediate Maintenance
Other than above, one important maintenance is - daily maintenance, which is done by the operator itself.
Following things should be carried out each day;
  1. Turn off the power switch,
  2. Remove bobbin case, bobbin and needle,
  3. Clean Hookset, feed dog, bobbin case, bobbin,needle and pressure foot bar through small brush and fabric'
  4. Check the quality of needle,
  5. Tilt back the machine head and check the oil level as well as clean all the dust particles from edges of the tank,
  6. Finally, clean all the outer surface through fabric and verify smooth running of machine and
  7. Before leaving, operator should put fabric between feed dog and pressure foot and needle inserted inside of fabric.
1. Schedule / Planned/Routine Maintenance:
Schedule Maintenance is planned Maintenance. Plan is based on time duration and working hour of machine. This Maintenance reduces the frequency of breakdown maintenance and this is excellent method to keep machines in healthy condition. If machines would be in healthy condition automatically the productivity increases and this improves quality of products also.

As for example if machines are in good condition, there would be less frequency of breakdown, no time loss when new operator arrives/appointed, rpm of motor would be more in result increased speed of machine etc.

Through all these productivity increases. If schedule maintenance is in perfect shape quality also increases . As for example no irregular stitches, Jump stitch, Broken stitch, puckering, The maintenance described here should be performed every 3 months or 1000 hours of operation.  
Every maintenance should be in recorded and documented form.Since Auditor checks all the records and accordingly crosscheck - Record is must.

Following is the easiest format for schedule Maintenance;


Things To be done while doing schedule Maintenance:
  1. Drain the old oil and clean the tank,
  2. Remove the headcover and wipe clean the head chamber through clean fabric and small brush,
  3. Cleaning of motor through air blower ,
  4. Remove all sewing parts and clean out all dust particles/ fibres through air blower, fabric and brush,
  5. Remove the oil filter and check for contaminants. Replace if necessary. It is recmmended to replace filter at least every six months or 2000 hrs of operation,
  6. Wipe clean all thread contact surfaces and check for irregular, nicks or burrs. Replace the defected parts if necessary,
  7. Check play in needle bar and in pressure foot bar,
  8. Before filling machine with oil, replace all parts and covers and fill oil as per guideline. Once the machine has been properly filled with oil, run the machine slowly for a few moments to allow the oil to flow to all the area.
  9. It is recommended to follow the user manual of the particular machine which is suppose to be serviced.

This is the easiest way for representing Schedule / Routine Maintenance. Oval round means, according to the time, particular line is schedule for routine maintenance on that particular month. Round which is having rectangle between them means, maintenance was done as per the schedule time. For example,Sewing line 'A' 35 machines were scheduled for routine maintenance, in month of april,,july and october. April and July maintenance is over and October to be done.

Schedule maintenance done means, automatically it would be assumed that all the points which has been described for schedule maintenance has been taken care of.

2. Breakdown/Immediate Maintenance
This is daily breakdown service of machine, which occurs during work. This may be of any nature - Major or Minor. This could be attended by a qualified technician only.In this category minor problem occurs often I.e skip stitch, loose stitch, thread breakage and needle breakages etc.

This maintenance we may reduce a lot, if routine maintenance is perfectly in place.


Format may be of any kind, our main motto is to keep records, since it is compulsory requirement of Auditor and last six months record should be always available.

Manufacturers and dealers of machines offers Annual Service and Maintenance Contract. Factory may do this for specialized and complicated machinery.

Other than above, we may put one simple format with machine for knowing maintenance status individually


Machine Nr. ----

Date of Purchase ------

Installation date --

Dealer address with phone nr. --

Date of warranty expire ----
Type of maintenance
Parts consumed
Maintenance done by

This format should be hanged with every machinery. Through this one may know the exact maintenance status of any selected machine.

Last but not the least, every factory should definitely established proper maintenance department for servicing and caring of machines because our bread and butter generated through that only. At the same time written document is very much required for auditor and buyer.

It is assumed that healthy machines only may produce good quality of products.

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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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