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A Study to Enhance Indian Apparel Exports


Call for Papers Engineering Journal, May 2019

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A Study to Enhance Indian Apparel Exports

Vivek Agarwal, M. M. Tiwari, Shweta Saxena, Kushagra Prakash, and M. K. Bansal

Northern India Textile Research Association Sector-23, Raj Nagar, Ghaziabad,

U.P. India

Abstract:- In the global exports of clothing, as per the UN Comtrade, 2014 data released in November 2015 India is ranked 5th largest exporter amongst all the exporting countries. Indias competitiveness in the international markets has to be viewed from an angle of productivity competitiveness, with greater emphasis on improved productivity and quality improvement. Studies conducted by various researchers in the past have highlighted that productivity of Indian garment industry is much lower as compared to countries like Vietnam and China.

In view of above a comprehensive study was conducted in 50 units/styles in four major garment manufacturing/export clusters namely NCR, Bengaluru, Tirupur and Ludhiana.

The study covered all major departments like fabrics, layering, cutting, sewing, finishing and packing. Data was captured through discussions with departmental heads and structured questionnaires. In all the 4 clusters, significant variation in productivity and work practices was observed in all the departments. This can be attributed to several factors such as type of fabric used, style, operator skills and work practices. Amongst all these, use of different work practices was observed to be a major contributor causing variation in productivity.

Keywords: Productivity, stores, layering, cutting, sewing, SAM, finishing, work practices

1.0 INTRODUCTION:

Indias textile and clothing industry is one of the mainstays of the national economy. It is also one of the largest contributing sectors of Indias exports worldwide. In the global exports of clothing, as per the UN Comtrade, 2014 data released in November 2015 India is ranked as 2nd largest Textile & Clothing exporter globally with US$

    1. billion while in clothing exports India was ranked 5th largest exporter amongst all the exporting countries with US$16.5 billion worth of clothing exports. China, Bangladesh, Italy, Germany and Vietnam are the other major exporters of clothing. [1]

      2.0 REVIEW OF LITERATURE:

      According to a study conducted by the World Bank, D&B Analysis 2014, most of the Indian firms in the Textiles (Weaving/Knitting & Processing) & Garments Sector are still in the Stage I of the competence protocol and targeting basic conveniences & cleaning up of operations to achieve competitiveness. Their efforts are made towards cost reduction (raw-material & logistics being the most prominent), increasing labour productivity, ensuring compliance to quality norms and engaging in continuous quality improvement efforts. Some of the aspects in Stage I like energy conservation, clean & safe working

      environment, etc. are still to be looked up as measures for competitiveness.

      Amongst the competing countries, China has already crossed the first stage and has managed to fare well in the next stage as well with optimized capacity utilization and system improvements. Vietnam, although still in Stage I of the competency protocol has been able to tackle most of the issues like labour productivity, controlling costs, etc. The Italian & Japanese counterparts have already crossed the stage II and their focus is on total improvement in systems & business processes by achieving total quality enrichment.

      Indias competitiveness in the international market, therefore, has to be viewed from an angle different from the availability of cheap labor and raw materials. Rather than low wage competitiveness, it has to be higher productivity competitiveness, with greater emphasis on quality improvement and improved productivity through creation of a modern, efficient, better organized and competitive industry in place of a traditional one[2].

      3.0 NEED AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY:

      Indian apparel industry has long been lagging behind in terms of labour productivity viz-a-viz its competing countries like China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh etc. According to a study conducted by the World Bank, D&B Analysis 2014, China is the clear leader in labour productivity in cotton textiles and garments with labour productivity more than double than that of India. (Refer Fig-3.1). Labour Productivity has been estimated as a ratio of Gross value added (GVA) to the number of workers. Major reasons cited in the report for lower labour productivity include lower efficiency, poor work practices, high worker absenteeism, dearth of newly skilled people, lack of availability of technical manpower to use modern technology effectively etc.

      In case of garment manufacturing, especially in sewing room, the published literature indicates that needle running time is only about 15-20% of the total available time and the operator spends the rest of the time in activities like material handling etc. The same is true for the rest of the activities although to a lesser extent.

      Thus, it was felt that one of the ways by which productivity of a garment unit can be improved is by adopting better work practices and improving material

      handling techniques. In view of this, following objectives were set out for the study:

      • To study the work practices in major garment manufacturing clusters across India;

      • Identify work practices that could improve productivity of various departments; and

      • Share those work practices with the industry to help them improve their productivity and thereby improve cost competitiveness.

Figure 3.1: Labour productivity

12000

10000

Labour Productivity (US$/Employee)

Labour Productivity (US$/Employee)

8000

6000

4000

2000

0

Textiles

Cotton-Garment

Source: UNIDO

4.0 METHODOLOGY:

The study was conducted using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Four leading garment manufacturing clusters namely National Capital Region (NCR), Bengaluru, Tirupur and Ludhiana were selected for the study. The present paper covers the findings of NCR and Ludhiana clusters. The studies were conducted in 23 units in NCR and 9 units in Ludhiana. Data of various departments like fabric, laying & cutting, sewing, and finishing was collected through structured questionnaires. Best work practices, both in terms of new technology as well as improvement in existing machinery/work practices were studied and captured through pictures and videos, wherever possible.

5.0 RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS: Cluster : National Capital Region (NCR) Total No. of Units Covered: 23

Profile of Units Studied:

i.8 units were more than 20 years old while the remaining 15 units were less than 20 years old.

ii.20 units studied were export units while 3 were involved in both export and domestic garment business.

iii.15 units were involved in manufacturing of both woven and knitted garments while 3 units were manufacturing only woven garments and 5 were manufacturing only knitted garments. Major products manufactured are Ladies, and Kids Wear.

iv.Normally working hours varied between 8 to 10 hours/day.

v.8 units were employing only salaried workmen, while the remaining 15 were employing both salaried and contractual workmen.

vi.No. of sewing machines varied between 150-1550. Capacity Utilization varied between 40% and 89%. Actual garment production varied between 900- 22,000

pieces/day. (Refer Fig- 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3).

1800

1600

140

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

0

Figure 5.1: No. of Sewing Machines

NCR 1

NCR 2

NCR 4

NCR 6

NCR 8

NCR 10

NCR 12

NCR 14

NCR 16

NCR 18

NCR 20

NCR 22

100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

Figure 5.2: Capacity Utilization (%)

NCR 1

NCR 2

NCR 3

NCR 4

NCR 5

NCR 6

NCR 7

NCR 8

NCR 9

NCR 10

NCR 11

NCR 12

NCR 13

NCR 14

NCR 15

NCR 16

NCR 17

NCR 18

NCR 19

NCR 20

NCR 21

NCR 22

NCR 23

NCR 1

NCR 2

NCR 3

NCR 4

NCR 5

NCR 6

NCR 7

NCR 8

NCR 9

NCR 10

NCR 11

NCR 12

NCR 13

NCR 14

NCR 15

NCR 16

NCR 17

NCR 18

NCR 19

NCR 20

NCR 21

NCR 22

NCR 23

Figure 5.3: Actual Production/ Day

25000

20000

15000

10000

5000

NCR 1

NCR 2

NCR 3

NCR 4

NCR 5

NCR 6

NCR 7

NCR 8

NCR 9

NCR 10

NCR 11

NCR 12

NCR 13

NCR 14

NCR 15

NCR 16

NCR 17

NCR 18

NCR 19

NCR 20

NCR 21

NCR 22

NCR 23

NCR 1

NCR 2

NCR 3

NCR 4

NCR 5

NCR 6

NCR 7

NCR 8

NCR 9

NCR 10

NCR 11

NCR 12

NCR 13

NCR 14

NCR 15

NCR 16

NCR 17

NCR 18

NCR 19

NCR 20

NCR 21

NCR 22

NCR 23

0

DEPARTMENT-WISE OBSERVATIONS:

  1. Fabric Deptt:

    1. All the 23 units were following 4-point system for fabric inspection.

    2. The units were maintaining fabric inventory between 20 days and 1 year.

    3. Out of 23 factories, 18 units were using ERP for fabric issue while the remaining 5 were doing it manually.

  2. Layering & Cutting:

  1. Time studies are conducted on styles manufactured from woven and knitted fabrics by manual layering process.

  2. Significant variation between Marker length and actual Lay length was observed during the studies. The extent of variation was between 1cm and 10 cms. This can be attributed to poor work practices.

  3. It was observed that, laying productivity varies significantly with respect of type of fabric laid (solid/stripes/checks/prints) and marker length and operator skills. (Refer Fig. 5.4 and 5.5).

  4. In cutting, studies were conducted mainly on Straight Knife machine. There was a wide variation in operator productivity between the units. No. of garment cut

    /cutting team/hour varied between 40-294. (Refer Fig. 5.6). Major reasons of variation were type of fabric being cut, operator skill and capacity utilization.

    Figure 5.4 : No. of Layers/team/ hr (Solid fabric)

    140

    120

    100

    80

    60

    40

    20

    0

    <3 meters 3-5 meters 5-7 meters

    Figure 5.5 : No. of Layers/team/ hr (Printed fabric)

    100

    90

    80

    70

    60

    50

    40

    30

    20

    10

    0

    100

    90

    80

    70

    60

    50

    40

    30

    20

    10

    0

    <3 meters

    3-5 meters

    5-7 meters

    <3 meters

    3-5 meters

    5-7 meters

    Figure 5.6: No. of Garments Cut/ person/hr

    350

    300

    250

    200

    150

    100

    50

    NCR 1

    NCR 2

    NCR 3

    NCR 4

    NCR 5

    NCR 6

    NCR 7

    NCR 8

    NCR 9

    NCR 10

    NCR 11

    NCR 12

    NCR 13

    NCR 14

    NCR 15

    NCR 16

    NCR 17

    NCR 18

    NCR 19

    NCR 20

    NCR 21

    NCR 22

    NCR 23

    NCR 1

    NCR 2

    NCR 3

    NCR 4

    NCR 5

    NCR 6

    NCR 7

    NCR 8

    NCR 9

    NCR 10

    NCR 11

    NCR 12

    NCR 13

    NCR 14

    NCR 15

    NCR 16

    NCR 17

    NCR 18

    NCR 19

    NCR 20

    NCR 21

    NCR 22

    NCR 23

    0

    1. Sewing:

      1. Key performance parameter in sewing department is SAM (Standard allowed minutes) for any given style.

      2. There are several factors that affect SAM. Major among them are type of garment and style, type of fabric, use of attachments, operator skill (measured in terms of efficiency) and material handling systems/techniques.

      3. SAM values varied between 5 min to 76.8 min. Major reasons for this variation was differences in the style, work practices and operator skill. (Refer Fig-5.7)

      Figure 5.7: SAM/ Garment

      90

      80

      70

      60

      50

      40

      30

      20

      10

      NCR 1

      NCR 2

      NCR 3

      NCR 4

      NCR 5

      NCR 6

      NCR 7

      NCR 8

      NCR 9

      NCR 10

      NCR 11

      NCR 12

      NCR 13

      NCR 14

      NCR 15

      NCR 16

      NCR 17

      NCR 18

      NCR 19

      NCR 20

      NCR 21

      NCR 22

      NCR 23

      NCR 1

      NCR 2

      NCR 3

      NCR 4

      NCR 5

      NCR 6

      NCR 7

      NCR 8

      NCR 9

      NCR 10

      NCR 11

      NCR 12

      NCR 13

      NCR 14

      NCR 15

      NCR 16

      NCR 17

      NCR 18

      NCR 19

      NCR 20

      NCR 21

      NCR 22

      NCR 23

      0

    2. Finishing and Packing:

  1. Major activities covered under finishing are thread trimming, initial inspection, spotting, pressing, final inspection and packing. Large variation in productivity was observed in all these areas.

  2. In case of thread trimming, worker productivity/hr varied between 15 and 51 pieces (Refer Fig-5.8). This variation was largely due to style variation and degree of thread trimming required in the garment

  3. In case of pressing, worker productivity/hr varied between 7 and 60 pieces. (Refer Fig-5.9). This variation was largely due to variation in style, size, operator skill and work practices.

Figure 5.8 : No. of Garments Trimmed/person/hr

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

NCR 1

NCR 3

NCR 5

NCR 7

NCR 9

NCR 11

NCR 13

NCR 15

NCR 17

NCR 19

NCR 21

NCR 23

Figure 5.9 : No. of Garments Pressed/person/hr

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

NCR 1

NCR 2

NCR 3

NCR 4

NCR 5

NCR 6

NCR 7

NCR 8

NCR 9

NCR 10

NCR 11

NCR 12

NCR 13

NCR 14

NCR 15

NCR 16

NCR 17

NCR 18

NCR 19

NCR 20

NCR 21

NCR 22

NCR 23

NCR 1

NCR 2

NCR 3

NCR 4

NCR 5

NCR 6

NCR 7

NCR 8

NCR 9

NCR 10

NCR 11

NCR 12

NCR 13

NCR 14

NCR 15

NCR 16

NCR 17

NCR 18

NCR 19

NCR 20

NCR 21

NCR 22

NCR 23

CLUSTER : LUDHIANA(LDH) /INDORE(IDR)

Total No. of Units Covered: 9 Profile of Units Studied:

i.6 units were more than 20 years old while the remaining 3 units were less than 20 years old.

ii.7 units studied were domestic units, 1 unit was involved in both export and domestic and 1 unit was involved in garment exports only.

  1. All the 9 units were involved in manufacturing knitted garments. Major products manufactured are Mens, Ladies, and Kids Wear.

  2. Out of 9, 8 units were working 8 hrs/day while 1 unit was working double shift of 8 hrs. v.All the units were employing only salaried workmen.

vi.No. of sewing machines varied between 200-3500. Capacity Utilization varied between 21% and 93%. Actual garment production varied between 2,000-70,000 pieces/day. (Refer Fig 5.10, 5.11 and 5.12)

Figure 5.10: No. of Sewing Machines

4000

350

3000

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

0

LDH 1 LDH 2 LDH 3 LDH 4 LDH 5 LDH 6 LDH 7 LDH 8 IDR 1

Figure 5.11: Capacity Utilization (%)

100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

LDH 1 LDH 2 LDH 3 LDH 4 LDH 5 LDH 6 LDH 7 LDH 8 IDR 1

100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

LDH 1 LDH 2 LDH 3 LDH 4 LDH 5 LDH 6 LDH 7 LDH 8 IDR 1

Figure 5.12: Actual Production/ Day

160000

140000

120000

100000

80000

60000

40000

20000

0

LDH 1 LDH 2 LDH 3 LDH 4 LDH 5 LDH 6 LDH 7 LDH 8 IDR 1

160000

140000

120000

100000

80000

60000

40000

20000

0

LDH 1 LDH 2 LDH 3 LDH 4 LDH 5 LDH 6 LDH 7 LDH 8 IDR 1

Department-Wise Observations:

  1. Fabric Deptt:

    1. All the 9 units were following 4-point system for fabric inspection.

    2. The units were maintaining fabric inventory between 15 tonnes and 216 tonnes. iii.Most of the units are ERP system for fabric issue.

  2. Layering & Cutting:

    1. Time studies are conducted on styles manufactured from knitted fabrics by manual layering process.

    2. Significant variation between Marker length and actual Lay length was observed during the studies. The extent of variation was between 4cm and 10 cms. This can be attributed to poor work practices.

    3. In general, a layering team consists of 3 persons. It was observed that, for marker lengths 5-6 meters, layering productivity/team varies between 15-30 layers/team/hr while for marker length between 7-9 meters productivity/team varies between 24-60 layers/team/hr. (Refer Fig. 5.13).

    4. In cutting, studies were conducted mainly on Straight Knife machine. There was a wide variation in operator productivity between the units. No. of garment cut /cutting team/hour varied between 87-173 (Refer Fig. 5.14). Major reasons of variation were type of fabric being cut, operator skill and capacity utilization.

    Figure 5.13: No. of Layers/team/hr

    70

    60

    50

    40

    30

    20

    10

    0

    70

    60

    50

    40

    30

    20

    10

    0

    3-5 meters

    5-7 meters

    7-9 meters

    3-5 meters

    5-7 meters

    7-9 meters

    Figure 5.14: No. of Garments Cut/ person/hr

    450

    400

    350

    300

    250

    200

    150

    100

    50

    0

    LDH 1 LDH 2 LDH 3 LDH 4 LDH 5 LDH 6 LDH 7 LDH 8 IDR 1

    450

    400

    350

    300

    250

    200

    150

    100

    50

    0

    LDH 1 LDH 2 LDH 3 LDH 4 LDH 5 LDH 6 LDH 7 LDH 8 IDR 1

  3. Sewing:

    1. Key performance parameter in sewing department is SAM (Standard allowed minutes) for any given style.

    2. There are several factors that affect SAM. Major among them are type of garment and style, type of fabric, use of attachments, operator skill (measured in terms of efficiency) and material handling systems/techniques.

    3. SAM values varied between 12.5 min to 23 min. Major reasons for this variation was differences in the style, work practices and operator skill. (Refer Fig-5.15)

    Figure 5.15: SAM/ Garment

    25

    20

    15

    10

    5

    0

    LDH-1 LDH-2 LDH-3 LDH-4 LDH-5 LDH-6 LDH-7 LDH-8 IDR-1

  4. Finishing and Packing:

  1. Major activities covered under finishing are thread trimming, initial inspection, spotting, pressing, final inspection and packing. Large variation in productivity was observed in all these areas.

  2. In case of thread trimming, worker productivity/hr varied between 21-43 pieces (Refer Fig-5.16). This variation was largely due to style variation and degree of thread trimming required in the garment.

  3. In case of pressing, worker productivity/hr varied between 35 and 53 pieces. (Refer Fig-5.17). This variation was largely due to variation in style, size, operator skill and work practices.

Figure 5.16: No. of Garments Trimmed/person/hr

140

120

100

80

60

40

20

0

LDH 1 LDH 2 LDH 3 LDH 4 LDH 5 LDH 6 LDH 7 LDH 8 IDR 1

140

120

100

80

60

40

20

0

LDH 1 LDH 2 LDH 3 LDH 4 LDH 5 LDH 6 LDH 7 LDH 8 IDR 1

Figure 5.17 : No. of Garments Pressed/person/hr

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

LDH 1 LDH 2 LDH 3 LDH 4 LDH 5 LDH 6 LDH 7 LDH 8 IDR 1

6.0 BEST PRACTICES

Some of the best practices observed in the units of NCR and Ludhiana are shown in the Fig.6.1

Innovative Fabric Storage System

Innovative Fabric Storage System

Foldable laying table

Fabric Defect Identification Flag

Improved system of fusing

Improvised Garment Inspection Table

Projector guided cutting

Schiffli Cutting Device

Figure 6.1: Some of the Best Work Practices

7.0 CONCLUSIONS:

In case of both NCR and Ludhiana, it was observed that there is a significant variation in productivity of various departments between different units. This can be attributed to several factors such as type of fabric used, style, operator skills and work practices. Amongst all these, use of different work practices was observed to be a major contributor causing variation in productivity.

Therefore, by improving/adopting better work practices, it is possible improve productivity of various operations in a garment unit.

8.0 ACKNOWLEDGMENT:

Authors wish to thank the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India for sponsoring this project. The authors would also like to thank all the units who have participated in this study and extended their valuable support in conducting the studies. Authors are also thankful to the students of NIFT, Chennai and NIFT, Mumbai who have worked on this project.

9.0 BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Annual Report, Ministry of Textiles, 2015-16

  2. Garment Export Industry of India – A Comparison of Pre and Post Liberalization Performance, Deshpande P., SNDT Womens University, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

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