Work Study for Textile and Garment Industry
For all the pragmatists out there who don’t know what they want to study yet, the garment industry might just be what you are looking for. Work-study for the textile and garment industry is probably one of the most satisfying careers you can get into if you are all about efficiency and making things better.
If you have ever watched one of those mass production videos on YouTube where all the machines are automated to ensure maximum productivity, you’ll know how satisfying it could be. But how do you get into the field?
What is work-study?
The term itself can be a bit misleading, but when you break it down, it makes complete sense. In short, work-study is an analytical study in the field of industrial engineering.
Engineers will analyze existing systems and methods of carrying out a specific task and make improvements on those systems to lower costs and ensure maximum efficiency by attaining the best possible use for man, machine and material.
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What does a typical job look like?
A typical work-study in a garment manufacturing plant will start with a method study, which is an investigative technique used to determine the best way to do a particular job. Every phase in a process is analyzed and the most effective means of executing these phases are determined.
The third part of this study revolves around problem-solving. The basic formula that work-study engineers follow has the same pattern. Firstly, a task to study is selected. The facts around the observations are recorded and critically examined.
A new method is then developed and defined. This method is then introduced as a standard practice. After the method has been introduced, regular checks are performed to see if any updates or maintenance is required.
The tools of the trade
In the garment industry, there are a couple of fields or applications for work-study. Line layouts are often where the ball is dropped and where most changes can be made. Once the line layout is sorted out, it needs to be balanced to ensure that it runs smoothly. Garment factories want to ensure that materials are used effectively.
This is why material management or information systems are put in place. These systems are developed to minimize wastage and to squeeze the most out of the available textiles.
Saving money on material cost is important, but when quality is affected, it becomes a loss. Quality management systems are then put in place to balance things out. Scheduling is the last area of work. Production happens in phases and you want to ensure that the best possible schedule of events is configured.
The day-to-day work-study
There is never a dull moment and there is always room to improve. Technology advances at a rapid rate and what used to be best practice today might be outdated tomorrow. Frequent operation breakdown checks are done to measure against new technology to see if things are still running optimally.
To determine if there are any fluctuations in production, time studies are frequently done. Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly reports are drawn to monitor production accurately.
If there are dips in production, cause and loss studies are done to determine where the problem areas lie and what the negative effects are. These areas are then promptly dealt with and can lead to new line developments or maintenance.
The value that work-study adds
The most obvious value that work-study adds to the garment industry is lowing manufacturing costs. In effect, it then also helps in increasing profitability. As the saying goes, time is money and work studies eliminate unnecessary work and shorten production times.
When a work-study is properly done, it saves time and money and ensures that a certain product standard is maintained. In the garment industry, this is vitally important and a dip in standards could mean great losses in the future as customers lose faith in a brand or product.
Lastly, work studies are often at the forefront of innovation and development. The industrial engineers that run the studies will quickly determine a need, opening the doors for technology to further develop.
There aren’t many jobs in the world that offer the same level of job satisfaction as work studies. After you put in the hours, you can immediately see the positive change your handiwork has brought about. If you have a teachable and curious nature, then you might just have found your dream career.