Gerber Technology regional director Bob Vallender said with the end of quota restrictions on textiles by 2005 and growing competition from China, there are a set of new challenges emerging for the garment industry. These include reducing costs, improving efficiency, improving productivity, quality and lead times, besides improving the flow of information. It is necessary for the industry to focus more on fabric as it constitutes to nearly 95 per cent of the cutting room costs and 65 per cent of the total cost of the end product. He was speaking at a seminar on Innovation for garment productivity held here recently.
To manage the fabric and to improve savings, the garment industry has to go in for complete automation of critical areas like the spreading and cutting room processes. Besides saving labour cost, automation will also facilitate in improving the productivity and the quality of the end product, he said.
For instance, if a factory producing 10,000 garments per day goes in for complete automation of the spreading and cutting process, it would be able to save close to about $75,000 during the first year of operation. At the cutting room, with the help of the spreading machine and automatic cutters, four people would be able to perform the cutting operation as against 12 people. The savings would be in the range of $75 per month per operator, which means $600 per month for eight operators, he said. Automation of cutting process would also ensure quality work and reduce the incidence of re-cuts and its associated costs. Similarly, they would be able to save at the sewing stage as it would improve productivity with the present employee strength, he added.
Mr Bob Vallender said with increased competition and falling prices in the international market it is imperative for the garment industry to adopt newer mechanisms and be highly competitive.