Cutting room is a very important sec tion in the garment manufacturing process which has a major impact on the production of a factory. The cutting room controls the utilisation of fabric which makes up to 70 per cent of the total cost. Small wastages and savings can have a huge effect on the efficiency and profitability for an organisation.
Cutting is the first operation of garment manufacturing and it lays the foundation of quality of the garment to be made. Any carelessness in the cutting process can affect the quality of a garment. Hence, we need to ensure the smooth flow of all the processes taking place in the cutting room and utilise the resources accurately and with precision.
Let us take a quick look at the 8 things, which if taken into consideration can provide amazing results for a factory.
Correct use of spreading paper
- Easy separation of cut lay into bundles in case of shade variations during fabric spreading
- In case of synthetic fibres, the spreading paper is used between the plies to avoid fusion between fabric and cutting blade
- To create vacuum among the spread plies for even and easy cutting
Where can we improve?
- The right use of spreading table can help us in better cutting of the lays (fabric). The spreading paper should be chosen according to the nature of the fabric and its thickness. Let’s understand this with an example.
Let’s say suppose we have a sheer fabric, say Chiffon. In this case if we use a hard or thicker spreading paper then the chances are that the cutting quality would lack precision and accuracy because the hard paper could create problems in cutting. Hence, it is not beneficial to use one kind of spreading paper for the cutting of all kinds of fabrics.
- In the case of automatic cutting, once the lay is kept on the table, a polyethylene sheet is spread over the lay. The operator starts the vacuum pump and the air is sucked out of the lay and gets compacted.
The vacuum stops the fabric moving while it is being cut, and makes sure the cut pieces stay in place while the rest of the pieces are being cut. With perforated spreading paper, you cover the fabric with a layer of sacrificial plastic film so the vacuum works properly. The use of non-perforated or non-porous paper on the other hand might create problems in suction and eventually in cutting.
Proper positioning of end catchers and folding bars
End Catchers hold the fabric at the end of the lay by aligning the edge. An end catcher is a special set-up, either permanently or temporarily, fixed in the spreading table.
Uses of end catchers and folding bars:
The use of end catchers and folding bars depends upon the whether the spreading mode is face-to-face or face-one-way. In the case of face-to-face laying, the end catcher and folding bars work together. These end catchers and folding bars are mounted at opposite ends of the marker to catch and hold the fabric.
Where can we improve:
The end treatments have a major impact on the fabric wastage in the cutting room. There must be enough fabric at the end of the lay to retain it in place, but any fabric beyond that is wasted. Thus, it is important to use these mechanical parts in the right way to avoid wastage and reduce time.
mportance of machine calibration
Machine calibration is one of the primary processes used to maintain its accuracy of machines / equipment. Regular calibration of instruments and machines is an important requirement to detect and correct any variation in its performance. Over time, there is a tendency for results and accuracy to shift from the correct measure, hence calibration helps by ensuring the accuracy of the device.
Where can we improve?
Regular calibration of machines is many times neglected in the cutting room and this might result in increased errors and uncertainties. The cutting machine and other important tools must be calibrated timely so that the degree of error becomes less and better productivity is achieved.
Fabric type optimisation of spreader and cutter modes
The fabric spreading machines are equipped with various modes and production control software that store all different parameters according to the fabric you spread. These different modules store the necessary information like total minutes, total working time and total metres spread per marker, day and week. This information can be used to improve the productivity of cutting and spreading. These modules are much like the camera modes for clicking pictures in your smartphone. Different modes are for different conditions and requirements.
Where can we improve?
Fabric type optimisation is a necessary element in the spreading machines which is, at times neglected and not taken into consideration. It is important for the spreading machine to behave differently in case of different fabrics. This not only helps achieve maximum performance but also to reduce material costs.
Cutter speed: Importance of cutter speed
The cutter speed depends primarily on the kind of material you are cutting and the kind of cutting tool you are using. The thickness of the fabric has a great deal to do with the recommended cutting speed. The thicker the fabric, the slower the recommended cutting speed.
Where can we improve: Many factories use conventional cutting speed for cutting rather than focusing on the type of material being cut. Due to this, sometimes the cutting is not done in full efficiency which if done effectively can contribute in increasing a factory’s efficiency. Hence, it is important to focus on the type of fabric and cutting tool used rather than relying on the conventional cutting speeds which may reduce the efficiency of the cutting process.
As mentioned in the 1st point, while cutting, the lay is covered with a polyethylene sheet to create a vacuum which helps in the even cutting. Now the moment cutting starts, it destroys the vacuum created by the polyethylene sheet which might affect the cutting quality. To avoid this, re-sealers polysheetsare introduced which re-seal the lay as the cutting process is worked on. This helps in persistent vacuum creation within the lay and eventually in the even cutting of the fabric. Resealers are a secure way of holding fabric on the auto-cutter.
Oiling of spreading table
Proper oiling of the spreading table is an essential part of the cutting process. Oiled surface allows easy movement of the lay or blocks on the spreading table. Not only this, oiling also helps in increasing the life of the spreading table with the help of lubrication and conditioning. Silicone oil is used for this purpose.
Importance of notches: In the garment industry, notches are used as a form of communication between pattern maker, cutter and the sewing person. These notches are created by making small indents on the edges of seam allowances to the pattern which then are transferred onto the cut pieces of the garment so that they can be sewn correctly. These notches are given either on the inside or the outside of the cut pieces.
Correct use of the notches is essential to ensure that the fabric is not stretched out of proportion as it is sewn.
Where can we improve?
There should be more use of the inward notches unless and until outward notches are specifically required. The reason being that the outward notches require extra fabric which later, adds on to the waste.
Another reason is that outward notches in the pattern require extra space in the marker which can be eliminated in case of inward notches. Hence, outward notches may also affect the marker efficiency to some extent.
Cutting room is an extremely important section in the garment manufacturing process. Fabric plays a vital role in the garment trade; it represents a high percentage of the garment cost. The above-mentioned points are small factors that can create big differences in the efficient management of the cutting room. Efficient and better use of the resources ensures smooth flow of work to all further processes.
Also, these small measures help in getting high fabric utilisation which provides a better customer service. The cutting room is the place that consumes the fabric to make a value addition as cut panels. Therefore, proper utilisation of resources in a cutting is a must to reduce the fabric consumption.