Textiles - Production Systems

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One-off Production

This is where a one-off textile product is made by an individual designer-maker, craftsperson or company to meet an individual client's requirement.

Also known as individual production, job production and make through production.

Traditional method where the whole garment is made by one operator, and each product is only made once or in small quantities.

This process needs highly skilled, experienced operators and versatile machinery.

EXAMPLE: Haute couture

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Batch Production

This is where items are produced in specific quantities. They may be made in one production run or in batches to be repeated at certain times.

Batches can range in number from 2 or 3 to a hundred thousand or more.

Machinery must be versatile, as could be used for different products on a daily basis (e.g. skirts one day, trousers the next).

Skilled workers are needed.

Involves complex planning as products made change frequently, so orders can be met on time.

EXAMPLE: swimwear (generally only needed in summer)

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Mass Production

Large quantities of products are involved.

Machines are in contiuous use for long periods of time, so are specialised and expensive. Machinery and operating skills are specific to the job in hand. Computers are used to monitor and control processes.

Equipment, materials etc. are well organised for smooth flow of work to minimise cost. Variations of products kept to a minimum, to minimalise changes needed to be made which would be costly.

EXAMPLE: Basic items (e.g. tshirts, tights).

Types of mass production:

  • Synchronised/straight-line production - work passed along a production line, each operate is resposible for one task.
  • Repetitive flow production - Manufacture is divided into sub-assembly lines that each focus of one area of the processes.
  • Continual flow production - used for massive volumes of items, process runs 24 hours a day.
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Cell Production and Progressive Bundle Production

Cell Production:

Divide the workforce into small teams that all produce the same product.

Rely on each team to take responsibilty for the quality of products they produce.

Progressive Bundle Production:

Uses small teams that are each responsible for a particular part of the production process.

Like cell production, but for individual parts of the garment.

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Off-the-Peg Manufacture

Except Haute Couture (job production) the different production systems are designed to produce "off-the-peg" garments - ready-made garments in standard sizes.

Uses templates in standard sizes to reduce costs.

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Just-in-Time Stock Control

Materials, components and sub-assemblies are delivered a short time before they are needed.

Less space is required for storage and no money is wasted on surplus stock.

There must be no mistakes, or production canbe held up.

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