Implementation of Lean Tools in the Garments Industry to Improve Productivity

University essay from Högskolan i Halmstad

Abstract: A few years back, almost every garment manufacturer industry started implementing “lean Manufacturing.” Garments manufacturing is one of the oldest manufacturing systems, compromising a higher number of critical operations. The main performance indicators in the garment industry are the lead time, production rate, more wastage, and labor intensity. To remain competitive in the global market, the most important task for garments manufacturers is to reduce lead time and waste, which is also essential for productivity and long-term stable development. A headlong rush to reduce lead time and waste by turning into lean and responsive manufacturing has created an urgency for researchers and practitioners to apply new tools and techniques for discovering wastages. This thesis focuses on the application of value stream mapping in the garments industry to implement lean manufacturing system. Value stream mapping (VSM) helps visualize Material Flow and Information Flows of all components, cycle times, and utilization of resources. VSM is a proven lean technique in identifying and eliminating wastes in accommodation with similar or identical product routings. The research approach adopted in this thesis is abductive. Qualitative has been collected by the structured and semi-structured interviews. A single case observation has been made to use VSM as a lean tool to achieve productivity improvement at a selected garment company. Both current and future state mapping of cutting section and sewing line scenarios are discussed using value stream concepts. This was analyzed along with the process lead time as standard minute value (SMV) calculation and two gaps as productive time and non-productive.  Finally, gain in productivity (increase output pcs, less worker, less working hours), increased productive time, and reduce non-productive time was calculated.

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