Textile production problems: How to reduce their impacts?

Machine inside a textile company.

It is common for industry managers to encounter textile production problems during the execution of operational processes.

The good thing about this is that difficulties, such as bottlenecks, can be predicted and even minimized or eliminated after detection.

And, through management initiatives, it is possible to turn problems in textile production into positive results. Between them:

  • Cost reduction;
  • Reduction in manufacturing time;
  • Maximizing productivity;
  • Compliance with delivery deadlines.


But what is a production bottleneck?

The most overloaded stage of the production process is the one that generally corresponds to a bottleneck.

This bottleneck can be caused by a machine, equipment, employee or work sector.

The resource that generates problems in textile production will be a limiter of capacity or production speed. Therefore, it needs to be identified and its restrictions eliminated.

It is important to understand that when eliminating one bottleneck, another may appear at a different stage of production. For this reason, standardization of the production process is essential.

It means that the bottleneck automatically changes location each time improvements are implemented.


+ Find out more: What is quality control? How does it work in textile manufacturing?


Bottlenecks in a manufacturing plant

Once identified which industry operation is overloaded and, consequently, taking longer than the others to complete, the manager will also be able to point out that there is accumulation in the previous stage and a lack in the subsequent one.

Illustration of a manager making an assessment of textile production problems.
It’s essential for the responsible party to have access to information about each stage of the process to identify where these bottlenecks are occurring.


In a clothing manufacturing facility, it can be even easier to observe where production is slowing down. One problem in textile production can be the delay in moving a garment from one stage to the next.

For example, a pair of pants goes through the stages of pocket sewing, assembly, and finishing. If the pocket sewing stage proceeds quickly, it sends many pieces to assembly.

However, if this stage is slow (a bottleneck), there will be a buildup of material and a delay in releasing assembled pants for finishing.

In turn, the finishing department will be idle (producing less than it could) until pieces arrive from assembly.

Moreover, it’s feasible for managers to know if the bottleneck in the problematic stage is caused by a malfunctioning machine or an employee delaying the process.

Therefore, it’s essential for the manufacturing facility to be modernized and maintain a data-driven management approach.


Possible sources of bottlenecks:

  • Machines with defects and setup times (operational problems);
  • Lack of skilled labor, demotivated team, and lack of training (human problems);
  • Issues with suppliers and government regulations (external problems);
  • Difficulties with poorly optimized factory layout and lack of production standardization (shop floor problems);
  • Speed between workstations and lack of data management/control software (process problems).


+ Find out more: Textile quality control and mesh preparation


Damage that can be caused by bottlenecks

The theory of constraints is a management model that deals with bottlenecks in production. Segundo seus fundamentos:


A constraint is anything in a company that prevents it
or limits your movement towards your goals.


In other words, the existence of a bottleneck – regardless of the production stage in which it occurs – will have an effect on the total capacity of the system, or on the final product of a garment.

Therefore, a bottleneck in production can cause problems in textile production such as:

  • Losses generated by the idleness of machinery, employees and work centers;
  • Excess stocks of certain parts (products);
  • Higher fixed cost of each product, due to underutilization of capital.


E-book]How to ensure quality control in the textile industry?


How to reduce or eliminate bottlenecks

Recognizing the existence and identifying problems in textile production, such as bottlenecks, is the first step towards eliminating them.

Therefore, it is necessary to study the manufacturing production process and identify which steps present bottlenecks and cause losses.

Once this is done, managers need to map and monitor operations. This way, it will be easier for them to notice new faults.


+ Find out more: How to modernize quality control in manufacturing?


To learn more about quality control, prevention and solutions to problems in textile production, access more information in our E-book on: How to ensure quality control in the textile industry.

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