Friday, May 27, 2011


Materials handling is concerned with the efficient movement of goods through the conversion process. From the time fabric is unloaded from the truck until finished garments are packaged and shipped, storage and movement of materials and work in process must be planned and tracked to facilitate throughput. Handling materials does not add value to a product, but it affects work flow and productivity.

Handling costs can be reduced by eliminating as much handling as possible and reducing the distance materials are moved. Three aspects of materials handling need to be planned and evaluated: (1) handling and processing of in coming goods, (2) movement of work in process, and (3) distribution of the finished product.

Materials handling methods used at work stations depend on how garment parts are presented to the operator, the degree of automation, and the disposal system used. Materials handling procedures are incorporated in the production method for each operation. Work aids such as slanted tables for positioning parts, folders and binders for positioning trims, and automated cutters are some of the many ways an operation may be simplified and handling kept to a minimum. Handling time may account for up to 80 percent of sewing operation time.

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