Quality Assurance (Q.A) in Denim Fabric Production

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Ariful Islam Sunny

Shift Engineer, Quality Assurance Department (QAD)

Amber Denim Ltd.

Value of Q.A.: The QAD plays a vital role in an organization to make a brand valuable in the market for their products and reputation. The team who works for identifying quality of a product from raw material to end uses and give approval for further production as known as Q.A.D. team. They also identify problems in production and also address the claims by the buyers, then work for the solution. Q.A is also a data hub for the factory as they prepare, collect and analyze huge amount of data related to the full production & life cycle of that product.

Hierarchy of the Q.A.D in a Denim Fabric Factory:

G.M (Plant)

D.G.M (Plant)

A.G.M (Q.A)

Sr. Manager (Q.A)

Manager (Q.A)

Deputy Manager (Q.A)

Asst. Manager (Q.A)

Sr. Shift Engineer (Q.A)

Shift Engineer (Q.A)

P.O (Production Officer)

A.P.O ( Asst. Production Officer)

Staffs

Workers

Working Area: Raw Material, Process Parameters, Production Quality, Manpower Efficiency, Buyer Requirement, Buyer Claim Issue, Buyer Approval, Delivery Clearance, Shade, Support for marketing, Fabric testing analysis, mending etc.

Figure: A test report of yarn as per ISO standard.

Raw Material: Every raw material related to production such as yarn, chemical, dyes enter into process through a selection procedure after testing and measuring its quality by Q.A team. From these, yarn quality identification & selection is a crucial part for quality production. Yarn quality is identified by measuring some major criteria such as tear & tensile strength, CSP, Hairiness, residual extension of elastic fabric, TPI according to buyer requirement/ISO standard and comparing the quality between different supplier.

Process parameters: Q.A team observe production and collect data from running production such as

  1. Warping parameters are yarn lot, yarn breakage, yarn shade, hairiness etc.
  2. Dyeing parameters are dye lot & supplier, yarn dyed shade, staining, line mark etc.
  3. Sizing parameters are total breakage, lapper formation, sticky formation, ultimate beam quality.
  4. Weaving parameters are weft lot & supplier, warp & weft CMPX, warp stop, filling stop, efficiency, machine RPM, fabric width, fabric weight, fabric skew, fabric bowing etc.
  5. At finishing stage Q.A team observe the fabric from grey to after finish & wash carefully for taking its decision for full bulk. The stage start by receiving overall fabric roll from weaving which is 1st doffing of 2nd First they check grey overall quality in inspection & identify 100% faults for reporting. Next they inspect the roll again after finish for 100% faults identifying and send a findings report to weaving and top management about the performance of the bulk with a comments for taking preventive actions if the quality is bad. Otherwise production will be hold before solution. Parameters of this stage are fabric width, weight, skew, bowing, shrinkage, shade, faults percentage as per 4 points system, lab testing result in ISO standard.
Figure: Fabric physical test report format after finish & wash.

Production & Product Quality: Q.A team prepare a data chart of every bulk process and store it for future use. If they get order of same fabric then they use the stored previous data status to analyze & taking measures where should be developed in present process such as raw material, production process, chemicals, machines, fabric parameters etc. they also work to develop online production quality by observing running production and if find any problematic area that is not covering requirement then they informed to related department for implementing a preventive action instantly.

Manpower Efficiency: Majorly Q.A team check 10% inspected roll by inspection for finding efficiency of inspection operators and ensuring a efficient marking inspected fabric to buyers for avoiding next claim. Sometimes they arrange training session with operators to develop their efficiency how should be operated a fabric process to fulfill its requirement for better quality and buyer requirement. The training continue to supply buyer manual information and factory production policy.

Figure :Shade table for grading fabric before delivery.

Buyer Requirement: Q.A team receive buyer shade approval and fabric requirement via marketing team to ensure the ultimate product meet buyer standard. Q.A team store the shade with its required data as a production guidelines source that every department communicate with Q.A team to get buyer standard when they will run the process and follow the guidelines. Q.A team compare these buyer required parameters after process with production that is it okay or not.

Buyer Requirement & Claim Solution: Q.A team follow the quality of product which meet buyer expectation within price range. They always works to cover the quality prior to get confirmation of delivery by checking. If any claim arise by vendor/buyer regarding fabric quality defects they receive the issue by marketing team from vendor/buyer and start work on it.

  • All stored data regarding the issued article included Inspection & Delivery comments check.
  • Identifying the issued problem sources by analyzing.
  • Re testing the problem by own testing lab to identify the claim authentic or wrong.
  • Try to cover the problem by mending support if possible.
  • Visit the buyer/vendor house to check the claim physically and check it by join inspection to find out the problematic balance.
  • Finally take a decision what should be suitable.

Buyer Approval and Delivery Clearance: Q.A team collect a shade approval from buyer against every order and prepare a PP sample from bulk which closer to the approval and requirement. Then they send it to vendor for confirmation. If they get confirmation it is okay then bulk preparation for delivery according to the PP sample become start and before delivery Q.A team check every criteria of bulk such as shade, width, hand feel, weight, fabric appearance, shrinkage etc. according buyer manual.

Support for marketing: Q.A team directly related with marketing team. If any information and smooth delivery support need from factory marketing team directly discuss with Q.A team to get better feedback. Also marketing team send the buyer approval to Q.A for preparing its next stage and bulk quality level. If any claim arise marketing team take support from Q.A to solve the issue.

Fabric testing analysis: To check the performance of every article fabric Q.A team send a fabric to testing lab for lab report & prepare a physical test report by own analysis. The summarize the data and analyze it as per buyer manual and ISO standard. The take preventive action where it necessary.

RCA and CAP: RCA- Root Cause Analysis and CAP- Corrective Action Plan report is all about problem identifying and solving system of Q.A. if any major problem occur in production from process then quality team issue it to production team to get their comments what is the reason of problem and what is their corrective action plan included who is responsible person against it.

Shading: Shade is a very important point in denim. Q.A team check the shade of finished fabric or washed fabric as per buyer expectation before delivery. The shade grade mark as A,B,C,D……..Hold. If shade variation become less then grade will be less otherwise grade will be increased finally some fabrics can be hold. The shade which is more far from approval that one become select for hold and send it for reprocess.

Mending: A mending team perform under the Q.A team. According Q.A guidance the team mending the fabric which is performed badly in weaving and fabrics quality become poor. The team remove some defects which possible by mending such as short loose, knot, slub, foreign yarn, contamination etc. to make the fabric elite as much as possible. Also the visit vendor garments if arise any claim for fabrics defect which is removable by mending or touch up.

Comments: Q.A department play a very technical role in denim project and it has more expanded area of working. Q.A team can work on any measures of any process with any department. Q.A team communicate with the top management directly to make decision regarding quality issue of production.  There is a chance to be a Q.A specialist, fabric technologist, decision maker etc. Q.A team can apply any decision on production for quality purpose which is a very satisfying point of working in the team.

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