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50th Anniversary of JUKI SEWING RESEARCH INSTITUTE Case Study (1) VIETNAM Factory
Productivity and Train Leaders
Realization of Advanced Apparel Factory with Ideas
YY CHEN (陳衍佑), Managing Director
The factory surrounded by trees
Various techniques have been applied in the factory. The fluorescent lamps suspended from the ceiling are mounted in the shape of "V" - a technique to prevent shadows at hand
2-Needle, Overlock Stitch Sewing Machine (MO-6914S) Threads are fed through a narrow pipe to prevent them from being cut and protect from dust. Threads are led from a thread case installed under the sewing machine. All the sewing machines have this feature
Computer-controlled, High-speed, Lockstitch, Button Sewing Machine (LK-1903ASS), Computercontrolled, High-speed, Lockstitch, Buttonholing Machine (LBH-1790S), Computer-controlled, Highspeed, Bartacking Machine (LK-1900ASS) Transpor tation and movement of the operator having these three machines is reduced considerably
KAIZEN seminar held in April, 2007. The lecturers were from JUKI Sewing Research Institute. Time Study was practiced in the actual production lines
On the basis of the results of Time Study, the line balance and bottleneck process were identified to consider proposals for improvement. They generated improvement by 15% in the practical seminar held for 2 days
Attachment seminar held in March, 2008 Participants practice to design and make attachments
Various techniques have been applied in the sewing lines.
1-needle, Lockstitch Machine with Automatic Thread Trimmer (DDL-8700-7)
High-speed, Cylinder-bed, Top and Bottom Coverstitch Machine (MF-7823)
"We had 4,000 employees in 2007 but it's reduced to 3,000 at present. Presently the order volume is low and we believe it is the right time to improve the productivity of our factory." said Mr. Y Y Chen, Managing Director.
TMI(TUNG MUNG International)was established 1983 and started production in Singapore and Indonesia. They set up another company in Vietnam in 1998 to produce garments for ADIDAS. They have 3 factories; Unit 1 and Unit 2 produce ADIDAS products on the same premises. Unit 3 was built in 2001, located 3 km away from the present site to produce NIKE products.
"Products being handled are sport jackets, bottoms etc. All the products are exported - 70% of the export is for the U.S.A., 20% to Europe and the remaining 10% is bound to Japan etc. Apparel production in Vietnam is doing well but the main target is massproduced items for supermarkets in the U.S.A. and production of mid- and high-end garments are sluggish.
In the garment market in Asia, exportoriented factories in China are declining. Growing production is mainly for domestic consumption and for exports to Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia.Most international brands have shifted their manufacturing bases to other countries from China. Although I also would like to transfer production of mid- and high-end items to Vietnam, unavailability of materials is a problem. This is the major concern of Vietnam but the material production has started, and after 2-3 years, prospects in Vietnam will be very bright. We are enthusiastically looking forward to it." said Mr. Y Y Chen.
The Highly Efficient Sewing Lines Are Full of Ideas
The company produces NIKE and ADIDAS products mainly for the U.S.A. market, whose consumption is in a downturn. What should the company do in such a situation? The answer is, "now that the production volume is small, it's the right time to improve the constitution of our factory".(Mr. Y Y Chen)
It is astonishing to see the company's factory with well Seiri-Seiton (orderliness, neatness and tidiness) and various techniques pursuing high quality and high productivity level. The results of the KAIZEN activities can be seen all over the production lines.
As it is clear from the photographs, the production lines are full of KAIZEN ideas - the lights mounted diagonally, threadfeeding pipes that prevent threads from being cut, a machine layout that generates the least transfer and movement of the operators, and various types of attachments etc.
100 Participants in the KAIZEN Seminar
Lecturers Are Experts from JUKI Sewing Research Institute
The company has been organizing IE seminars since 2007 for the production-line leaders aiming at improving the manufacturing quality. The first KAIZEN seminar was held in April 2007, which was lectured by the experts from JUKI. 50 leaders participated in the seminar held for two days along with the OJT and succeeded in 15% of improvement in the line balance. In following January, the same course was held for 50 leaders, which resulted in a remarkable improvement as in the previous one.
Topics of the seminar included Process Analysis, Time Study, Motion Study, Line Balancing etc. Consequently, 100 members of the company acquired the IE methods and they are putting efforts for KAIZEN activities.
Also, technical seminar for attachment production by JUKI experts was held in 2008 to lecture their original know-how. The company expects that "those mechanics and leaders who learned the IE methods will improve the productivity of the sewing lines with their efforts in the day-to-day operations". (Mr. Tan Loo Lee, General Manager)
At present, the company has 60 mechanics and 8 IEs, which are remarkably high numbers for a factory with 3,000 employees.
This is an evidence of how serious they are about KAIZEN and the effects of the KAIZEN activities are visible in the factory.
Shift from Single-item Production
of Sportswear to Multi-item Production
The Company has 4 designers who make approximately 300 samples per season. So far, each factory has been assigned with 1 customer and they have specialized in production for the customer. However, as the lot size is likely to shrink, "we would like to expand to other apparel items rather than sticking to sportswear". (Mr. Y Y Chen)
The Vietnamese garment industry is at a critical turning point now. What should be produced in the future? Looking at the minimum wage, there is no choice between mass-produced and higher-end products - production of mid- and high-end items is a must. The concerns in that case are technical skills, productivity, and materials. Material manufacturing has started and it is a matter of time to see if it works effectively. The remaining matters are technical skills and productivity, which are the company's focus.
The prospect of the company is promising because it is proceeding on a royal road with efforts to improve technical skills and promote high quality and productivity.