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How does power quality impact textile manufacturing costs?

Electricity is necessary to run modern technology, and not just as a basic supply. The amount, especially for resource-heavy operations, can generally impact performance. It means that hardware or equipment can influence the processes they are being used to complete. Therefore, the power supply and its reliability in manufacturing directly correlate with product quality.

How does power quality impact textile manufacturing costs?
Figure: General machining and textile manufacturing are not the same, and neither is the equipment used. Cortesy: Collected.

That issue extends to all forms of manufacturing that utilize high-technology machines, including textile manufacturing. Most equipment relies on electronic controllers, such as control cards or mainboards, driver-controlled motors, and powered pulleys and systems. Poor or inefficient power can damage machinery, so while it might have a definitive short[1]term impact on product quality, long-term effects should also be explored.

Power quality impacts textile manufacturing

Imagine a manual process that requires a worker’s constant focus, energy and attention. If and when they are distracted, the task at hand will suffer. Power delivery and efficiency are slightly different in mechanics, but it’s similar in how it impacts the quality of work.

There are four major manufacturing processes: shearing and forming, joining, casting and molding, and machining. They all require varying degrees of power to complete, which must be sustained. Every movement a machine makes while undergoing these processes alters the item, as the material is handled with precision. Not all forms are used in textile manufacturing, but milling, threading, gassing, spinning and even tufting machines all play an integral role.

Power that goes out in the middle of a process halts the entire operation. A standard task will then take longer to complete even if the power comes back on within a short period, directly affecting the weave, casting or forming quality of the item. That lowers costs by extending the assembly phase.

The stopping and restarting will change how the goods are developed and may even lead to defects or failures, which increases waste, damaged materials and time spent. General machining and textile manufacturing are not the same, and neither is the equipment used.

However, they require sufficient power to continue operating at optimal performance levels. Unavailable or inefficient energy causes machines to work poorly, and in some cases, they can shut down completely due to low or fluctuating voltages.

Power quality affects manufacturing costs

The effects of poor or inefficient power are twofold. The products suffer, which means customer satisfaction and brand loyalty can decrease. At the same time, waste may increase due to damaged or ineffective products that can’t be sold. The next layer is that the equipment or hardware used to develop the garments deteriorates much faster.

Inefficient power negatively impacts their electrical components. The machines could degrade quickly or fail more often, requiring more maintenance and attention. The costs are exponential because equipment may need to be replaced, parts must be ordered, and the manpower necessary to keep them operational and serviced will increase.

The loss of materials or increase in waste is another major consideration. Fabric used to make garments accounts for about 60%-70% of the total cost. A malfunctioning machine not getting enough power could damage fabric during manufacturing, creating excess waste.

The more devices and hardware malfunction, misfire, fail or operate outside of optimal levels, the more materials are ruined, ballooning costs for yet another facet of textile manufacturing.

Improving the power source

It’s easy for manufacturers to fall into the trap of thinking there’s only one valid source of power — the energy grid. However, it’s not the only option. In fact, building a reliable backup source into regular operations is always recommended, even in regions where power and electricity are fairly reliable.

The most obvious choice is to install and maintain backup generators, which can supply electricity to mission-critical equipment during a failure. They aren’t necessarily the focus for keeping production going but instead provide a good way to pause work without sacrificing quality.

Equipment can be shut down promptly and effectively rather than immediately severing the power connection in the middle of a task. There are many benefits to buying used generators and equipment, which help offset some of the initial costs of acquiring new gear.

The prices are lower, there are shorter lead times and there’s a lot less paperwork. Plus, when you obtain items from trusted distributors, there’s no reason to worry about reliability.

Another solution to focus on is renewable energy, including solar and wind. Textile manufacturing equipment often has a heavy power load, so the aim shouldn’t be to run the entire operation on green sources.

However, it can provide a backup solution when there’s a power outage and will certainly help lower costs, especially if you’re using renewables to generate electricity.

Understanding power quality

It is possible to measure power quality coming into an electricity grid and being supplied to operational equipment. However, supply and circuit issues do occur, and sometimes there’s no avoiding them. The best contingency is to have a backup power source, whether from traditional or electric generators or renewable sources.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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