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Technology can transform apparel manufacturing

New wage board of apparel industry is already in effect from this December, price war is also on the battlefield and production cost is increasing constantly. For this reason, it is being gradually hard for the apparel makers to secure a better profit margin. However, they are not sitting idle, rather trying to find out different ways to increase the profit margin. In this regard, technological development or automation could be a better solution as it helps to cut production cost and increase productivity.

Bangladesh is the next hub for apparel manufacturing

Though there are some barriers, but Bangladesh apparel sector is growing steadily and according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, in July-November period of the current fiscal year, export earnings from the readymade garment sector went up by 18.59% to USD 14.18 billion, which was USD 11.96 billion in the same period last year.

Country-wise global market share of apparel exporting in 2017
Table: Country-wise global market share of apparel exporting in 2017. Source: WTO

Vietnam, Turkey, India, Cambodia etc. rival countries are also seeing a huge growth within a short span of time in the apparel export earnings. China is already shifting their focus from basic textile to more high-end and technical products, which is creating an opportunity for others.

But, experts predict that after China, Bangladesh is a more capable and ready hub for the apparel industry and it is also working really hard to grab more global market share. After the Rana Plaza incident, Bangladeshi RMG industry has improved the safety standard significantly which restored the buyer’s confidence and they are now positive of placing more orders here.

However, as competition is getting harder day by day, so that, there is no option to stop the progress process. In addition, to sustain in this competition, Bangladesh apparel manufacturers need to adopt technology that will further boost the industry.

How technology is the solution

Many people may say that Bangladesh is not enough prepared to catch the opportunity that has been created for China’s policy. And many may ask “Is Bangladesh enough capable to take that huge load?” The answer is “Yes”! But, many issues have to be considered to remain competitive and to ensure a better profit margin.

Right now 46% increase of workers wage is the headache for the apparel manufacturers, as they have to find way outs to stay afloat. There could be many solutions but the technology could play a vital role in this context.

H N Ashiqur Rahman, General Manager of Brother International Singapore Pte Ltd.
Figure 1: H N Ashiqur Rahman, General Manager of Brother International Singapore Pte Ltd.

H N Ashiqur Rahman, General Manager of Brother International Singapore Pte Ltd, working as a technology provider for more than a decade in the apparel industry said to Textile Today, “Technology always opens a new horizon for the manufacturers. As a technology provider, we are committed to support the industry with better technology. We are continuously working to add new cost-saving features to our machines that will give extra mileage to the manufacturers.”

As a technology provider, we are committed to support the industry with better technology. We are continuously working to add new cost-saving features to our machines that will give extra mileage to the manufacturers.

H N Ashiqur Rahman, General Manager of Brother International Singapore Pte Ltd.

“Currently automation could create an opportunity to expand our garments industry in terms of productivity and value-addition. Workers salary has already increased and buyers are continuously squeezing the price. In this situation, automation is the crying need for the industry to sustain the business,” he also added.

Brother is a Japan origin 110 years old world-renowned sewing machine manufacturing company. Recently Brother introduced a new single needle direct drive lock stitch machine called S-7250A with new DFF (Digi Flex Feed) technology. This DFF technology is the latest solution for the apparel industry. This S-7250A machine offers-

  • Direct electric feed control.
  • 3mm remaining thread after sewing.
  • 50% less possibility of needle breakage.
  • It is integrated with a complete sealed aluminum oil tank, which will reduce oil stain problem.

The most beneficial feature of S-7250A is ‘puckering free sewing quality’. Because DFF technology can change the feed motion depending on sewing material and process.

Before at A-One Polar Ltd, the machine-man ratio was 1:1.2 but after installing Brother’s m/c, it is reduced to 1:0.8 which is remarkable for both parties.

Brother S-7250A installed at A-one Polar Ltd
Figure 2: S-7250A installed at A-one Polar Ltd.

“We are saving crores of Tk. by using Brother’s m/c specifically the S-7250A and it is also helping us to achieve our sustainable production goal,” said Md. Ahasan Habib, General Manager (Garments Production) of A-one Polar Ltd.

Shah Jalal Rashid, Executive Director of Panwin Designs Limited said to Textile Today, “Almost 50% of our sewing is from Brother and our overall production increased 7-8% after installing brother machines.”

Recently Brother introduced new direct drive lockstitch buttonhole machine with short remaining thread up to 2.5mm, double cutting during sewing, sewing quality improvement that means a reduction of thread breakage at high-speed features.

And new drive lockstitch Bar-tacker machine with short remaining thread, industry highest speed 3300 RPM, Needle cooler device, enlarge sewing area up to 50X40 mm and seal oil lubrication which is a new addition of Brother for the apparel manufacturers.

Brother machine
Figure 3: Operators are happy to operate the Brother machine for easy handling.

Technology always promotes automation but when it is the apparel industry, human involvement is a must. So, other than technology, an increase of manpower efficiency also could save a significant amount of money. Concededly, technology providers will always provide the latest technology but manufacturers should know what is suitable for them and which technology will last longer and would be feasible for them. It is often seen that factory owners love to buy low price machinery but in the end, it turns into a cost center!

Also Read: ‘Automation is the crying need for apparel industry…’

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

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