Magazine March 2016

Focus on the textile world: from research to systematic thinking

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Ideal Needle Handling

The new quality management for the apparel industry

Today's apparel industry is facing many challenges. In addition to general expectations of the highest possible productivity, a major role is also being played by maximum occupational safety and various environmental aspects. Furthermore, sewing factories are increasingly expected to comply to strict regulations – imposed by brand owners and buying houses – relating to the handling of sewing machine needles. As a partner that provides its customers with universal support, Groz-Beckert now offers a solution here as well. Based on the company's experience with a multitude of sewing plants and brand owners, the "Ideal Needle Handling" (INH) quality management system has now been established, ensuring uniform handling of sewing machine needles during the production process.

How sewing machine needles were handled so far

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International brand owners and buying houses place frequently strict requirements on the handling of damaged and broken needles. This is to prevent needle parts (even the smallest splinters) from remaining in the fabric and leading – in the worst-case scenario – to lawsuits for damages. These requirements are not uniform, however, since each client has his own rules.

Thus, a change of buyer often entails a readjustment of the work process. In addition, the different types of procedure for needle changes, needle storage, and needle disposal are time-consuming and involve a great deal of administration, conflicting with the need for high productivity and minimized cost.

A uniform approach – with INH quality management

The INH (Ideal Needle Handling) process, developed and patented by Groz-Beckert, helps sewing factories to meet the different operating procedures of brand owners in a uniform way, and also helps them to fulfill further requirements such as environmentally sound action or higher productivity.

Needle handling:
INH represents a structured process that takes into account all previous requirements. It is therefore accepted by brand owners and buying houses, and can be applied worldwide.

INH enables each sewing machine needle (and its packaging) used in a factory to leave the factory again complete and in a recyclable state. The CO2 balance is therefore improved.

Work safety:
With its specific approach to the handling of broken needles and with ergonomically correct work stations, INH increases health protection for operators and all other persons who work with needles. It also encourages them to work autonomously.

INH shortens time and effort with regard to broken and damaged needles, and therefore boosts work performance as a result of less downtime. Simultaneously, waste is reduced or even avoided.

Required accessories

INH quality management not only represents a unified process but also includes all the accessories required for it. These were developed and designed by Groz-Beckert specifically for INH. All quality management requirements are taken into account and implemented here. In addition, all equipment and tools are of the highest quality and ergonomically designed. They correspond to a 5S workplace, and form the basis of the "needle exchange" phase.

Just an imageINH Trolley

The trolley is the centerpiece of INH. It replaces the entire needle exchange station and is used for storage of new needles and various tools. It is also the repository for used or broken needles and for empty packaging.

Just an imageThe needle return box

The needle storage sheet is used for the gluing and storage of broken needles and the corresponding documentation.

Just an imageNeedle storage sheet

The needle storage sheet is used for the gluing and storage of broken needles and the corresponding documentation.

Just an imageCollection bins

If any needles are collected outside the trolley, a collection bin can be used. It is firmly closed at the top with a lid which – depending on the version – has a matching insertion slot for needles or for empty packaging.

INH in your company

The INH process, customized for each company, bridges the gap between existing processes and the rules that have to be observed. It is regularly reviewed and adjusted where necessary. Accessories are selected in accordance with the applicable process.

If you're interested in INH quality management by Groz-Beckert, the company's sewing and quality management experts will be happy to help you anytime. We'll be glad to arrange an individual appointment with you and to present the concept and the benefits of INH in detail.