Apparel Manufacturing Systems

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Make Through System
It is the traditional method of manufacture in which an operator makes right through one garment at a time. The advantages and disadvantages of a make through system are shown in Table 1. The advantages of the Make Through The disadvantages of the Make Through System System are: are: 1. Quick throughput time. 2. Easy to supervise. 1. Low productivity. 2. High labour cost. 3. Only very experienced operators can be used. 4. It is a system only suitable in couture and sample making. Table 1 - Advantages and disadvantages of Make Through System.

Conventional Bundle System
With this system, sewing machines are arranged in lines. The work flows from the central (store) area to the first machine, from the first machine back to the store, and then on to the next machine, and so forth. A distributor stationed at the store is responsible for receiving and dispatching the work. The work in progress is in the form of bundles. These bundles may be put on to a tray, a box, or a bag, or the garment parts may be wrapped and tied. The conventional bundle system was widely used in garment factories in Hong Kong during the 1950s. At that time, the level of managerial skill was not as high as it is today. The system is still used in certain places where there are frequent changes in garment style but a low level of managerial skill.

Figure 1 - A conventional bundle system.
GMP Handout 2005 - Manufacturing Systems Source:


The Clump System
Another system that has the same characteristics as the conventional bundle system is the 'clump' system as shown in Figure 2. In Figure 2, a worker collects a clump of materials from the worktable and carries out the first operation. After he has completed his part of the work, he returns it to the table. A worker for the second operation then continues the work and so on. The process is ' collection - work - return' continues until the whole garment has been assembled.

Figure 2 - Another example of a conventional bundle system - the clump system. The advantages and disadvantages of Conventional Bundle System The advantages of the conventional bundle system The disadvantages of conventional bundle system are: are: 1. It requires excessive handling of the materials 1. The system is flexible, as it can cope with by the operators, as they have to carry their work frequent style changes. back to the central inventory. 2. Worker absenteeism does not cause any major problems, as the controller can control the amount 2. It is difficult to control the inventory. of work received and dispatched. 3. The system is easy to operate and supervise. 3. It is difficult to see the work in progress at the various stages of manufacture.

4. This system may encourage individual workers 4. Engineering of work places is difficult because to work faster, as they constantly have to return machines are arranged in the limited capacity. their own work to the central inventory. 5. It is easier to obtain a uniform level of quality, as 5. High level of work-in-progress. the controller can check the quality control. 6. Large storage space is required to cope with the large volume of work-in-progress.

GMP Handout 2005 - Manufacturing Systems



Progressive Bundle System
With the progressive bundle system, the sewing operations are laid out in sequence. Each operator receives a bundle, does his work, reties the bundle and passes it to the next operator. Figure 3 shows a schematic view of the progressive bundle system. There is usually a storage facility such as rack, bin or table for storing the inter-process work between each operation. The work is routed by means of tickets. Any imbalance in production can be corrected by using utility workers. This system is the most widely used system in the garment industry today. It is used in shirt factories, jeans factories, jacket factories, etc.

Figure 3 - A progressive bundle system.
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