Production System

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Production systems

What is a production system?

An apparel production system is an integration of material handling production process, personnel and the equipment that directs work flow and generates finished products.

Different types of production systems are

• Progressive bundle system
• Unit production system
• Modular production system

Each system requires an appropriate management philosophy, materials handling methods, floor layout, and Employee training. Firms may combine or adapt these systems to meet their specific production needs.

Firms may use only one system, a combination of systems for one Product line, or different systems for different product lines in the same plant.

Progressive Bundle System

The progressive bundle system (PBS) gets its name from the bundles of garment parts that are moved sequentially from operation to operation. This system, often referred to as the traditional production system, has been widely used by apparel manufacturers for several decades and still is today. The expert says that use of bundle systems would decrease as firms seek more flexibility in their production systems


Work flow in progressive bundle system
Bundles consist of garment parts needed to complete a specific operation or garment component. For example, an operation bundle for pocket setting might include shirt fronts and pockets that are to be attached. Bundle sizes may range from two to a hundred parts. Some firms operate with a standard bundle size, while other firms vary bundle sizes according to cutting orders, fabric shading, size of the pieces in the bundle, and the operation that is to be completed.

Bundles are assembled in the cutting room where cut parts are matched up with corresponding parts and bundle tickets. Bundles of cut parts are transported to the sewing room and given to the operator scheduled to complete the operation. One operator is expected to perform the same operation on all the pieces in the bundle, retie the bundle, process coupon, and set it aside until it is picked up and moved to the next operation. A progressive bundle system may require a high volume of work in process cause of the number of units in the bundles and the large buffer of backup that is needed to ensure a continuous work flow for all operators. [pic]

The progressive bundle system

The progressive bundle system may be used with a skill center or line layout depending on the order that bundles are advanced through production. Each style may have different processing requirements and thus different routing. Routing identifies basic operations, sequence of production, and the skill centers where those operations are to be performed. Some operations are common to many styles, and at those operations, work may build up waiting to be processed.

Advantages and disadvantages of using progressive bundle system

The success of a bundle system may depend on how the system is set up and used in a plant. This system may allow better utilization of specialized machines, as output from one special purpose automated machine may be able to supply several operators for the next operation. Small bundles allow faster throughput unless there are bottlenecks and extensive waiting between operations.


The progressive bundle system is driven by cost efficiency for individual operations. Operators perform the same operation on a continuing basis, which allows them to increase their speed and productivity. Operators who are compensated by piece rates become extremely efficient at one operation and may not be willing to learn a new operation because it reduces their efficiency and earnings. Individual operators that work in a progressive bundle...
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