All garment retailers expect to sell high quality products from manufactures. The quality of the garments any vary depends on the price market they are being made for so therefore buyers expect manufacturers expect manufacturers to follow vario us methods of inspection techniques all through the production and prior to shipment release from factory. Following correct inspection procedures, inspection systems and eventually shipment release gives the clear judgment of the quality of the garment.
Garment Quality Control covers all the processes within a factory that contributes to the production of quality garment products and is conducted right from where housing, manufacturing, finishing and packing process until shipment is released. The final inspection is carved out by buyer representative or independent auditors free from any pressure from vendor or factory representative. Air of final inspection is to visually inspect articles at random from fully or 80-90% packed purchase order to verify their general conformity and appearance with instruction/description and/or reference tagged sample received from buyer. Result is documented and recorded as reference but still vendor/manufacturer is always responsible for claims if any arising due to any defective goods found packed and inspected at buyers warehouse.
Types of Inspections
Pre-Production Inspection: This is done before production starts. It is done to crosscheck for final verification of Bulk fabric and trims materials, styling cutting way, manufacturing details and workmanship of the garment or pre-production sample as per the customer requirement.
1st inline production inspection: This inspection is done at the start of production when first production output of particular style of garments is inspected; to distinguish possible discrepancies or variation and to do necessary corrections to be made bulk production. This type of inspection is done at preliminary stage of manufacturing of a style covering mainly style detail, general appearance, workmanship, measurements, fabric quality, Trims and components, Lot color, printing, embellishments and washing quality.
2nd line Production Inspection: This inspection is done during production to ensure initial discrepancies have been corrected and rectified. This inspection is a follow-up of the 1 st inline production inspection and is generally carried out after 1st line inspection when discrepancies have been detected at that time.
Final Random Inspection: This inspection is carried out when the production of the total quantity of an order or partial delivery is completed. A sample lot will be selected from the order and a percentage of the garments will be inspected, this percentage usually being stipulated by the buyer. The AQL sampling inspection system as specified by the buyer.
Garment Defects Classification
Once the samples are selected, each article is to be individually inspected. Defects detected during an inspection are buyer specific so therefore vary from one buyer to another. Defects are classified within the following HCG categories:
Critical Defect: A serious defect that can cause harm or injury to the user and/or result in a hazardous condition.
Major defects: A defect that falls to meet the mandatory regulations directly affecting the usability, salability, safety and value of the merchandise or as specified by customer buyer are considered as major defects and are generally non repairable for example fabric hole, shading among panel, wrong measurement, foreign yarn, dye patches etc. The measurement tolerate level may vary from customer to customer.
Minor Defects: A defect that does not adversely affect the usability of the product but does consists of a deviation from the original sample, and may affect the sale of the product. Some of these defects are due to workmanship and some can be repairable but still can deteriorate the serviceability of the merchandise for example stain, skip stitch, wavy bottom hem etc.
AQL Random Sampling inspection
AQL stands for Acceptable Quality level. The AQL determines the maximum amount of admitted defective units in a sample. AQL, for purposes of sampling inspection, can be considered satisfactory as a process average. The most commonly used AQL is a major 2.5 Minor 4.0. The AQL random sampling inspection is derived from the mathematical theory of probability and is based on the sampling these defined in military standard 105D (MIL – STD – 105D). Some defectives are considered acceptable.
This method constitutes taking random sample from a lot of merchandise, inspecting them and depending on the quality of the sample inspected determining whether the entire lot is acceptable or not. The MIS – STD – 105D (also BS 6001, ISO 2859, DIN 40080) provides the sampling plans; and these determine the number of samples of be inspected in lot size, in addition to indicating and the acceptable quality level (AQL) which represents the maximum number of defects per hundred units that, for the purpose of the sampling inspection can be considered satisfactory as a process average.
In general cases the buyer will determine which sampling plan and what AQL to adopt. The AQL 1.5 is applied when severe inspection conditions are required for expensive items like up market or Boutiques. The AQL 2.5 is applied when textiles or normal/good quality are involved. There are three types of sampling plans. Each sampling plan can be performed at three levels, i.e. normal tightened and reduced, depending on inspection requirements and quality of the products. In the garments industry generally single and double normal sampling plans are applied. The sample size code letter table shows various lot sizes corresponding to a series of code letters. There are seven inspection levels, four for general inspection (already mentioned) and three for special inspection. For garment inspection, general inspection level II (normal II) is normally applied.