The establishment of suitable laboratory facilities cannot be undertaken without some financial expenditure, the value of such services to a company is immense, in terms of the introduction of new products and processes, together with significant cost savings, to mention a few areas where they can be effective. The cost of a dyeing laboratory is relatively small in terms of pence per metre or Kilogram of material produced.
The development of the fast fashion and just in time management systems that developed in the last two decades induced textile producers to develop “quick response” manufacturing, so that changes in fashions or orders could be quickly met, meaning that repeat orders could be achieved and the stock inventory is kept to a minimum.
Right First time (RFT) and Just in Time (JIT) processing are essential to maintain a minimum stock level while still being able to adjust to changes in the requirements of clients as they respond to fashion trends. Reprocessing of fabrics to achieve the correct colour results in financial penalities with the cost of reprocessing adding 30-40% to the cost of a final product. With the modern business facing small margins and short lead times, reprocessing both in terms of financial cost and time penalties are costs that a business cannot afford.
The coloration laboratory must therefore produce product that is directly transferable into the production process.
For a modern coloration laboratory the following functions include the following:
- Recipe production
- Analysis of raw materials to include – Dyes, Water, chemical, fibres.
- Testing and QC of Raw Materials.
- Testing of finished items against client specification
- New process development
- Investigation of Faults and Complaints
- Technical service both internal and external.
Laboratory work is carried out with a view to increasing profitability, for a laboratory to be successful, there must be full stakeholder investment in the laboratory function and what it is trying to achieve.
Sales promotion and development of factory resources are important areas of laboratory effort. Senior laboratory staff can be utilized for auditing of factory processes to ensure compliance and to try to achieve reduction in energy and water usage. With the importance of new protocols such as ZDHC and cleaner, more efficient production goals, the role of laboratory staff is more important than it has ever been in the last 20 years. Only through the continual monitoring and development of the process will the business be able to meet the demands of the modern market.
These last two blogs form part of a new e book we are working on if you would like to purchase a copy of this book then please send us your details and we will keep you informed of developments.