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Li & Fung (Trading) Ltd.

LF 389 (AGI 3)

Broken Needle Policy & Procedure

not find completely!? for Japan Market!?

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. II. III. A. B. C. D. IV. A. B. C.

INTRODUCTION.........................................................................................................................................3 NEEDLE REPLACEMENT/ METAL CONTAMINATION POLICY.....................................4 IN-PROCESS BROKEN NEEDLES CONTROL PROCEDURE...............................................5 RESPONSIBLE PERSONS...........................................................................................................................5 IN-PROCESS CONTROL AT SEWING PLANTS.........................................................................................5 FINAL CONTROL AT PACKING PLANTS.................................................................................................5 BROKEN NEEDLE RECORD .....................................................................................................................6 NEEDLE DETECTOR............................................................................................................................7 TYPES OF NEEDLE DETECTOR ...............................................................................................................7 CALIBRATION ...........................................................................................................................................7 BENCHMARK ............................................................................................................................................8

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I. Introduction
To enhance a Needle / Contamination Policy will help to protect the customers brand name. In view of the common policy that factories used, their broken needle procedure are just to having a logbook to keep the broken needle parts. There are no procedures or actions clearly documented for the operators / supervisors to follow. The following procedure is recommended to minimize or even to completely avoid metal / broken fragments contaminated problem. Li & Fung team should request factories to implement the Needle Policy to their production lines consistently. If the policy and the procedure are not in compliance to Li & Fung requirement, QA should report to their QA manager immediately, which could result to cancellation of order. This guideline is written for the QA team to assist the factory to set up a Needle / Contamination Policy efficiently

Raymond Wong Sept 2005

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II. Needle Replacement/ Metal Contamination Policy


a) b) c) The Supervisor or nominated person should hold all spare needles in a secure location, and only the one shall be permitted to allocate to the operators. Mechanics must to ensure no needles left on the machine after servicing. The operator should hold no spare needles. For example One needle for a single needle lock stitch machine operator, alternatively, two needles for a double (or twin) needle lock stitch machine operator. The issues of needles should be on a one for one basic. Old or worn needles should be disposed of securely in a seal container. If a needle breaks, all parts must be found or case defined (in case part of the fragments cannot be found) before work allowed to continue. The supervisor must ensure the proper searches have been carried out if all parts of the needle cannot be located. In the case of broken needles all the fragments must be mounted on sellotape and checked against a whole needle to prove that all parts have been found., then retained with the records in a secure place. Factory must keep a record of broken needle (for six months) in a secure location for auditing. Recommend to keep by machine type, needle size and by production line to establish a history so that trends can be recognized. Other metallic objects i.e. pins, nails, tacks and staples must not be used in the production area, i.e. warehouse, laying up, cutting, making-up, inspection, package or any other operations where garments or components are handled. In addition, fabric, boxes, cartons, reels of elastic, lace, binding etc., must not be secured by metallic objects i.e. pins, nails, tacks and staples. If pins, needles for swift tack gun or any hazardous tools are used, then this must be a controlled auditable procedure in placed.

d) e) f)

g)

h)

i)

j)

Needle exchange section

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III. In-process Broken Needles Control Procedure


A. Responsible Persons
Machine Operator Production Supervisor Mechanics Quality Supervisor / Manager Factory Management

B. In-process Control at Sewing Plants


i) When a needle broke, stop sewing and do not replace a new needle until all parts of the broken needle are found. The operator will approach the nominated person with all parts of the broken needle. ii) If broken parts are not found, correction actions should be followed: Notify the production supervisor and mechanic. Depose of the respective garment or panels being stitched. Uncover the machines oil tanks by mechanics for checking. Check all the work around the sewing machine with Needle Detector, to ensure that the broken fragments has not fallen onto the ready garments/panels or sewn into seams. Check the area around the sewing machine (i.e. storage, flooring, other containers, etc.). It is recommended to use a piece of strong magnet. If the broken fragments are still not found after the said searching procedure, the supervisor is allowed to write onto the reports that confirm garments are free from needle fragments. iii) Nominated persons should only reissue operators with new needle after the above step (i) and (ii) have been satisfactorily carried out. iv) All parts of a broken or used needle must be taped onto the report form immediately after the exchange has taken place.

C. Final Control at Packing Plants


i) ii) Needle detector is employed to provide the final check of the garments. The checked garments must be packed into carton immediately after passing through the needle detector. Therefore the garments are no longer susceptible to contamination. iii) When metal is found, corrective actions should be followed: Remove all garments on the conveyor belt to a lockable storage zone or reject bin while production continues. Then the affected garments can be presented a second time later on by a supervisor; one garment at a time and deemed safe if not rejected on that occasion. So any item rejected for a second time needs to be searched physically for the contaminant with the help of a hand-held detector. If the contaminant can be located and removed, a third pass through the belttype needle detector is allowed. The item can be accepted if found to be clear of metal. Otherwise it must be destroyed. Full records are required to be made and kept for 12 months, showing date, P.O. #/Style #, inspected quality, results (contaminant found or not), corrective action taken, operators name/signature and supervisors name/signature.

Broken Needle Checked Garment Record


Date P.O.# / Style # Inspected Quality Result Corrective Action Taken Operator Signature Supervisor Signature

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D. Broken Needle Record

Broken Needle Record


(The length between two dotted lines in red is the exact length of the needle type assuring the complete parts of the broken needle is collected) Date Line # Operator's ID no. / Name of Operator Machine # or type Style # P.O. #

Please attached all parts of needle

If any parts of a needle cannot be found, please advise ACTION

Supervisor Signs

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IV.Needle Detector
Nearly all reputable customers have a mandatory needle detection security against needle and metal contamination, for baby and children wear. Therefore, it is worldwide recognized that garment manufacturer must have needle / metal detector to ensure their product safety level, in addition to the broken needle procedure taken place at the in-process stages. Types of various Metal Ferrous (nickel, staple, needle) Non-ferrous (tin, copper, alloy, bras, bronze, zinc, nickel-free) As a result, some customer will request to use nickel free non-ferrous accessories, let say zipper for example. Otherwise, there will have false alarm because of the regular zipper used when passing through the conveyor-type needle detector.

A. Types of Needle Detector Conveyor-type It is recommended to use the machine, which should be an
automatic system, with a conveyor and stop/alarm in the case of contamination being uncovered. Hand-held It can be useful in pin-pointing the precise location of a contaminant within a garment rejected by an automatic system, allowing it to be removed and the garment re-tested.

B. Calibration
Needle detector should be calibrated daily for high level of effective sensibility. Using the 1.2 mm diameter calibration card is generally required every two hours, with the provision that if the machine fails test, then all garments proceed since the previous test must be retrieved and re-checked. Written records need to be kept showing time, date and pass/fail.

1.2 mm calibration card

Daily Needle Detectors Calibration Report


Normal = Put Y and operators initial Fail = Put F and operators initial Time Morning Afternoon Date 07:00 09:00 13:00 15:00

Evening 18:00

Action Taken

Supervisor Signature

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C. Benchmark
Needle detector machine should be segregated to ensuring the accurate processing, i.e. false alarm. Case sharing Not mention to it will be affected by the watch for example of the operator when getting close to the detector, it will also be affected by the ceiling fan which is installed at the under-ground ceiling.

One-way processing feed the /packed garments from one dedicated entrance for the needle detecting while coming out from another exit. Then pack into carton and tape sealed immediately. It is to ensure there is no garment is being packed into cartoon without passing through the machine. Example

Gmt OUT

Gmt IN

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Japan Market Visiting nominated inspection centers of Kenpin in Shanghai and Fashion Suite in Shenzhen, noticed that each garment was passed through needle detector twice in each needle check. Usually Japanese brands were used such as APA6000 with the sensitive level set at 80 while Hashima set at 8 9. Therefore, garment factory is recommended to follow the process to have each garment passing through needle detector twice for Japan Market.

Fashion Suite in Shenzhen

Example 2nd detector

1st detector

3. The packed garments are being checked by 2nd detector and out from another exit.

2. Feeding the packed garments from one dedicated entrance and passing through the 1st detector.

OUT

IN

4. Packing the detected garments into cartons and tape sealed immediately.

1. Packed garments

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