Inspection lighting, are you working in the dark?

You would think if the inspector were going to conduct an inspect routine, the business would provide a clean environment with a space sufficient enough to do the job, and ample lighting so to see what they are doing. Often it just isn’t the case, if you are not working in an atmosphere that doesn’t create more problems, afford the space to correct layout the garment and with adequate lighting to see potential faults you are just kidding yourself!

Inspections need to be conducted in clean, spacious and well-lit areas that must be controlled under a strict quality management system.

Inadequate inspection facilities are a typical scenario seen in both pre and post production inspection stages. Most sizable organisations have adequate inspection areas that are well equipped, but it is small businesses that don’t have quality systems in place presenting potential risk.

Focus on the light; everything will become illuminated and bright.

For internal spaces that you control, the ideal measurement table should be 2400x1200mm, height subject to location, but at a height of the average team member where they can bend over the inspection table from the waist, 900mm as a suggestion. The inspection table should be in a light to mid grey shade laminate that does not reflect light.

The space surrounding the inspection table should be sufficient to place non-inspected, accepted and rejected samples, so the inspection sample does not get contaminated. The individual inspection should not interfere with other inspectors in the immediate vicinity and must be clear of all non-essential items and debris. Space should be air-conditioned 21-25 DegC, so perspiration does not interfere with the inspection process or soil the sample.

Now the working environment is clean and the inspection table defined, lighting becomes the most important instruments of the inspection process after the inspector and technical documentation.

A well-lit inspection table needs to be a 100-foot candle or 1076 lux at the inspection point on the table. If you are fortunate to have a light measuring meter great, else in today world you can download an app, my suggestion is whitegoods http://www.whitegoods.com/App. Light meters have a tolerance of plus or minus 10% variance. When calculating the luminosity base on 100-foot candle minimum and 115 maximum.

The aim is to achieve 100-foot candle light luminosity at any point on the inspection table; this can be accomplished by using a light source with a 45-degree axis, a CWF or D65 globe or as nominated by your company or customer. To achieve a 100-foot candle lamination on 2.88 square metres (2400x1200mm inspection table), you will need 2 X 1600 lumens 23 watt CFL (Compact Florescent) or 2 X 1600 lumen 100-watt traditional incandescent placed approx. 1.2 to 1.6 metres approx above the table. For cost efficiency and life cycle, CFL is the best choice. LED globes are not recommended as the light distribution is not an even spread.

Been able to manage the three areas; environment, inspection table and lighting are achievable in self-owned facilities, but managing in a vendor or subcontractor can be more challenging. Ideally, when sourcing vendors and as part of the quality audit it is imperative to ensure that these type of facilities exist, or the vendor is willing to implement something that will be amicable to both parties. Not having adequate inspection facilities on the vendor’s site will present challenges that may result in customer returns and reduce brand reputation.

Conducting inline and the final inspection after sunset is highly not recommended, visibility will be low in the best lit factory so it is suggested that inspections do not occur unless necessary. If inspections are allowed to happen, vendors will take advantage of the situation, and an allowance will become a normal condition.

ID Global Concepts is a leader in quality management across fabric, accessories, and apparel. We add value to clients operations through consultancy or management contract to ensure the business has the best practice quality systems that are the right fit for your business, customer and meet your value expectations.

Below are the retailer’s ID Global Concepts have delivered quality apparel and accessories to over the last ten years;

Macy’s, Urban, Sears, Marks & Spencer, Myer, Kmart US & Kmart Australia, Dunnes Stores, Debenhams Monsoon Accessorize, Asos, Witchery, Brown Sugar, RM Williams, Coles, Chloe, John Lewis, Disney, Next, Firetrap, Lonsdale, Postie, ASDA, Harris Scarf, River Island, Tesco, Woolworths, Walmart, Glassons, Babies’R’Us, New Look, Target US & Australia, Primark, David Jones, Best & Less, Sophie, Yakka, Top Shop, BHS, Burlington, BigW, Oasis, JayJays, Blue Illusion, Driza-Bone, Just Jeans, Volcom, House of Fraser, Pumpkin Patch, Suzanne Grae, Pelaco, Laura Ashley, Sportsgirl, Ted Baker, Truetex, TableEight, French Connection

If you would like to learn more or wish to discuss other supply chain opportunities, please email us at info@idgc.co.

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