In the textile and clothing industry, radio frequency identification technology is used to enable production tracking in real time. Various clothing manufacturing companies, fashion industry businesses, retailers as well and manufacturers of consumer goods are experimenting with RFID technology and positively benefitting from RFID implementation on the production floor as well as the shop floor.
Companies like Tesco, Prada, Benetton, Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Target, H&M, Zara, etc. are implementing RFID technology in their production centers and thousands of retail stores across the globe. Item-level RFID tagging has become the reason behind enhanced visibility in the retail supply chain and timely order fulfillment, two of the most crucial problems retail supply chain and logistics businesses face. But the use of RFID is now finding its way to the beginning of life (BoL) stage of a product lifecycle and the results are unbelievable.
For those who don't know, RFID is an AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Capture) technology that uses electromagnetic waves (Radio Waves) to communicate, transmit, and receive information. RFID technology leverages RFID tags, RFID readers, and RFID software systems as components to fulfill its functions. The RFID tag is encoded with relevant product information in the form of EPC and an RFID reader is used to capture and decode that information from the tag.
RFID in Textile
Textile industries have been around for several centuries. Even cotton production in India, Africa, the USA, and other British colonies was linked to the cotton trade and the manufacturing of clothes. The old silk routes were also famous for cotton trading.
RFID technology presents a comprehensive solution to many technical and production difficulties that persist in the textile industry, the foremost being keeping an accurate record of items/products.
RFID tags provide item-level identification and tracking in the textile industry. At garment manufacturing plants, RFID helps with tracking garment bundles, cut pieces, and finished products with the help of RFID tagging and RFID software. RFID technology is very effective in collecting operation data and providing relevant reports and insights which leads to streamlined garment production and data-driven decision making.
RFID technology is also used in textile and laundry tracking. Various washcare RFID labels such as taffeta RFID tags, polyester labels are designed to be water resistant and provide RFID tracking and identification.
RFID for Real-Time Garment Production Tracking
RFID technology can be used to track each and every item being produced in a garment factory. Right from the unloading of clothing rolls/bundles to readymade clothing consignments leaving the warehouse, RFID can streamline the entire operation.
Here’s a step by step details of RFID technology tracking real-time garment production:
1. RFID labels that barely cost INR 5-6 per label (4-5 US Cents) can be attached to clothing rolls while being unloaded. It provides accurate records of incoming garment bundles and helps with tracking the utilization of the same.
2. Once rolls are unloaded, the next step is the cutting section where rolls are cut into pieces for creating a clothing item, say a t-shirt or pants. At the Operator terminal, RFID tagging of each cut piece is done and relevant data is encoded in the tag, creating a unique RFID for each cut piece. The RFID software can help with production line tracking and update the record in terms of size, color, and style of the clothing item. It also helps with tracking each production line throughout the production floor. WIP (work in progress) items are also accurately recorded for better insights into the production process.
3. The next step is the Sewing section where cut pieces are sewn into final clothing items. RFID tagging of each final product here helps with tracking the production rate for each station and each employee. It also gives clear data on production rate and how much time it takes to complete a certain no. of order quantity.
4. Once the clothing item is ready for dispatch from the manufacturing plant or kept in the warehouse, RFID technology enables end-to-end tracking of each consignment leaving the plant and arriving at the warehouse. RFID tagging of pallets, supply boxes, vehicles, etc. streamlines the supply chain and logistics process and presents a clear picture. This helps with accurate inventory control and auditing.
RFID tagging of items helps you collect step-by-step manufacturing data throughout the production floor and brings visibility and insights into the manufacturing process.
Benefits of RFID-Based Garment Production Tracking System
A garment production tracking system based on RFID allows for end-to-end tracking of production processes and brings visibility to the production floor. RFID tagging at each section of the production ensures the timely completion of various processes. Here are some of the cumulative benefits of RFID technology in garment production tracking with the help of RFID based software system:
1. It provides accurate data collection which doesn’t require manual entry of data.
2. RFID eliminates human errors in data collection and brings accuracy to operation.
3. With the help of RFID labels, the production process is streamlined and business owners can set fixed deadlines for completion of a certain order quantity.
4. It also allows you to get a clear picture of time spent on one product being readied in the factory.
5. RFID also brings insights into employee productivity and wages/compensations can be set accordingly, without any error.
6. RFID brings transparency to the production floor.
7. RFID tagging of each item also prevents theft.
8. RFID technology can also be used for access control and to prevent unauthorized entry into the factory.
9. RFID provides end-to-end tracking of a clothing item, right from production to supply chain and retailers to POS.
10. With the help of RFID, business owners can minimize the wastage of time and resources and use the valuable employee hours for more productive work.
11. RFID technology brings visibility and ensures timely order fulfillment for supply chains.
In the textile and fashion industry, RFID technology has proven to be a game changer. It has enabled a great degree of item-level visibility and end-to-end tracking of each item, right from production to sale. It streamlines production and brings control and accountability. With the help of RFID, business owners can accurately track when a certain order quantity will be ready to dispatch and set deadlines accordingly.
- Last updated on Oct 05, 2023