Factory of the Future – Ergonomics in Modern Apparel Manufacturing

Sponsor:

Gildan

Team Members:

Samantha Casey

Maggie Kramer

Jenna Fowler

Project Statement:

Incredible technological innovation has been delivered to every part of the apparel manufacturing process in the last 20 years with the exception of the garment assembly phase. Farming, yarn-spinning, knitting and dyeing operations, which are all very capital intensive and typically require very little labor, have benefitted from tremendous innovation and new technologies. The garment assembly (sewing) is a critical part of the process in manufacturing good quality apparel, but has been left behind in the innovation process until just recently. While the workers in sewing facilities are often referred to as ‘unskilled’ at Gildan we believe these people are our most important resource and therefore are interested in doing a deep dive into all aspects of the sewing operations. This project will examine the complete workflow within these operations, including material movement, human and equipment positioning and physical locations, to best optimize productivity and reduce the physical strains of their repetitive workload. The findings of this project can lead to significant innovation in equipment and process improvements across the industry and the improvement of the lives of the workers.