The special characteristic of the textile industry is that it works with a very large variability and variety. This is because customer requirements are diverse and each order is special, which has a strong impact on production. This is additionally reinforced by the current situation.
Thus, especially in the quotation, order and production phases, a completely different system is needed than in other industries. The system to be set up must have an extremely flexible structure and be capable of producing fast solutions. The most important requirement for an enterprise solution is therefore to be able to set up a mechanism that can map and manage precisely this diversity and variability – using methods such as variants and assortments, for example. Other defining requirements of the industry are traceability, critical paths and good quality control phases.
For this reason, the company must have a system that can be built according to product structures rather than standard structures. To do so, it is very important to have an integrated ERP system that produces flexible and fast solutions. Especially in current times, textile companies that can best adapt to current needs and market fluctuations have an advantage. Systems that do not offer freedom of movement do not have an easy time succeeding in the textile industry.
A flexible, integrated and fast structure is crucial
The industry can be treated under two different focuses: Garments/Apparel and Fabrics. Basic processes needed in the garments/apparel area include product information form, assortment management, accessory management, critical path and marker planning. In fabrics, color management, pattern management, composition management and mix & match processes need to be set up in the system.
With an enterprise resource planning product with a very flexible structure, users can manage business processes much more easily and quickly. In the best case, the enterprise solution thus optimally adapts to the textile industry with its two main focuses and is optimized based on the needs and experiences of many textile companies. Thus, applications and basic structures such as product tree, route, work order management, material card, product configurator are already included in the standard as far as possible.
An additional advantage is provided by clear application screens (UI), which enable users to realize their processes in a simple and fast way. Other modules and applications that facilitate the special work in the textile industry are also useful: With an MRP module, for example, the traceability of orders can be maximized through customer-specific processes. If there is a fabric or accessory that needs to be purchased specifically for a customer’s order, this can be tracked as its relation to the order can be clearly identified. A link to cost management is also helpful, allowing users to directly calculate a cost and create a quote directly from the product. This offers companies a major speed advantage. The enterprise software should also be able to map the special needs in the area of fabrics: When the company starts producing a job, for example, not all the requirements for the product are clear from the start, as usual.
Thus, all preparations that are necessary in this process should already be plannable in the system. A contract management application also supports the management of many business processes and it is possible to observe which operations are carried out in which part and what is the degree of completion of the project. A supplier portal via which information can be entered and controlled via the system also provides valuable support here. The topic of color management, which is so important for fabrics, should also be appropriately mapped and available for use in the ERP. An application in the area of bills of materials, for example, where a color recipe can be created and tracked according to the fabric batch, is beneficial here. It should also be possible to monitor the dyehouse management processes via the system and to transfer the color recipes created directly to the machines. In addition, an application for capacity planning can provide support here, according to which the capacity of the dyeing boilers, the sequential dyeing of the colors and the tub washes can be taken into account accordingly. It can therefore be seen that a flexible, integrated and fast structure is crucial for textile companies.
More efficiency required
Particularly with regard to marker-making, users want to be able to enter fabric layers and batch information and use this information to track how many fabric layers are laid, which batch is used and which semi-finished products are produced. The system should receive information about which parts of the garment product are currently being produced. Approval processes and planning processes are also an issue that can be served by an assortment matrix in the system.
In addition, one of the important issues in the industry is the critical path. With the critical path, which covers the entire process from the start of production to delivery to the customer, all processes such as procurement, cutting, sewing, packaging and delivery of materials can be monitored step by step with dates. A project management module is useful for this. A variant structure also helps to manage product diversity. Variations such as size, color and height can be easily resolved within the variant. A special point for companies working in the textile industry, especially in the apparel sector, is the time study. The user wants to know how long a product is produced and define and track this with all its part details.
The role of IIoT
Meanwhile, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies can be used very effectively in the textile industry. Dyehouse integrations, quality control testing processes, production results and tracking, scale integrations, and RFID barcode integrations can be successfully designed and used by IIoT systems. Thanks to suitable IIoT solutions, users can communicate with machines directly from the system. The systems are put into operation without human intervention and the prescriptions collected by the machines are transferred to the ERP system without errors. For example, IIoT technologies are intensively used in the winding and quality control of produced materials. Information such as meters and kilograms coming from the equipment is used. When the product is manufactured, all the criteria that determine its characteristics are transmitted from the system, while quality control is performed for the final product. In addition, IIoT solutions enable instant monitoring of machines by the system. Thus, in the case of a machine in the dyeing plant, it is possible to immediately see at what stage of which washing it is in. This allows the margin of error to be determined and improves speed and efficiency by allowing the ERP system to communicate directly with the machines about this and many other issues.
Especially in the area of fabrics Industry 4.0 technologies are already strongly used, in the area of apparel production it is still less common. The textile industry has complex business processes and needs special solutions. When selecting their software, textile companies should therefore make sure that the software manufacturer understands the industry and can adapt to the business processes and offer fast solutions.
A special focus is on the particular dynamics of the market, which must be withstood and for which the appropriate innovations must be developed again and again. Solutions that already incorporate the experience of customers from the textile industry into their product and are thus leaders in the industry are suitable for this. Necessary applications and modules, integrated in a single system, offer great added value. The offer of additional, also integrated, Industry 4.0 technologies helps companies to achieve a holistic, fast, integrated and flexible software service. For example, with the right solution, textile companies can feed in data from devices, use a Big Data solution to manage and report on the data collected due to product diversity, and connect to an ERP that can work fully integrated with all other solutions and provide end-to-end solutions. This makes companies robust to dynamic market developments and strengthens efficiency and speed.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Mukul Bodhare
Product Marketing Officer / Marketing
Canias ERP Pvt. Ltd.
E-mail: [email protected]