This article was produced by Hohenstein for PCIAW®VOICE as an Editorial Feature.
If you want to market your textile products successfully, you must ensure their quality worldwide. Even more so when it comes to such elementary issues as customer satisfaction and good supplier relations. Customer satisfaction means optimum quality, fewer returns, and completely satisfied wearers. Good supplier relationships based on trust are the best guarantees of customer satisfaction.
With a long and complex textile chain, quality can be difficult to control and is therefore also very prone to errors. Suppliers of textile products often source their products worldwide, on-site inspections can help to identify defects in the production process at an early stage and avoid follow-up costs. The testing service provider Hohenstein offers various inspection modules that can be used to rule out processing defects throughout all production phases. Customers can thus rely on consistently high material and product quality.
The Hohenstein Inspection Service is available to companies in the following modules, depending on your choice:
In the pre-production check, samples are taken before the start of production to check the materials and components for compliance with legal requirements and for harmful substances and textile-technological quality parameters in the worldwide Hohenstein labs.
The during-production check takes place on-site at a production level of around 20 percent of the complete order quantity. The aim is to check sample conformity, and workmanship in accordance with DIN ISO 2859-1. Sampling schemes indexed by acceptance quality limit (AQL) for lot-by-lot inspection, measurement accuracy, weight, and labelling. In addition, samples are taken to check for chemical and textile technology parameters in the Hohenstein laboratories.
In the Final Random Check, the final inspection, the inspection takes place on-site at a production level of around 80 to 100 percent. This involves checking production quantities, i.e., pallets or cartons of finished goods are counted, sample conformity, i.e., the produced goods are compared with the reference samples provided, workmanship according to DIN ISO 2859-1, measurement accuracy, weight, packaging, labelling, GTIN and an assortment of the shipping cartons.
Julia Baumeister, Division Manager Inspections at Hohenstein, points out that the company’s own inspection team also develops customized inspection concepts together with customers on request: “With our unique network of around 120 of our own locally based inspectors worldwide, we are able to respond to individual requirements in a targeted manner.” At the same time, the company manages to maintain the same high quality of inspections and inspection reports worldwide. This is achieved through a specially developed mobile app that is available to all inspectors. Using a drop-down menu, all defect types and single defects in the individual inspection sections are stored here plus additional information and, for the most part, the needed image descriptions. This procedure standardises and simplifies the documentation on site enormously, shortens the time to the finished inspection report and ensures a consistently high material and product quality.
Not all defects are the same, therefore a classification into critical / major / minor defects is made. Critical defects are those that would render the product unusable or could cause harm to the user or someone in the vicinity of the product, such as insufficiently secured buttons on children’s clothing.
Major defects are those that may affect the function and appearance of the product such as holes or broken stitches. Minor defects are usually insignificant problems that do not obviously affect the function or form of the product such as untrimmed thread ends.
In accordance with DIN ISO 2859-1, a sampling size based on the number of the order quantity will be checked for workmanship. The clients can select their individual acceptance quality limit AQL. This determines the number of units to be inspected depending on the lot size: if the lot of T-shirts comprises 1,800 units, for example with a single sampling plan for normal inspection, general inspection level II and AQL 2,5 for major and 4,0 for minor defects, the inspector would check 125 T-shirts for workmanship. The AQL also specifies how many minor and major defects are still tolerable. The classified defects must be documented with photos and comments and recorded in an inspection report. Hohenstein has its own defect catalogue for all kind of product groups and articles, but the clients are always welcome to define their own classification of defects. The defect catalogue is a large collection of all workmanship defects in which all defects are classified as critical, major, or minor.