Brother UK have an Industrial Products Development Department which is able to work with customers to engineer machinery and operations to achieve improved quality, reduce waste, reduce operation time, etc.
Below are examples of collaborative projects where customers have identified problems and have been provided with successful answers.
|The image shows a a standard sewing machine equipped
with a needle positioner. This is essential as the wire
is inserted using the needle (in the down position) as a
guide. The guide, presser feet, needle plate and feed
dogs have all been designed for this application. Three
tapes are fed into the system. The safety case, the
padding tape and the outer case. The outer case is
constructed from a microfibre fabric, for softness.
Previously, when wire insertion was carried out, there were many cases of wires bursting out of their casing, with a high level of customer returns.
The bra manufacturer was assembling the bra cups and the wire case assembly in a way that involved bartacking the ends of the wire case assembly and manually trimming off the tape flush with the edge of the garment, a specified distance from the bartack. The manual trimming created many problems of repetitive strain injury. To reduce the effect, some operators were using larger (6") scissors, but this led to a higher incidence of knuckle damage by cuts. Since this operation was very timeconsuming, there was great interest in getting the machine to automatically bartack and trim the tape.
|Brother UK selected a programmable bartack machine,
B430E Mark 2, to introduce automation to this operation.
This machine has an area of action measuring 30 mm by 10
mm. The position of the bartack in this operation needed
to be adjustable, but initially, the requirement was for
it to be flush (2 mm max.) away from the edge. The
adapted machine needed:
* a sub-feed plate to locate the tape and to provide a surface for cutting;
* a top clamping system, so that the assembly does not move during sewing;
* a knife mechanism to trim the tape.
The illustration shows the cup and tape mounted on the sub-feed plate, with the top clamping system holding it in place. When the machine is activated, the sub-feed plate moves to the correct position for bartack attachment and then it moves the assembly back to the correct position for cutting the tape. This equipment resulted in a 50% reduction in labour costs and the payback period was calculated to be 6 months.
|The completed operation, showing bartacked and cut tapes.|
This initiative came as a result of a shirt manufacturer approaching Brother UK, but successful applications have been found with sports shirts, placket-front sports shirts, boxer short flys and trouser hip pockets. The objective is to eliminate button marking and buttoning up by sewing the button directly through the button hole.
|A button sew machine was equipped with a special
button-holding clamp (with button hole opening fingers).
The clamp assembly could drop to a level where the
fingers could enter the button hole and open it, and then
drop further to the sewing position where the button is
The illustration shows the machine with the clamp assembly, without any garment piece in place.
|A close up of the button hole opening fingers.|
|The clamping fingers are here opening the button hole, ready for the button to be sewn directly on the underlying fabric.|
Brother UK have equipped this machine with three stages of electronic control, primarily to assist with training. Operators are able to toggle from normal buttonsewing to sewing through the buttonhole at the prush of a button.
The Standard Minute Value for marking, sewing and buttoning-up in shirt manufacture was 0.45 Minutes per button. With the new machinery, this fell to 0.15 Minutes per button.
|Link to the Brother UK web site: click here.|
Page last edited 13 April 2000