Fabric inspection machines identify product defects early, saving factories time and money.

What is the fabric inspection process and why do we need it?

Fabric inspection is a routine process designed to identify defects that can impact finished goods. The main goal of fabric inspection is to ensure that the fabric meets customer specifications, ensuring product quality and reducing the risk of product rejects. Fabric inspections are conducted multiple times during production, helping to swiftly pinpoint and resolve defects with minimal impact on the manufacturing process. Inspections form part of the overall quality control process, ensuring an accurate production process from start to finish.

How does the fabric inspection process work?

Visual inspections rely on manually inspecting material to ensure it meets production requirements. Fabric is laid out onto a flat surface in a well-lit room, allowing workers to check color, size, and quality, manually screening for irregularities and imperfections. Commonly identified defects include knots, colored flecks, holes, and stains, which must be marked and cut around or discarded. Inspecting fabric at various points of the production process helps reduce the number of product rejects, enhancing quality and consistency.

After inspecting the fabric, workers use a systematic point system to categorize the material depending on its quality level. The most common grading method is the 4-point system, which assigns one, two, three, or four points depending on the size and severity of the defect. No more than four points should be assigned to a single flaw, and the system only considers major defects with no penalty for minor flaws. The total number of points accepted depends on the customer’s tolerance, but some factories accept up to 40 points per 100 square yards.

Although the 4-point system is an internationally recognized fabric inspection method, there are some downsides. It is a time-consuming and exhausting process, with workers inspecting hundreds of square yards at once. The system relies on manual inspection, with some less-noticeable defects going unnoticed due to human error. Poor lighting is also an issue, as dark or unevenly lit rooms make it difficult to identify defects, meaning that fabric can end up in the reject pile even if it passes quality control.

Luckily, advancements in technology mean that we don’t have to rely on manual quality inspections.

What are the benefits of fabric inspection machines?

  • Fabric inspection machines automate quality control

Fabric inspection machines ease the inspection process by detecting flaws unnoticeable to the human eye. They check for width and length accuracy, as well as weaving and knitting errors, removing the risk of defective products ending up in the wrong hands. Fabric inspection machines reduce the reliance on manual inspections, leading to a more accurate quality control process.

  • Higher inspection accuracy, better return on investment

Fabric inspection machines use advanced technology to identify product defects easily overlooked by workers. Although there is an initial expenditure involved in purchasing new machinery, identifying defective fabric before it is shipped to customers means that the return on investment is high. Factories can focus on producing high-quality goods, knowing that defects will be quickly detected by fabric inspection machines.

  • Reduced production delays and fabric waste

Fabric defects have a detrimental impact on the production process, as rejects must be sent back to the workshop to be rectified or thrown away. At best, this delays production but at worst, it causes large amounts of fabric wastage. Using a fabric inspection machine throughout the production process leads to higher quality control accuracy, reducing production delays and fabric wastage.

  • Decreased manpower and higher productivity

Factory automation with fabric inspection machines reduces the need for high numbers of manual quality inspectors. Fabric inspection machines catch defects that are overlooked by workers, enhancing quality control results. Surplus staff can be sent to work in other departments, boosting factory efficiency, and increasing productivity.

  • Satisfied customers, improved reputation

Fabric inspection is important to ensure that the best quality fabric is sent to customers. Accidentally sending out defective products costs more than just money— it can cause customers to find a more reliable supplier elsewhere. Timely identification of product defects allows factories to produce higher quality fabric, enhancing customer satisfaction. Consistently supplying excellent quality goods help to build a robust reputation, leading to repeat orders from happy customers.

Why choose OSHIMA fabric inspection machines?

OSHIMA has a strong reputation for providing reliable factory machinery to fabric manufacturers around the world. We invest in research and development, constantly improving our products to achieve higher customer satisfaction. We are currently working on a range of AI fabric inspection machines to provide an even more accurate level of quality control. Our knowledgeable staff provides swift after-sales service so that garment production factories can focus on providing the highest quality goods.

OSHIMA’s fabric inspection machines enable tension-free inspection of knit fabrics, with a tension control setting designed to accommodate different fabric types. High quantities of fabric are rolled out quickly and effortlessly, allowing a swift quality inspection process. The machines digitally measure the length of fabric with an accuracy tolerance of 0.1 yards, enhancing inspection accuracy for higher quality results.

The EagleAI fabric inspection machine from OSHIMA has a defect identification rate of over 90 percent, producing detailed quality control reports upon completion. This groundbreaking technology uses an AI learning algorithm to update its defect database, enhancing inspection accuracy.

Final thoughts

Fabric inspection is an important part of the quality control process, but much can go wrong. Human error due to fatigue, oversight, or unsuitable factory conditions can cause defects to be overlooked. Fabric flaws can take time and money to rectify, leading to unmet production deadlines and dissatisfied customers. OSHIMA fabric inspection machines are made with cutting-edge technology, allowing users to quickly check fabric for defects. Talk to us today if you want to achieve high-quality fabric inspection results.