Needle detectors can be the difference between high quality garments or a lawsuit.

Needles that are used to sew fabrics can occasionally get stuck in garments and go undetected through the final quality control process. These needles can get caught in the clothes during the manufacturing process. This is why garment makers use needle detectors to find any needles or metal parts that may have been missed before the garments are shipped to stores.

In 2015, BONDS, an Australian garment brand was forced to recall a popular baby suit after a mother was scratched by a stray needle that was stuck in a pair of baby coveralls. BONDS sent an investigation team to China to investigate the issue, and their reputation took a hit publicly.

How do Needle Detectors work?

Completed garments are laid on a conveyor belt which then sends them through an enclosed tunnel where they are then inspected and weighed. Needle detectors are made of 4 main components : a sensor, control panel, signal processor, and an alarm. If metal from a loose needle is detected, this will activate the sensor which then sets off an alarm to alert the machine operator. The conveyor belt stops right away after the alarm sounds which allows workers to safely get rid of any needles or metal debris from the garments. If the clothes are able to pass through the machine without any incident, this means there are no signs of metal debris.

In order to avoid faulty results, garments must be properly placed on the conveyor belt. Some needle detectors come with a screen to pinpoint the precise position of the debris, allowing expedient removal by the workers. When used in high sensitivity mode, metal debris as tiny as 0.8 mm can be detected, increasing to 1 mm when used on low sensitivity mode.

Needle detector machines require regular maintenance and need proper calibration to produce precise results. Factories can do this by connecting a small metal item to a piece of fabric and feeding it into the needle detector. These machines typically have nine calibration points, and all of them must be tested. The needle detector should detect any metal objects which then sets off an alarm.

How needle detectors make clothes safe to wear

Metal and debris detection is a critical component of the quality control process. Without this step, random needles can be caught in garments which leads to quality issues and even injury to the consumer. Safety is paramount in garment factories, especially ones manufacturing garments for young children. Needle detectors enable factory workers to detect and remove any needles or metal debris from clothes prior to being shipped. This eliminates the danger of having garments recalled and injury.

The advantages of digital needle detection

Needle detectors adhere to global safety standards. They are able to identify metals such as broken needles or staples that may have been caught in the garments during the manufacturing process. Checking for hazardous items before the garments are shipped is critical because if this process goes unchecked, it can result in injury to the end user, especially babies and young children. This also helps garment companies avoid any potential litigation from customers who might be injured which can be costly and cause great damage to the company’s reputation.

Needle detectors also help prepare garments for export. Inspecting each garment is a critical component of the quality control process. If factories have plans to ship products globally, then they need to check for needles or metal debris. By complying with international safety standards through needle detection, it will allow garment manufacturers to sell their clothes globally.

Garment companies want to produce safe products because they want to avoid all legal liabilities first and foremost, so many international brands have instituted a needle control procedure which suppliers must comply with to lower the risks from broken needles. This gives factories a well-rounded policy along with a compliance checklist which includes the number of broken needles and needle replacement guidelines. It also explains how to carefully dispose of broken needles to avoid injury. Not providing proof of needle detection testing could result in garments being rejected by distributors in other countries. This leads to canceled orders or expensive product recalls.

Needle detectors also help produce greater quality garments. Clothing manufacturers aim to produce high quality products for their customers. Needle detection before garments are shipped is one way to guarantee this. Product recalls are costly, distressing, and factories want to avoid them. Needle detectors can assist in lowering product defects, and enable factories to ship safe and premium quality garments.

Needle detectors also identify metallic powders and dyes that have been accidentally left on fabric during the manufacturing process. Powders and dyes can be transmitted onto needle detectors, therefore machines should be cleaned well after they have been used so they don’t produce any faulty detection results.

How Data Connectivity enhances Needle Detectors

Needle detectors utilize data connectivity which allows data to be shared among servers. Built-in data connection allows information to be shared to other quality control and packaging machines, as well as factory computers. Integration among other garment manufacturing machines results in greater efficiency for garment manufacturers, and all of this data is able to be captured in real-time.

Data connectivity allows operators to see remotely, how many garments have passed and failed quality control, and provides an overview of the complete process. The systems also record the date and time of each QC pass and fail. This data can be reviewed by staff, assisting them in making proactive decisions in real-time which helps strengthen efficiency.

The OSHIMA ON-688CD6 Needle detector is fitted with 10 different sensing probes which greatly enhances sensibility and reliability. The machine can be easily operated using a touch screen that is very user friendly, multilingual, and intuitive. It works with three different detection modes: high-sensitivity, standard, and dyed fabric. They are specifically engineered to handle different detecting conditions.

The machine also automatically reverses the conveyor upon detecting faulty garments, and calibrates itself every two hours. Installation is very simple and inexpensive, and the maintenance costs are very low and replacement parts are not expensive. This machine can also be integrated with other devices as well.


Needle detectors are a critical part in the manufacturing process. They alleviate the risk of deficient garments shipped and the chance of consumer injury, which safeguards factories from product recalls and costly litigation. In addition, data connectivity enables factories to monitor the number of accepted and rejected garments. This data can be shared with other departments which allows for improvements in the quality management process, and ultimately leads to greater efficiency and superior quality garments.

Without thorough quality control through needle detection, garment manufacturers may be restricted in the distributors they can work with, as well as have their reputation damaged within the garment manufacturing industry. OSHIMA can assist garment manufacturers with needle detection, which will help them greatly improve their quality control process, and avoid any unwanted headaches over product recalls, or lengthy and expensive litigation. Contact us to learn more today.