Facility Design

Case Study – Silk-Screened Apparel


A large producer of silk-screened T-shirts and sweatshirts was expanding to a new manufacturing facility.  The privately held company recognized this as an opportunity to improve its material handling infrastructure.

The company supplied mass merchandiser, independent resellers and events with high quality, multicolor silk-screened products.  The number of handling steps and the time require to pack product according to the customers requirements was making on-time shipments difficult.

Project Scope

By observing the operation to determine the physical activities that were required and examining the customer packing requirements, we were able to develop a matrix that described the combination and frequency of packing activities.

A material flow diagram was prepared in conjunction with process charts and adjacency requirements diagrams.  These were used to determine the best grouping of activities.

An investigation was done to determine what alternative material handling equipment was available for moving and staging the product through the production and packing process.


It was determined that:

  1. Tagging activities could be moved from the packing area to the production line where matching tags to product could be assured and where mechanized tagging could be employed with no additional labor to the machined paced environment.
  2. Modifications to the process to handle additional material needed to replace production defects significantly reduce work order closeout delays
  3. Introducing a new material handling cart would provide better material control, higher density movement and better worker ergonomics.

    Changing the storage module and slotting of high demand raw material reduce lead times while improving inventory control.