The Making of..................
Incoming Fabric Inspection - Lifting of the manufacturing stage curtain
To begin the production process, a light-through single pile visual inspection procedure installed making sure every inch of the fabrics delivered in roll was produced exactly according to the order specification; making sure the printed fabric was in perfect condition before we can move for any mass movements courses.
1. Major Fabric Cut
The fabric delivered in roll would be cut in suitable size before shaping; usually in two to three parts of its original width depended upon the total width of the fabric and the gore length of the produced item.
Photo: Visual Light-through inspection, Fabric adjustment, Width-marking,
Major fabric split, Edge alignment and closure by Sewing after major cuts
2. Shaping the Gore
The Gores (Panels) are form by hand-cut process. The triangular panels of the umbrella are shaped into predefined size with a make-to-spec triangle wooden mold. The panel fabrics are trimmed into exact measurements as required for the attachment process, in hand cutout, along the edges of the wooden mold.
Photo: Panel formation
When pre-stage production Silkscreen printing process is required in the manufacturing order, the panels of the umbrella will be taken to special built ventilation room for printing and for drying of the inks on the printed panel.
The panels will be placed on a long table. Printers (well trained workers) will, every time for the formation of every different colour graphic, place and lock the pre-made Silkscreen print mold at the pre-identified position along the table. On each panel the colour ‘brushing?out the graphic follows the design. (Also check Silkscreen printing details under Terminology)
Photo: Mold-anchoring, Position-aligning, Ink-squeezing, Fabric-swapping, Hanging, Drying & Completing ?Processing of Silkscreen Printing
4. Panel assembly
After the Silkscreen printing process is completed and all panels are dried in the ventilation room. The printed panels will be transferred to the panel attachment section for assembly. Most of the umbrellas using 8 pieces panels attached together by sewing machine to form a complete cover of an umbrella.
Photo: Panel - Attachment by Sewing and WIP QC inspection
5. Tip (end cover of rib) Installation
Tip is usually made of plastic or metal. It functions as part of a medium holding the umbrella cover to the supporting ribs extended from the umbrella-moving frame. The ribs will first be held in place by hand-sew thread at the pre-identified position at edge of the umbrella cover. Then the end of each rib will be inserted into the reserved fitting hole of the tip to complete the rib-to-cover installation process.
Photo: Showing Self-tip installation by sewing
6. Mounting the cover to the Frame
When the fitting position between the rib and the cover has been confirmed in 5, each rib will be tied and held in place by thread and then hand-sewed to tighten the attachment of the cover to the rib along the sewing seam line between the panels.
Photo: Hand-sew cover mounting and WIP QC inspection (Before & After)
7. Handle installation
Depends on the handle material and shape, usually the handle will be fixed to the end of the shaft of an umbrella by screwing it onto a pre-mounted screw nut at the end of the shaft.
The second method installing the handle is that the end of the metal shaft of the umbrella heated up by a special purpose heater, then inserted into a reserved tight fit hole of the thermal plastic handle. When pushing the shaft in all the way to the end of the hole, appropriate force would be required. Both parts firmly attaching and holding together after the melted area of the thermal plastic handle cooled down and becomes rigid again.
Glued up the handle to the shaft is another method for the installation wherever suitable materials are available for the application.
Photo: Handle installation
8. Finished Product Quality Inspection
In addition to all Incoming, W.I.P. QC checked at each production stages; finished product quality control is the most important at the end of the production line before the manufactured item is packed for shipment. QA will be in place to carry out the analysis of all figures recorded in different stages of the manufacturing process when the item production order is completed to make sure the correctness was all the way there along side every stage of the production line.
Photo: Touch-up cleaning and quality inspection of the finished products
9. Packaging and shipment
Umbrellas in finished product form will be transferred to the packaging department for the preparation of final packing and shipment. All Shipping cartons and inner packing are arranged follow the customer order requirement specified right from the very beginning of the purchase order negotiation.
Photo: Shipping Carton Packing