Scope for the application of an Automated Overhead Material Handling System in the Mauritian Apparel Industry
In any manufacturing environment, material handling operation plays an important role. The effective use of material handling tools and equipment is vital for a proper scheduling and planning of the work flow on the shop floor. In the Mauritian textile industry, particularly in the apparel sector, most material handling is still being carried out manually. With the substantial progress in the field of Information Technology (IT) and electronic engineering, automated systems for the apparel industry are available. However, the full applicability of the different automated systems into the Mauritian context is not possible due to a number of constraints.
This paper presents a mini survey conducted in the Mauritian apparel industry to assess the impact of automated material handling systems.
The results show that a significant amount of the overall production time is spent on material handling. Moreover, the automated systems available are too expensive for local industries to be able to afford. In the event a company succeeds in purchasing such an automated system, the latter is under utilised and difficult and expensive to maintain.
Keywords: Apparel industry, Material handling, Progressive Bundle Unit (PBU), Automated systems.