The Group’s production process mainly comprises knitting, dyeing and finishing. Much of the Group’s production equipment is computerised and some of the machinery was imported from countries such as Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Singapore. Each step of the production process is also supported and closely monitored by quality control staff assigned to specific steps to optimise efficiency and ensure product quality. The normal time required for a complete production cycle from order to delivery is approximately 25 days. The actual time spent is dependent on the complexity and urgency of the orders. The following chart illustrates the typical steps of the principal production process:
Product samples are often sent to existing and potential customers to solicit sales. Some samples are produced at customers’ requestswhile others are new products developed by the Group’s research and development team. If the customers are interested in placing an order after evaluation of these samples, they request a quotation. An order is placed with the Group after finalisation of the terms.
Raw material inspection
Samples of raw materials including yarns and dyes are checked by quality control staff against benchmark standard qualities before production. A fabric sample is then knitted and dyed to ensurethat the finished product will meet the specifications which customers require. Yarns with serious defects are returned to suppliers.
Inspected yarns and specialised materials like rayon or spandex are arranged in the cylinder-knitting machine for knitting. The needles and shuttles of the cylindrical knitting machines are adjusted to produce patterns specified by customers, and new samples will be knitted and checked prior to full production. Any defects during knitting are detected by the staff on duty and the knitting is halted until the problem is rectified. In addition, quality control staff further inspect the newly knitted fabric prior to the dispatch for dyeing.
Samples of fabrics are dyed and checked against the specification of colour samples approved by customers in the laboratory in the Panyu Factory. Once the quality control staff confirm the accuracy of the colour of the dyed samples using various testing devices, the dyeing process begins. This involves placing the grey fabric in dyeing tanks for treatment up to a specific period and temperature, depending on the colour intensity required and material specification. Currently, the Group possesses dyeing tanks withcapacity ranging from approximately 50 pounds to 8,000 pounds per tank to cater for different order sizes.
Dehydration and drying
Dyed fabrics are first dehydrated in the centrifugal process. They are then dried in one of the Group’s drying machines, namely tumble-drying machines, flat-drying machines, vibration drying machines, or candle-drying machines, according to fabric requirements.
The dried fabric is run through an inspection machine for inspection by the quality control staff to ascertain that the fabric meets the required standards in terms of colour, uniformity and appearance.
Depending on customers’ specifications, fabrics are processed by various specialised methods to give them the desired finishing and texture. For example, fabrics with different appearances can be produced by napping machines, cutting machines, polishing machines and brushing machines respectively.
Fabrics are treated by the setting machine in order to meet the customers’ requirements on the width, unit weight and shrinkage degree of the fabrics. The setting machine extends the fabricunder high temperature to enhance its smoothness and to stabilise its size and shape.
Fabrics are treated by the pre-shrinking machine in order to meet the customers’ requirements on the shrinkage ratio. In addition, this process further improves the fabric softness.
Final inspection and packing
Finished products are run through the inspection machine manually once again for final visual inspection by the quality control staff. Qualified products are rolled-up and packaged in air-tight wrappings so that the condition of the fabrics can be maintained throughout transportation.