The days are gone when textile and apparel companies could choose whether they wished to establish a 3rd-party testing plan for their materials. On the one hand, they could choose to test and use the results as a marketing device to set themselves aside from their competitors. On the contrary, they could choose not to perform Textile Testing Equipments, and if they were a big-enough player in the market, they didn’t lose customers for it.
Nowadays, increasing globalization from the supply chain implies that if a person supplier doesn’t test their products and services in accordance with a good 3rd-party testing plan, a buyer can easily find another who will. Couple that with the absolute explosion in the relevance of eco-initiatives, environmental sustainability, restricted substances, etc., within the last 5-ten years. What buyer inside their right mind would be connected with a supplier that doesn’t care about environmental surroundings when you can find thousands which do?
Manufacturers simply have zero choice but to (pardon the pun) get having a program! But which program? In other words- now that you’ve chose to test, what’s next? Decide How You have to Test. For most companies, tests are separated into two classes: 1) Performance testing and 2) Restricted substance testing. Let’s dive into these 2 kinds of testing a bit more.
Performance Testing – Performance testing describes evaluating product performance in the intended use. For example, could it be the right color, are the seams sufficiently strong enough, is definitely the product durable per customer requirements, does the piece withstand enough washes, etc.? Usually, a company has a sense of how their products perform, plus they likely either come with an in-house testing plan set up or they already send their product to a third party testing lab for performance testing. Generally, performance tests are easier to perform from a technology standpoint than restricted substance testing as the equipment and techniques needed to test are cheaper and readily accessible. If you wish to establish a performance testing plan and you also think you wish to do performance testing in-house:
1. Scope your property to determine in which you will conduct your testing. If you have an area which can be focused on an in-house lab, certain factors should influence your final decision on whether to apply it that purpose. Consider electricity requirements for equipment, access to the outdoors for ventilation needs or fume hoods, and water hookups for Textile Testing use and eye-wash stations. Work together with your HR department to determine what local regulations exist that you may have to comply with. In a standard level, you should store current, accurate MSDS sheets for just about any products you use, and certain chemicals will demand a lockable chemical cabinet for storage. If chemicals are used inside your testing location, you should produce an eye-wash station within your lab, possibly two or more, depending on the size of the lab space.
2. Talk to your larger customers concerning your product quality. Find out how they evaluate your materials (you should know this, having said that i won’t tell). From these conversations, you will understand not only what exactly you need with regards to equipment and process, you will additionally create a good impression on your customer. In my experience as both the customer and the supplier within these conversations, I notice you that your customer will be thrilled which you care enough concerning your quality to get prepared to allow them to try out your material. Many suppliers avoid that subject like the plague. As an added benefit, you might find that your customer is ready to test for you personally at no cost as you get the own process running. This may sound backwards or even just like a conflict appealing, but believe me. When the customer is able, they would love to help and most likely their lab is really busy they won’t have time to scrutinize your material performance when you get the capability up-to-speed.
3. Identify the organizations within your industry that help create the testing standards that affect you. Be a member, or at a minimum follow them using social networking (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn groups). Membership fees are usually quite reasonable, and you’ll likely have the opportunity to become a part of the committees that actually write the test standards, thus influencing the content of the standards you must follow. Pretty cool, huh?
4. After you’ve spoke with your customers, joined 1 or 2 from the relevant trade organizations in your industry, and done some study, return back and reconsider #1. You might find that this requirements to begin your very own lab are much more costly than merely broadcasting your materials for testing to a third party testing lab or may need employees with skills and training which you can’t easily obtain. Even when you have to test several samples from each lot, that is certainly often more inexpensive than building a lab on your own. The testing organizations will provide you with package pricing for tests which you use often. If you’re on the fence regarding whether to invest in the lab, make use of a third party lab for one year, whilst keeping detailed records of all the your testing expenses. Compare that yearly expense with the cost of starting and maintaining your lab now that you’ve done a little bit of homework. Depending on your company’s accounting procedures, you might need to see a return on that lab investment within 3 or 7 years. This practice will allow you to put some firm numbers behind your decision one way or the other.
Restricted Substance Testing – Restricted substance tests are more difficult regarding the technology employed to conduct it, which means that your choice regarding how you can conduct that testing is quite simple- send it out for an accredited third party test lab for testing. Unless you already have an ICP spectrometer or even an XRF device, you will end up sending out your samples for testing. Please be aware that even though you come with an internal lab you make use of to conduct your QC and/or performance testing, you may still need to send spxmvs for restricted substance testing if it is required.
There are lots of restricted substance test protocols, but they are generally either a requirement of your customer, required legislation, or both.
Types of restricted substance testing plans from customers include: Nike RSL and adidas A-01. Most major apparel companies have an adopted testing plan similar to these. Samples of required legislation include Prop 65, REACH, and CPSIA. Many 3rd parties have gotten in on the action by creating their own testing protocols that attempt to fulfill the required legislation And also the major customer requirements. A fantastic illustration of this really is Oeko-tex 100 certification. For me, Oeko-tex is currently the most effective testing restricted substance test protocol on earth for the investment as it does an excellent job of incorporating the legislative requirements (AKA Legal Requirements) with equipment. I see more and more companies over a weekly basis getting their materials Oeko-tex certified And making use of that certification being a marketing part of their product promotion.
Another plus for Oeko-tex is the fact numerous apparel companies recognize it that once you get a product line Oeko-tex certified, you have a free pass on about 90-95% of numerous major customers required tests. Translation: you don’t have to pay twice (or 3 times) for the very same test on the same material.