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Monday, September 29, 2008

Metal Free Policy

01 Introduction-Metal Free Policy

The following rules and procedures are designed to prevent metal contaminated garments reaching our customers and consumers, and to ensure that all adidas-Salomon products are safe. For this Metal Free Policy to work effectively, these rules and procedures must be followed by everybody, everyday. adidas-Salomon treats product safety very seriously and there will be penalties in the event that any metal objects are found in any of our products reaching the customer or end consumer.

All adidas-Salomon apparel-manufacturing locations must enforce these rules and procedures, both internally and with their suppliers.

All products manufactured for adidas-Salomon must go through a needle detector.

Management is responsible for conducting regular audits at their production location(s) to ensure that there is compliance.

02 In all areas…

2.1 The use of staples, metal paper clips, drawing pins, pins, etc. needs to be controlled. Instead, the use approved non-metal alternatives such as scotch tape, plastic paper clips and plastic swift tags is recommended. This applies to paper documents, and trim cards in the production area.
2.2 Each work area must have a metal disposal or safety box where any metal that is discovered and could cause contamination can be safely isolated.
2.3 To ensure that there is no danger of tools becoming lost inside garments, a cord or drawstring should be affixed to all tools (includes scissors and trimmers), so that they can be secured to either the operator or the workstation. For tools which are difficult to fix in this way, such as metal clamps, cutting scissors, pinning devices, etc., a separate tool board needs to be established. Unused tools have to be located on the tool board at all times.
2.4 Posters should be displayed at appropriate locations, factory entrances and exits, as a reminder of the enforced Metal Free policy, in operation.

Note that if the above is unsafe or impractical, a tool record must be kept whereby tools are issued to operators individually and must be returned, on a daily basis.

03 In the Cutting Room…

3.1 Markers must be fixed to fabric by avoiding the use of pins.
3.2 Metal clamps can be used, but the inventory issued to each cutting table must be checked and recorded at the end of each shift (refer to section 2.3 about tool board).
3.3 Where pinning of striped fabric is practiced, a record must be kept of how many pins have been allocated to each table. This must be checked daily to ensure that no pins are missing.
3.4 Any hand scissors should be attached to either the operator or the working table, using a cord or drawstring (also refer to section 2.3 about tool board).
3.5 Note that brushed fabrics and padding materials can contain metal parts. Such materials should be checked using the metal detection machine or hand scanner before sending to the sewing sections.

04 In the Embroidery Section

4.1 The Embroidery section (whether sewn internally and using an external supplier) should also follow a strict needle control policy.
4.2 All parts having embroideries should pass through a metal detector machine before being transferred to the sewing section.
4.3 A worn/damaged needle record must be kept (refer to section 5.3).
4.4 The embroidery section needs to be equipped with a hand held metal detector.

05 In the Sewing Cell

5.1 Needle Replacement Procedure
5.1.1 All operators must be trained and educated on proper needle control, as well as the metal free policy. This also applies to swift tag gun needles used for attaching hangtags. A training record must be kept.
5.1.2 No operators may hold spare needles or pins.
5.1.3 Only qualified personnel (such as the foremen, supervisor or technician) may hold screwdrivers and tools, and they must be kept in a secure location.
5.1.4 All spare needles must be kept in a secure location and the allocation of any replacement needles must be strictly controlled.
5.1.5 A new needle is issued to the operators only if the operator produces the old blunt or damaged needle or if the operator produces all pieces of the broken needle
5.1.6 In case of blunt or damaged needles, the foreman will record receipt and either tape to the worn/damaged needle record or dispose of in the metal disposal or safety box provided.
5.1.7 For any broken needles, the pieces of broken needles will be taped in the worn/damaged needle record.
5.1.8 Both the metal disposal or safety box and the worn/damaged needle record book must be kept in secure locations, and are the responsibility of the supervisor or a dedicated person.

5.2 Parts of Broken Needle not found

If all pieces of the needle cannot be found the following procedure needs to be implemented:-

5.2.1 Conduct a thorough search of the garment panels and the work area, to find the missing part(s). If not found, the operator must inform the foreman or supervisor.
5.2.2 The foreman will place all panels in the immediate work area into a plastic bag and take them to the needle detection area. There the panels will be searched with a hand held detector and/or conveyor belt metal detector to locate the needle.
5.2.3 If the needle still cannot be found, the garment will be passed through the tunnel detector to ensure that it is free from any metal contamination. Only then can the garment be returned to production.
5.2.4 The action taken and result of the inspection must be recorded in the worn/damaged needle record book.
5.2.5 The packing section needs to be advised about any product styles where needle parts were not found.
5.2.6 The needle detector inspection result needs to be recorded in the worn/damaged needle record book.

5.3 Worn/damaged Needle Record

5.3.1 The worn/damaged needle record is a spreadsheet that should include columns for production section & sewing line, sewing machine type number, needle brand, type & size, seam operation, customer, product style, worn or broken, all parts found, action taken.
5.3.2 The needle record must be analyzed on a daily basis.
5.3.3 Data can show you important information that can prevent problems, if acted upon immediately. These include:
· Type of fabric, where incidence of needle breakage is high.
· Kind of machine/operation, where incidence of needle breakage is high.
· Size of needle, with high incidence of breakage.
· Does needle always break into several pieces?
· What style/product has a high incidence of needle breakage.

Note: It is important that this record is completed accurately and honestly. The record is designed to show the action taken when broken all parts of the needle cannot be found, which will happen.

06 In the Packing Section (Metal Detection Area) …

6.1 All individually packed garments must pass through the metal detector one at a time, immediately prior to final packaging (taping of carton box and Scan & Pack).
6.2 The packing warehouse must be an isolated area, free from metal contamination, and with restricted access.
6.3 All garments passing the metal detector should be immediately packed into a carton. All cartons should have a sticker outside indicating “PMD” (Passed Metal Detector) or a stamp indicating the same.
6.4 Cartons must not have uncovered staples.
6.5 If any carton is removed from the packing warehouse, its total contents need to be passed back through the metal detector and Scan & Pack.

07 Needle Detector (tunnel)

7.1 Machine Operation

7.1.1 All garments must be passed through a tunnel needle detector.
7.1.2 The tunnel needle detector must be bought from an approved supplier. Lock Inspection Systems, Cintex and Hashima are recommended equipment suppliers. Note that machines require a stable voltage to operate effectively and a voltage stabiliser should be attached.
7.1.3 The tunnel needle detector must be calibrated by the supplier’s technician at least once a year. A calibration record must be kept next to the machine.
7.1.4 The detector must have audio and visual alarms and an automatic stop on the conveyor when any metal is detected. A key-operated restart is also preferred.
7.1.5 If there are any problems during production, only a trained safety officer may restart the machine or use the reset key. If adjustment is needed, the same officer should handle.
7.1.6 The garment reject procedure must be clearly documented and readily available.
7.1.7 Systems must be in place to recheck work should the machine fail to operate correctly when tested.
7.1.8 A locked box needs to be located next to the conveyor belt detector. Garments suspected of metal contamination need to be placed temporarily in the locked box, until cleared by the supervisor to be metal free.

7.2 Testing Procedures

7.2.1 Only properly trained and educated operators can handle & operate the machine.
7.2.2 The machine should be tested on an hourly basis, during operation. The time, the machine settings and the results must be recorded.
7.2.3 Use the test specimen provided by the needle detector manufacturer to check the machine sensitivity. All three sections of the conveyor (right, middle & left side) should be tested using a 1.2 mm or smaller diameter specimen. Note that the specimen should be passed through the conveyor at the weakest detection point (middle height of tunnel for Hashima, Oshima machines from Japan).
7.2.4 Always clean the Needle Detector conveyor belts before using in production
7.2.5 The Needle detector should always be tested to be 100% functional before using in production.

7.3 Metal Detection Room

7.3.1 The room should be free from any metal objects that might affect the sensitivity of testing and be isolated.
7.3.2 Electric or ceiling fans can cause some metal detectors to malfunction, if close to machine.
7.3.3 Any machine that would create too much vibration should be removed from the room.
7.3.4 Persons operating the metal detectors should be metal free (i.e. no jewelry, watches, etc).
7.3.5 Interior of the room should be visible from the outside.
7.3.6 Scan and Pack will be placed at the end of the needle detector. Once the cartons have been sealed, they should remain in the isolated room until shipment or final audit.
7.3.7 The contents of all cartons selected for final audit, need to pass through needle detection and Scan and Pack, before shipment.
7.4 Diagram of a Metal Detection Room

Scan & Pack
Needle detector
View from above
Recommended method for testing, using two machines.
Transparent material (glass)
View from the side

09 Audits

9.1 Regular audits must be carried out in all areas by adidas-Salomon Production/Quality personnel to check that the factory is in compliance with the Metal Free policy.
9.2 Records must be kept of all audits.
9.3 When any non-compliance is found, the corrective action taken must be documented.


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