operation in the modern mills

 E. Operation in the modern mills
62. The analysis of the operation of modern mills
proceeded along similar lines to that made for the old
mills, and there is therefore no need to repeat the details
of procedure in this section.
63. In modern industries, the excess of labour in
relation to the number of hands employed in a normal or
standard organization also bears considerable influence
on productivity, exercising a pressure which is greater
than the deficiency In the output of machinery. In fact,
table 2 shows that the average importance of excess
labour, in the group of modern spinning and weaving
units in the countries visited, is 154 (54 per cent excess
labour) whereas the average importance of deficient
machine output is only 105 (5 per cent less yield than is
64. Just as in the old industries, it was found that a
higher than normal yield (97, 67 and 95) is being obtained from the machinery in the spinning mills of three
33 5 per cent equals (1 — -Jq^) 

34 Attention should be drawn to the analysis of the index corresponding to the differences in the output of the machinery in
the spinning mill, and their three component parts, that is, the
indices of abnormality in unitary weight, in speed and in efficiency. It will be seen that in the majority of countries, the first
two indices are lower than 100, indicating that the unitary
weight of the intermediary products and the speed of the machinery are higher than normal. The efficiency of the processes is
slightly below normal in all the countries, with the exception of
Chile, where it is higher.
35 The analysis of the index corresponding to the differences in
output of machinery in the modern weaving mills (table 2)
shows that in the majority of countries the speed of equipment
is below normal. This is principally caused by the fact that in
of the countries visited (Brazil, Chile and Peru). This
fact, together with the substantial excess of labour in
these sectors (indices 145, 285 and 168) might be considered to confirm the existence of a policy of maximum
utilization of the scarce factor, that is, of equipment, at
the cost of a wastage of the factor which exists in
abundance, namely, labour.34 The same policy is probably adopted in the weaving mills, but the same results
are not obtained on account of certain factors—to which
further reference will be made—which limit the output
of the machines, whatever number of hands are used
on them.35
65. Just as in the case of the old industry, not all the
excess of labour (index 154) may be considered entirely
superfluous, since a part of it is employed to offset certain conditions which tend to reduce the efficiency of the
processes. The most important of these conditions is the
inadequate training of the workers which, were it to
prevail independently of other factors of low productivity, would increase labour consumption by 14 per cent,
not only because it involves the employing of more
workers than are necessary, but because in any case, even
after extra workers are taken on, it affects the efficiency
of the processes. The clearest example will be found in
the weaving sheds, where the lack of experience of the
loom-fixers, is a source of an excessive number of mechanical loom-stops, inevitably lowering the efficiency of
the process, even when many weavers are employed.
Moreover, the fact that weavers are also unskilled means
that fewer looms can be assigned to each worker, in order
to maintain the highest possible level of efficiency, within
the limits established by other conditions.
66. Other factors which are of less importance are the
poor quality of the yarn (in some of the Peruvian weaving mills, where the yarn comes from antiquated spinning mills), the defects in warp preparation and in the
twisting and winding of the filling (in the spinning mills
of Chile and Brazil) ; and, lastly, the lack of systems of
humidity control (frequently found in the weaving and
spinning mills of Peru).36
67. Considering the group of countries as a whole, the
combination of all these factors tends to lower the efficiency of the processes to a level which is 93.5 per cent
of normal,37 and, at the same time, demands 12 per cent
more labour (index 112)38 than would be required under
normal conditions. In other words, it involves an average
increase of 20 per cent (index 120)39 in the consumption
of labour per kilogramme of fabric, if both spinning and
weaving are taken into account.
68. The remainder of the total labour excess, after
discounting the extraordinary demand for labour arising
some mills the machinery was still in the initial running-in
period, and therefore operating at slower speeds, though in some
cases speed was reduced in order to train recently-engaged
labour. With the exception of Brazil, the efficiency of the weaving process is considerably below standard.
35 See the reference made to the lack of humidity control in
antiquated industry.
37 93.5 per cent equal jj ^ X 100.
88 This figure (112) is obtained by dividing the index corresponding to the total excess of labour (154) by the index for
entirely superflous labour (137).
38 This figure (120) is obtained by multiplying the average
index for the abnormality of process efficiency (107) by the
index representing extraordinary demand for labour arising
from deficient conditions (112).
10 Productivity of the Cotton Textile Industry in Latin America
from the lack of skilled workers and other deficient conditions, may be considered as entirely superfluous, that is
to say, it could be eliminated without greatly lowering the
present output of the machinery. The presence of this
labour in the mills causes labour consumption to be 37
per cent higher than if these hands were eliminated. It
exists principally because of the lack of adequate organization and administration of the mills.
69. By comparing the index for superfluous labour
(137) with other indices contained in table 2, it will be
seen that this is the most important of the factors affecting the productivity of modern industry as a whole.
However, it does not occur in all the countries visited
since it was not found to prevail in Mexico (index 99);
nor does it affect all sectors uniformly, since its index
(with the exception of Mexico) varies from 131 in the
weaving mills of Sao Paulo to 225 in the Chilean spinning mills.
F. Synthesis of the factors of low productivity
in the modern industry
70. In preparing the summary of the indices corresponding to the factors affecting productivity in the mills
contained in table 2

, it was assumed that all the factors
of operation could be eliminated by adequate administrative measures, without having recourse to large capital
investments. On the whole, these factors involve the
consumption of 61 per cent (index 161) more labour
than would be required in a normal or standard unit,
whereas the deficiencies which can be attributed to equipment and to size, the correction of which requires large
capital investments, only involve the consumption of
13 per cent (index 113) more labour than that of the
standard units.
71. Serious deficiencies were found in the systems of
technical and administrative control, especially in the old
mills. The majority of these deficiencies might be considered as indirect factors of low productivity since at all
events they hamper the discovery and assessment of the
true causes and make it difficult to correct these systematically.
72. Probably the most important of these deficiencies
lies in the method used to determine the work-loads, that
is to say, the number of machines or units of machinery
which should be assigned a single worker.40 It is generally found that the methods employed conform to
customs, established since the early days of the LatinAmerican textile industry, which were very often passed
down from the old British organizations. The work-load
is characteristically small and irrational, that is, it is not
40 The work-load may also be defined in terms of production
per unit of time or, more directly, as the sum total of the elementary times which a worker requires for the execution of all
his duties or activities during a working day.
41 In the new Mexican factories, the introduction of modern
methods of determining work-loads is most frequently encountered and undoubtedly contributed to the absence of excess
labour in these units (see table 2). The practice generally
adopted is as follows: (1) a detailed list of the elementary functions is drawn up for each worker; (2) by means of time studies
the average duration of each of these functions is established;
(3) these durations, or elementary times, are multiplied by a
practical factor varying generally from 1.10 to 1.15, for the purpose of establishing a period of rest for the worker; (4) the
related to the intensity and duration of work really demanded in textile operations. Only recently, in some of
the new mills, has there been an attempt to adopt modern
systems based on the frequency and duration of the
various elementary functions of the worker and also on
the percentage of time allowed for the rest period corresponding to these functions41 during the working day."
The majority of the undertakings have not even attempted the correct determination of these elementary
functions in accordance with the optimum degree of
specialization corresponding to the size and type of the
73. The systems of quality control for the cotton, the
in-process products (picker lap, card web, slivers and
roving) and the finished goods (yarn and cloth) are very
deficient in the large majority of the old factories. They
have few laboratory instruments and their systematic
checking is generally limited to an inspection of the raw
material (in order to verify the length of staple), the
determination of yarn count and strength, and the grading of cloth, according to the number of flaws it contains.
In very few cases is there any orderly inquiry into the
causes of these irregularities of quality and nowhere are
modern methods of statistical quality control adopted,
such as those which are beginning to be used by the textile industries of the highly industrialized countries.42
74. Though in many mills efficiency of the processes
is checked43 (at least in the spinning-frame and loom
sections), very few check the source of abnormalities by
measuring the frequency of breakages or machine stops,
classifying them according to the apparent immediate
motive, and investigating these immediate causes in
order to discover the underlying factors. It is likely that
many of the causes of low productivity to which reference has been made in this report occur simply because
their existence has never been noted, or because no adequate assessment has been made of the full influence of
these causes on the low yield of the machinery, or of
75. In the majority of the mills there is no real system
of cost control. The average cost of production is determined by means of global accounting data, but no effort
is made to break it up by sections and distribute it among
the various products. In very few cases are standard
costs used, nor are analyses made of the variances between actual costs and the said standards, which would
make it possible to discover the main discrepancies and
correct their causes or at least recognize them. Since the
deficiencies in the yield of machinery and in the utilization of labour are among the outstanding causes of cost
variances, it is believed that the lack of adequate cost
systems indirectly affects productivity, unless the mills
have other direct means of determining and controlling
frequency with which the elementary functions are repeated
must be established, per unit of machinery, during a given period
(480 or 2,880 minutes) and multiplied by the corresponding
durations; and, lastly (5), the selected period must be divided by
the sum of the products thus obtained, in order to determine the
number of machines or units of machinery which may be assigned to a single worker, without compelling him to make an
extraordinary effort.
42 This refers principally to the systematic use of adequate
sampling procedures, and the Shewhart chart for quality control.
43 In this report, the efficiency of the processes only shows the
relationship between actual hourly production of the machinery
and its theoretical continuous production, that is to say, if the
machinery were used continuously without any stoppages.

 Chapter I. Productivity in the ; Group of Countries Visited 11
76. Though raw cotton is the most important element
in the cost of Latin-American textile goods, no methods
exist whereby the wastage of the raw material can be
adequately controlled, even in countries which have to
import cotton from abroad. Just as in the case of costs,
it is not sufficient to measure the total amount wasted;
it is necessary to analyse it by sections, comparing it with
pre-determined standards, and to verify the reasons for
differences as compared with the set standards, insisting
on corrective measures where necessary. Even though,
during the course of this inquiry, it was impossible to
determine numerically the effects of cotton waste, precisely because no methods of control exist, it is generally
recognized that the waste is excessive. The repercussion
of this wastage is felt principally in the cost of the raw
material, but it also affects productivity, since it involves
a certain amount of wasted textile labour.

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