times of spinning mills in mexico and textile industry


(b) In many old spinning mills, principally in
Mexico, a lack of balance was noted between the capacthan might be expected from the defective manufacturing conditions which are found in nearly all the mills.
30 In this report, the efficiency of the processes only expresses
the relationship between actual hourly production of the machinery and the theoretical production that would be given by
the same equipment if it were to operate without any stoppage,
at the speed assigned. The index of importance of the abnormalities in efficiency has been calculated as an average relationship between standard efficiency and actual efficiency, but it
might also be obtained by dividing actual labour consumption by
standard labour consumption, if the abnormality of efficiency
were the only cause of low productivity.
8 Productivity of the Cotton Textile Industry in Latin America
ity of the preparatory spinning processes (such as opening, picking, carding and drawing) and that of the final
process (spinning frames). In the majority of cases,
this lack of balance can be ascribed to the increase in the
number of spindles without a proportional increase in
the capacity of the initial processes. However, in other
examples the gradual change-over in the type of product
to coarser counts has also exerted some influence.

 As a
result of this, the manufacturers speed up the preparatory machines or, alternatively, increase the unit weight
of in-process products.
(c) It is common to find mills with a poor machine
and room layout. This is principally due to the fact that
the number of machines has been increased within the
available space, which is really too small to contain
them. In many cases, however, the original building
plans and the equipment layout were at fault.
(d) Frequently one finds that the control systems of
humidity are deficient or non-existent. Some manufacturers believe that the natural humidity of the atmosphere is sufficient not to require the installation of artificial humidification equipment. This, however, does not
take into account the well-proven importance of maintaining humidity constant within the narrow limits which
vary according to the process or group of processes
(e) On the whole, in the textile mills of the countries
visited, no proper attention is given to the problem of
cleanliness in the rooms and the machinery, though the
manufacturers recognize this to be a very important factor in obtaining high process efficiency and high quality
products. It is possible that the reason for this deficiency
lies simply in the fact that the standards of cleanliness
are low. In many mills, the use of efficient tools and
equipment for this purpose is entirely unknown.
(/) The poor quality of the yarn—its lack of uniformity, cleanliness and strength—is probably the factor
which affects the efficiency of the weaving process most
frequently and to the greatest extent. In a few cases, it
is also encountered in conjunction with the poor preparation of the warp; that is, deficient slub catching at the
spoolers or cone-winders and inadequate sizing at the
(g) Though there is undoubtedly a marked difference
between the degree of product specialization in the
Latin-American mills and that of some of the most
highly industrial centres in the world, the investigation
in the mills visited showed that the greater part of these
mills constantly produce certain types of fabrics in
amounts which do not vary greatly from month to
month. It was considered, therefore, that the lack of
specialization has not had so much effect on LatinAmerican productivity as is generally believed, or at
least that its importance is considerably lower, compared with other factors which increase labour consumption. In Brazil and Mexico, however, many large
weaving mills were found which, in order to meet market requirements, were producing relatively small
amounts of different types of cloth; this factor was
taken into account when assigning an estimated index
of importance to this influence. The lack of standardization of the products for popular consumption is
31 The Secretariat of National Economy in Mexico has been
working on standards of manufacture for industrial fabrics and
for cloth for popular consumption.
probably more important than the lack of specialization,
not so much because of its effect on productivity, but as
an element which unnecessarily increases the final price
paid by the consumer. In Mexico, for instance, mills
which are situated far away from each other manufacture almost the same type of cloth ; however, small differences in their construction or in quality exist, and
these are sufficient to enable the product of one region
to find a large market among consumers in another
region and vice versa. This trade would be necessary in
the case of highly differentiated products, such as the
majority of the fine and fancy fabrics absorbed by the
high-income classes. However, in the case of goods for
popular consumption, it only involves a waste in transport and intermediary functions which might be avoided
if these products were subject to strict standards of construction and quality.31
(h) Only in Ecuador was it possible to say definitely
that the poor quality of the cotton contributed to low
productivity. Domestic raw material in Ecuador contains a large number of short fibres of low strength and
is extremely irregular in staple length. Consequently, it
leads to much waste, affects the efficiency of the processes, lowers the quality of the product, and limits the
range of yarn counts which may be manufactured.
59. Within the time limit set for the investigation, it
was impossible to determine the effect that each of the
conditions enumerated above have on labour consumption, principally because they form a complex which is
difficult to analyse. However, grouping these conditions
under more or less homogeneous categories and making
use of measurements, observations and rough estimates,
it was likewise attempted to express their importance
in the form of indices, with a view to comparing them
with the importance of other factors affecting productivity. Table 1 contains the indices of these groups
obtained in each of the countries visited and also their
weighted averages. The detailed analysis and explanation of the procedure followed in order to obtain these
numerical values is contained in chapters II to VII.
60. The majority of these defective manufacturing
conditions affect productivity not only by changing the
output of the equipment through variations in the unit
weight of the product, speed of the machinery, or organization of the processes, but by demanding a greater
number of workers than is normally required. It may
therefore be said that the total excess of workers found
in the Latin-American mills (index 196 for the industry
as a whole) is partly employed in meeting this extraordinary demand (index 115) ; the rest may be considered absolutely superfluous, that is to say, it might be
eliminated without correcting the manufacturing conditions. The importance of this superflous labour is expressed in the following indices : 193 for Brazil, 361 for
Ecuador, 139 for Mexico, 153 for Peru, and 170 for
these countries as a whole. Its existence is principally
due to the prevalence of antiquated working methods
and to the lack of organization and labour supervision
which will be discussed elsewhere in this report. If the
index of relative labour consumption corresponding to
the excess of workers required by manufacturing conditions (115)32 is compared with that of the amount of
absolutely superfluous labour (170), it will be seen that
the latter is by far the more important.
32 Index 115 is not shown in table 1. It is obtained by dividing
the index of total excess labour (196) by the index of superfluous labour (170).
Chapter I. Productivity in the ; Group of Countries Visited 9

 D. Synthesis of the factors of low productivity
in the old industry
61. With the object of assessing the importance of
the factors of low productivity, according to the type of
action required for their elimination, the indices obtained
•by means of the analysis have been summarized in the
following manner: (1) The irreparable deterioration of
the equipment was separated from manufacturing conditions, as was the lack of balance between the capacity of
the preliminary and final processes of the spinning mills
and the defective machine and mill layout, for the purpose of associating them with the factors designated as
"type of machinery" and "size of the plant". One could
thus form a group which would include all those factors
that cannot be eliminated except by investing large sums
of capital in the replacement of machinery and in the
expansion of the plant (index 230). (2) The remaining
manufacturing conditions were broken up into two
groups, of which one calls principally for internal administrative control (index 123), and the other requires
the co-operation of all manufacturers, and of the government, in order to improve certain conditions, such as
the poor quality of the cotton and the lack of specialization in production, that demand external administrative
action (index 105). (3) All the factors of operation,
with the exception of those associated with the type of
equipment and the size of the plant, were drawn together
in a single group, which, as has already been suggested,
may be called "administrative factors", using this term
in a wider sense than is generally ascribed to it (index

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