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Overview of the role

Create knitted components or products that meet customer and/or organisation specifications and quality standards

Knitted product manufacturing technician

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the manufacturing, creative and design sectors, in the production of knitted fabrics and knitted products. Products are used in the clothing, medical, construction and automotive industries. Products range from luxury apparel to fast fashion, plasters to implantable medical devices, pond liners to road underlay and car seat covers to engine components.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to create knitted components or products that meet customer and/or organisation specifications and quality standards. Knitting product manufacturing technicians may work on one-off items for specific customers, product samples to be replicated or on larger production runs. They use knitting methods such as flat knitting, circular knitting, warp knitting and weft knitting. Each method produces an entirely different finish. For example, weft knitting produces a shaped component, whilst warp knitting produces only fabric yardage.

They work to a high level of accuracy; with close attention to detail, following given design briefs, which include specifications. They select the raw materials and machines appropriate for the job, select a relevant programme and set up specialist knitting machines to produce the item to specifications. They oversee the machines as they knit the product, dealing with manufacturing, quality, operational and process issues throughout production. They understand the end-to-end knitting process and support continuous improvement work as needed. They carry out routine, preventative maintenance, fault find and rectify common issues on knitting machines, ensuring they deliver a consistent level of quality production. They work efficiently, sometimes working under pressure, to meet customer or production deadlines.

Employers vary in size from micro to large. Knitted product manufacturing technicians work in a production factory environment or a sample room with access to production facilities.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with their production manager or supervisor and personnel involved in the design, development and production of knitted products. This will vary depending on the business size, structure and working environment. Typically, in a small production unit, they would work with the designer and maybe the production manager. In a workshop producing bespoke knitwear, they may work with the designer and the sample maker. In a wider factory setting, they often report to a supervisor or production manager and may work as part of a larger team, consulting with design, development and production staff, to ensure specifications are met.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for production of knitted products, implementing and overseeing efficient production methods, ensuring the knitted product meets the quality standard and design brief. They must work effectively on their own, or they may work as part of a wider team and must comply with health and safety requirements.

Typical job titles include:

Technical knitter Shima Knitter Knitting machine operator Knit technician Seam free knitter 3D knitting technician Knitting technolhist


Occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Select the appropriate knitting machines and plan own knitting production activity to achieve quality and quantity within given timescales.

K3 K5 K9 K10 K17 K20

S2 S7

B4

Duty 2 Select yarns or materials for knitting against the product brief and report any shortages or quality issues

K8 K11

S4 S5

Duty 3 Evaluate the product brief for the knitted product to be made for example, specifications, style, quality, quality, size, colour and timeline

K12 K18 K21

S3 S22

B1 B3

Duty 4 Select and use specialist software programs to produce the required product to the given specifications

K7

S8

B4

Duty 5 Prepare and test knitting machines and equipment to enable the formation of the required knitted product for example, threading, gauge, needles

K1 K4 K10

S6 S7 S9 S10 S14 S23

B2 B4

Duty 6 Operate, oversee and control knitting machines whilst in production, adjusting the machines as necessary to maintain quality

K1 K2 K9 K19

S6 S9 S13 S23

B1 B2 B4

Duty 7 Inspect knitted items against quality standards and specifications throughout the knitting process

K11 K16

S1 S15 S16 S17

B4

Duty 8 Investigate and analyse faults in knitted products and remedy if possible for example, misshapen, poor tension, missed stitches, shading

K11

S10 S11 S16

B4

Duty 9 Conduct first line preventative maintenance on knitting machines, fault find and rectify common issues to ensure a consistent level of quality throughout the production process. For example, cleaning, checking, adjusting and changing needles on knitting machines.

K1 K6 K9

S19 S23

B2 B4

Duty 10 Identify, communicate and report issues effecting quality, quantity and deadlines

K2 K14 K15 K23

S12 S21

B3 B4

Duty 11 Complete work documentation communicating as needed with colleagues for example, production sheets, job cards, work dockets

K13 K23

S18 S21

B1

Duty 12 Support continuous improvement activity

K2 K17 K19 K22 K23

S2 S20 S21

B1 B5 B6


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Health & Safety: Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), Manual Handling, First aid procedures, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Risk Assessment Back to Duty

K2: Equality & Diversity in the workplace Back to Duty

K3: Waste and energy management, environmental and sustainability policies and procedures Back to Duty

K4: Different types of knitting machines used in the production process and their applications: jacquard, circular, computerised flat knitting machines Back to Duty

K5: The set up, programming and adjustment of knitting machines Back to Duty

K6: Routine knitting machine maintenance: cleaning, preventative maintenance, testing Back to Duty

K7: Knitting machine programmes: data input, software, issues and adjustments Back to Duty

K8: Yarn or material types, origin, behaviour and specifications: content, characteristics and storage requirements Back to Duty

K9: Work organisation; the importance and benefits of a clean, clear, well organised work area Back to Duty

K10: Different types of knitting processes: weft knitting, interlock, purl, warp knitting Back to Duty

K11: The principles of the knitting process: stitch formation, knitting structures, stitch density Back to Duty

K12: How knitted components or knitted fabric make up the end product Back to Duty

K13: Work documentation purpose and requirements: technical packs, specifications, technical sheets, Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs), dockets/tickets Back to Duty

K14: Problem solving techniques: fault finding and rectifying for knitting machines and knitted product Back to Duty

K15: Production efficiencies, priorities and performance: targets, performance rates, deadlines Back to Duty

K16: Quality standards and systems: specification, tolerances, and quality checks Back to Duty

K17: The principles of continuous improvement methods: lean manufacture, 6-sigma, KAIZEN, 5S (Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardise and Sustain) Back to Duty

K18: Production costs of the knitted product: raw materials, labour, overheads Back to Duty

K19: Team working techniques and benefits Back to Duty

K20: Time management techniques: production planning, prioritising and tracking Back to Duty

K21: Commercial awareness: the supply chain, product design, competition and customer expectations Back to Duty

K22: Past and current UK knitting industry: medical, hosiery, geotextiles, fashion, performance wear Back to Duty

K23: Methods of communication: verbal Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Read and interpret knitting instructions and specifications Back to Duty

S2: Schedule, plan and prioritise the workload Back to Duty

S3: Identify, report and resolve any discrepancies with work instructions Back to Duty

S4: Select and use yarns or materials, for example colour, type, count Back to Duty

S5: Inspect raw materials, identifying and reporting faults if necessary Back to Duty

S6: Identify and set up knitting machines Back to Duty

S7: Organise and prepare the work area for knitting production Back to Duty

S8: Select software and input data Back to Duty

S9: Conduct safety checks in relation to the work area and knitting machines Back to Duty

S10: Conduct test runs and identify quality issues Back to Duty

S11: Correct product faults Back to Duty

S12: Identify, report and resolve knitting machine issues Back to Duty

S13: Adjust knitting machines Back to Duty

S14: Change knitting machine needles and elements as required Back to Duty

S15: Quality check final products and prepare for the next stage of the process Back to Duty

S16: Identify and segregate reject products Back to Duty

S17: Identify and segregate material for reuse, recycling and disposal Back to Duty

S18: Enter information for example work records, work tickets, work dockets Back to Duty

S19: Conduct first line preventative maintenance, for example stripping and cleaning knitting machines Back to Duty

S20: Apply continuous improvement techniques Back to Duty

S21: Communicate with colleagues for example verbal and written work instructions Back to Duty

S22: Produce a knitted product costing Back to Duty

S23: Follow safe working practices, for example follows manual handling, lifting and safe ergonomic practice Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Team player, for example participates with others to accomplish organisational and team goals Back to Duty

B2: Prioritises health, safety and welfare of self and others over other demands Back to Duty

B3: Adaptable for example responds positively to changes in priorities and work deadlines Back to Duty

B4: Takes ownership for work, for example accepts responsibilities, demonstrates initiative, motivated, and self-managing Back to Duty

B5: Strives for continuous improvements in relation to product quality, production processes, and production systems Back to Duty

B6: Committed to continued professional development for example reflects on performance, seeks opportunities to develop and advance in response to the evolving production environment and technologies Back to Duty


Qualifications

English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.


Additional details

Occupational Level:

3

Duration (months):

24

Review

This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 3
Reference: ST0910
Version: 1.0
Approved for delivery: 24 August 2020
Route: Engineering and manufacturing
Typical duration to gateway: 24 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £11000
Employers involved in creating the standard: John Smedley, UKFT, Nieper Ltd, Chiltern Wool, Oubas Knitwear, Discovery Knitting, The Albion Knitting Company, Snahal, Genevieve Sweeney, Urgo, Baltex, John Smedley, Shima, UKFT
LARS Code: 596

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Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 24/08/2020 Not set Not set