Sri Lanka Army’s Ranaviru Apparel industries at Yakkala and Alawwa, run purely by disable Army personnel are to be upgraded and brought in line with international standards after quality of the products is raised under a new modernization programme, so opined Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army when he called at the newly-opened Alawwa Ranaviru Apparels factory Friday (22) morning on an inspection tour.
Sri Lanka Army in early 2010 on the instructions of the Commander of the Army introduced the world-wide acclaimed 5S practice to its Yakkala Ranaviru Apparels with the express intention of raising standards, productivity and its efficiency.
In the year 2011, the Japanese 5S Guru Prof. Seiichi Fujitha and his team awarded the ‘5S Excellence Special Award’ to the Yakkala Ranaviru Apparels, in recognition of its qualitative production strategies and efficiency.
Both Yakkala and Alawwa apparel factories produce 80% of Army uniform requirements, and the Commander during his visit to the Alawwa factory this morning (22) instructed its management to increase the output to meet with the Army’s 100% uniform requirement after raising standards and making other necessary arrangements.
Lieutenant General Jayasuriya further told the management to explore possibilities of producing all tri-service uniform sets in the future at both these factories since it would be a very profitable project for both producers and users alike.
It was Lieutenant General Jayasuriya, having impressed with the production process at Yakkala Ranaviru Apparels who pioneered the Alawwa Ranaviru Apparels factory after obtaining a separate plot of land, exclusively for the purpose of tapping the resources of disable War Heroes as well as enabling the Army to have its own uniforms.
Differently able soldiers, numbering over 460 at Yakkala factory competed with the country’s 95 leading garment manufacturers to enter the final round of the 5S competition because the workforce at Yakkala has been producing an average of 1000 uniform sets per day.
During Friday’s tour, the visiting Commander was honoured with a Guard Turnout on arrival in keeping with military traditions after he was received by Lieutenant Colonel Mahesh Kumara, Commandant, Alawwa Ranaviru Apparels.
Lieutenant General Jayasuriya afterwards inspected the facilities inside, including water supply systems, ORs accommodation, production units and other areas of interest, etc before he spoke to the 500-strong workforce who are mostly differently able, identical to those working in the Yakkala factory.
Lieutenant General Jayasuriya underlined the importance of upgrading the factory’s standards and reaching the international market for foreign exchange in the future as both factories complete full requirements of the Army.
At present, the Ranaviru Apparels at Alawwa, produces 600 uniform sets per day and expects to go into other areas of production. In addition, the factory is in the process of producing one lakh of folding mattresses to the Army, following an order received from the Army. The factory also has entered the track kit production process, following increased demands of regiments, the Commander was told.
During his stay, the Army Chief shared a couple of views with members of the workforce and listened to their comments and suggestions. Before the Commander’s exit from the premises, he planted a tree sapling in the compound and signed the visitors’ book at the office.