You can find a dozen tutorials online that will show you step-by-step how to make a backpack. But IMHO, it won't work for most people. The reason is straightforward, you need to spend a lot of time learning and buying materials and a dozen tools, and you may not be able to make it successfully. Of course, as a person who loves DIY, I agree with everyone learning and trying.
Since DIY is not cost-effective, buying a mass-produced or custom-made backpack is a smart choice. Of course, the disadvantage of this is also obvious. It can't make your backpacks personalized.
The industrialized production of backpacks is similar to the operation of DIY. The only difference between the two is that industrial mass production has more professional equipment and workers and better design and product verification, and no embarrassing problems will occur.
Then the process required for the industrial production of a backpack is as follows,
Design & Drawings Confirmed
Design is the first process of product mass production, and it is also the most important process for product quality.
Good design, especially interior space planning and structural design, can improve user experience and durability. On the contrary, even using the best materials will produce many defective products.
The internal design team is generally subdivided into design engineers, raw materials engineers, structural engineers, etc. The focus of their work is different. For example, the design engineer is mainly responsible for typesetting and design. The raw material engineer significantly charges the quality, characteristics, and materials of each part to ensure compliance with the standards; the structural engineer is mainly responsible for the load-bearing structure of the backpack and whether it is ergonomic, etc. Every project is verified to ensure the customer experience.
All the work of the design team is to design a backpack that is comfortable, easy to use, durable, and meets related international standards.
After the drawing design is completed, it is necessary to verify again whether there is any unreasonable place in the drawing and then go to the next step.
Make & Confirming Prototype
Generally, there is a sample-making team for the whole design department of the company, which is responsible for turning the drawings of the design into a solid sample. This part is equally important. Design engineers use the model to double-check whether there are still unreasonable places in the design and then improve.
At the same time, many of our customers will also provide design drawings. Similarly, after the design department has reviewed, they can make samples for customers to confirm. It is also a common practice for our OEM customers.
The key point of validating the sample is to check whether the intended design goals are achieved. For example, have the requirements of the drawings been followed, there are multiple units on the bag, and are there enough space for the power bank? Whether the load-bearing capacity of the backpack has reached the expected standard, and so on.
It is also the last process before mass production. In this step, we have confirmed everything about the product, from raw materials, technology details, quality, functions, etc.
Because the fabrics we bought on the market are in bundles, which do not meet the length we use to produce our backpacks, so we need to cut the materials first.
Unlike the simple ruler or scissors used in our DIY, we need to use an industrial cutting machine to ensure mass production efficiency.
At the same time, because in the design stage, we have determined the size of the backpack and related accessories, the process of cutting the machine can complete the cutting of the backpack fabric, lining, straps, hand strap, and so on, then stored them separately and went the following process.
Because there is a unique mold for cutting ( we created cutting molds after the backpack's sizes were confirmed) , the size is more accurate than measuring with a ruler. Moreover, the efficiency may be improved by dozens or even hundreds of times.
Since it has entered the production process, a formal factory needs to train each worker and make a unique 'operation guide' to ensure the safety of the workers and to be able to operate the machine proficiently to improve efficiency.
Sewing Fabric ( Large Pieces of Fabric & Outside)
Our industry is called flat sewing. If it is the sewing of fabrics with three-dimensional space, then the corresponding station is a 3D sewing.
We see a lot of DIY bloggers saying these are so easy that a home sewing machine can do it. But what they don't know is that there is a big difference between a household sewing machine and an industrial sewing machine.
First of all, the structure of industrial sewing machines is more complicated, such as adding automatic thread trimming and automatic needle stop devices, and sound industrial sewing machines are equipped with microcomputer control devices for some additional custom functions.
The most important thing is that industrial sewing machines are designed with clear goals, can work for long periods, and sew thicker fabrics, so the production quality is more stable.
From our production point of view, both the sewing machinery and stitch used have been repeatedly verified. So as long as there are no defects in the design, the quality is naturally much more stable than DIY.
Once we've sewed the large piece of fabric and lining, we can move on to the next step.
Sewing Pockets & Accessories
Pockets, straps, and zippers are all small accessories, and the equipment used is almost the same, but industrial production is also differentiated and operated by workers in a different groups. It can improve efficiency and ensure stable product quality.
An interesting detail here is that most of the sewing is done by female operators. Because women are more careful, they can operate machines better and ensure quality.
After the sewing process is completed, the production process is almost done.
For these essential production processes, our quality inspectors will conduct appearance and basic tensile strength tests to ensure that the products meet the quality standards.
Blanching / Riveting
If it is a computer backpack has special process requirements, this step is generally not required.
It is designed to fix a specific structural part or strengthen the bottom's structure and is generally used in luggage.
The process operation is also effortless. Use a heated electric heat gun to iron multiple holes according to the position to correspond to the screw holes of the reinforcement, and then lock the screws at the bottom to fix it. The structure of rivets is stronger than screw-locked and will not loosen like the latter.
After this step is completed, you can proceed to the next step.
Install Rollers (for Luggage)
The fixing parts were installed in the previous step. Then we can install the roller under the fixed part.
Screws usually fix the rollers. Industrial production will use electric screwdrivers. It is more efficient and can use adjustable torque electric screwdrivers to ensure that each screw is tightened to the standard torque to fix it better.
Rollers are an essential part of the luggage. Now they are generally made of metal or composite plastic materials. Composite plastic materials are commonly used for lightweight considerations, such as PP or PVC.
The core of the roller is the bearing.
However, the roller bearing also needs to be tested for durability to ensure that there will be no apparent problems after sales, such as noise and jamming.
It is also one of the key points that our raw material engineers evaluate in the design stage, whether the safety or performance of raw materials meets the product's design goals or the design service life.
Finished Quality Inspection
A finished quality inspection is a process in which the quality department checks the quality of the product following the design drawings or related guiding documents after all the production processes are completed.
This part will test the appearance and performance of the product and even try the accessories. At the same time, to ensure quality, our usual practice is to take a part of each batch into the laboratory for further testing.
This process includes dry and wet wipe tests of fabrics, tear strength tests, working life tests of zippers, working life tests of rollers, etc. These are all tested by professional test machines and combined human manual testing.
After the test is completed, the quality department will issue a test report for the batch of products. If the quality meets the standard, it can be shipped. Otherwise, it will be returned and re-worked until the quality meets the requirements.
Packaging & Shipping
After all the above processes are completed, the final step of packaging and shipment.
The packaging design, size, and box label marking have been confirmed when the product is initially designed. The purpose of controlling the packaging materials and the number of boxes is to better place them in the container and make full use of the volume. At the same time, it can also ensure normal loading and unloading operations when customers get the containers.
Well, that's all about how we produce a backpack. Compared with DIY, which one is easier?
If you are interested in our products or need OEM & ODM production, please contact us. We believe our experience can help you design and produce superior quality products and help your brand grow.