May '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 M A Y P R I N T W E A R || 31 arrived and the process can move forward to the next stage of pro- duction. Another option is to have two sets of shelving that separate the orders into each category. Order Type: Is this a new or repeat order? If it is a repeat order, are all of the necessary preparation items, such as screens and digitizing, already completed? Artwork: Does artwork or digitizing need to be created? If so, will it be done in-house, or will it be outsourced? What is the due date for receiving completed artwork? Artwork Approval: Is the artwork approved? Did the customer sign off? What is the due date required for artwork approval in order to meet the deadline? It is good practice to always have artwork ap- proved in writing by the customer. Supplies: Are all the necessary supplies in stock and ready for pro- duction? Thread, backing, topping, appliqué material, or any other production-dependent items are all criti- cal parts of being able to deliver according to schedule. The next part of the production plan- ning process is scheduling the production. All of the prior elements play a critical role in getting to this point. If the digitizing isn't ready and approved, or if the mer- chandise is not in, or if a special color or type of thread is not in, then scheduling production is pointless. You can't produce what you don't have. The best production system for the small embroidery company is to take the KISS approach. Less is more. Trying to main- tain an elaborate system will do nothing more than over-complicate things, and in the end you will spend more time plan- ning the production than the time it takes to produce the goods. When it comes to production, the vari- ables we will focus on are machinery, ca- pacity, thread colors, and people. Machinery: Choosing the right piece of equipment is very important. The goal with production is to produce the mer- chandise as efficiently as possible without sacrificing quality. Sometimes, it makes more sense to run a job on a smaller ma- chine, rather than on a larger machine for efficiency. For example, it would be better to do three runs of an order for six pieces with 3,000 stitches each and four unique thread colors on a two-head, versus one run on a six-head. The reason is because of the setup time involved. The setup time to change four cones of thread on six heads means that 24 cones of thread need to be changed. Changing four cones on two heads means only eight cones of thread need changed. That combined with a 3,000-stitch design makes it much more efficient to run the job on the smaller machine. Capacity: Embroidery machines can only produce so much per day. A common mistake people make is to take shift time divided by machine speed to get the number of possible stitches in a shift. A much better approach is to take an average number of stitches per day that your shop produces. Many embroidery machines have a counter that you can reset or log to see the daily stitch production. Oftentimes, the end result is a fraction of the actual machine speed. NEW LOW-COST LIGHT-DUTY PRESSES! The Vastex line of light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty screen printing equipment includes: presses in 1 to 10 stations/colors, athletic numbering systems, infrared conveyor dryers, flash cure units, LED exposing units, screen drying cabinets, screen registration systems, wash-out booths and a broad range of accessories and utility equipment. 1-800 4 VASTEX SALES@VASTEX.COM VASTEX.COM DD-1085 • All Heads Down • Screen Off-Contact & Level Adjustments • Floating Head for Repeatable Prints • Steel Pallets Standard V-100 Rotary Table Top Presses perfect for basic printing, restricted spaces, mobile shops and tight budgets • Upgradable from 1-Station/1-Color to 4-Stations/4-Colors • Special Pallet Shapes/ Sizes Available • 1 Year Warranty 1-Station/1-Color "V-100-11" (top) can be upgraded to a 4-Station/4-Color "V-100-44" (above) as your needs grow! V-100

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