October '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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60 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 What kind of maintenance is required to keep embroi- dery lasers performing at peak capacity, and how often must it be done? For single-head embroidery lasers, I recommend daily cleaning and lubrication of the embroidery machine's hook. On the laser itself, you should clean the optical lens daily. Simply use a cotton swab with alcohol and gently wipe it clean. It is easy to reach. Not performing daily maintenance will reduce the life of the lens, as well as weaken its performance. A clouded lens blocks the cutting beam. For a multi-head laser bridge machine, the daily maintenance is the same. There's more periodic maintenance on a laser bridge because it does a lot more cutting. You want to check once a week that the vacuum lines are clean. Also, check all vent openings and filters for the electronics and cool- ing fans. Keep these clean so air is not blocked. The system is self- lubricating, so no need for oiling. Your electronic boards do not need maintenance, but if you ever are having an issue, it should be one of the first places you check. ED BALADY, BITO EMBROIDERY I'm concerned about determining a delivery date. I want to turn orders around as fast as possible, but I don't want to overpromise. How can I ac - curately estimate production time for an order? Embroidery is based on stitch count, aver- age production capacity, and the number of heads you run. It is best to be conservative on your production estimates to allow a buffer. I recommend keeping a log of daily, weekly, and monthly production numbers and divide those numbers to get the average pieces per hour. This will provide a general baseline to help determine your scheduling. ED LEVY, HIRSCH Daily cleaning is nec- essary to help main- tain your embroidery laser's performance capabilities. (Image courtesy BITO)

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