September '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 S E P T E M B E R P R I N T W E A R 2 7 gle-piece orders or personalize every piece, or when your volume has increased not due to larger counts in each order but through a proliferation of one-off or very small orders, a 'fleet' of single-heads may be your best bet. Though the per-head initial and operat- ing costs increase along with some increase in the labor required to start and operate the machines, the higher-margin nature of these small personalized orders should likely offset these costs. The benefits of maintain- ing a single-head in a conventional shop are magnified when one chooses instead to add multiple single-head machines to their setup. What you lose in centralized opera- tion of heads and equipment savings, you gain in ultimate versatility. Another benefit is the ability for every other head to remain running when one head encounters a stop- page due to thread breaks or other tech- nical troubles, and those in home-based shops or other small spaces swear by the ability to place and organize a gang of sin- gle-heads in layouts impossible for a tradi- tional multi-head setup. Though all shops have to make this deci- sion for themselves, I can't see a compelling reason for any shop, to not have at least one single-head machine in their arsenal. It doesn't matter if yours becomes a sup- port machine used primarily for sampling or one of many singles in a consciously built small-run production queue, there's little doubt that it can pull its weight in any business model. PW Erich Campbell has more than 18 years experience as an award-winning digitizer, e-commerce manager, and industry educator. He empowers decora- tors to do their best work and achieve a greater success. A current educator and long-time columnist, Erich takes every opportunity to provide value to the industry. Top: Networking, control and feedback can allow you to connect, manage, and monitor multiple ma- chines, including both single-head and multi-head offerings. With more sophistication in these offerings, the work it takes to operate multiple machines will decrease. Above: These machines are made to work either in tandem like a multi-head machine or on their own. Setups like this make it easy for small shops with variable job sizes and types to stay productive.

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