May '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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4 8 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 2 0 Exposure Calculator: Having a reliable calculator will help lock in accurate expo- sure times, says Ray Markey, Kidd Com- pany. "Not only does good exposure help keep your prints crisp, but you also save a ton of time with efficient washout and reclaim," Markey adds. Tension Meter: A small but crucial tool, the tension meter is arguably one of the most important to keep at hand, says Alan Howe, Easiway Systems. "Poor ten- sion is the link to almost 85% of all print problems," contends Howe. Problems such as rough underbases, blurred, dou- ble, or halo images, as well as registration issues, poor coating, improper exposure of the screen, and reclaim issues can all be linked to poor tension, he suggests. Howe points out that all these issues also can contribute to overall profit loss since it affects the final product and poses the chance of having to re-do an entire order. Donut Probe: Markey says that a do- nut probe helps ensure prints are always curing correctly. "A donut probe, unlike a laser temp gun, will accurately show you the temperature of the ink through the dryer," explains Markey. "If this process is even a little off, you could be dealing with some serious headaches. Dye migration, scorched garments, and under-cured prints are just the tip of the iceberg." Job Tracking Software: While not a physical "tool," having a reliable sys- tem in place that accurately tracks an order from the early stages with quotes and approvals through the printing and production process will help ensure that everyone involved is up to speed on the whereabouts of the client's job. HAVING A SYSTEM Before diving into organizing equipment, parties recommend shops make sure they have a standard operating procedure Employees should be trained to understand that all tools in the shop, regardless of size, are an investment for the business. (Image courtesy Easiway Systems) ORGANIZATION: THE 5S IMPLE- MENTATION METHOD PJ BORDNER, EASIWAY SYSTEMS, shares a system he recently gleaned from his customer Cedarstream for organizing shop tools and accesso- ries effectively. "5S is the most effective way to keep tools and supplies organized," contends Bordner. "It's a simple program that is part of the lean manufacturing technique adopted by companies all over the world." THE FIVE STEPS OF 5S LEAN INCLUDE: 1. SORT – Eliminate unnecessary items that are not needed for the current workflow. 2. SET IN ORDER – Frequently used workstation materials and tools should be arranged so that all needed items are easy to get to and accessible for anyone to find. 3. SHINE – Keep all equipment clean and free of clutter. Clean equipment equates to smoother productivity and improved quality. 4. STANDARDIZE – Benchmarking and evaluation tactics should be utilized to maintain a consistent approach for car - rying out tasks and procedures. 5. SUSTAIN – Train and educate your staff so your production team can con- tinue these practices day in and day out.

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