Start Here October '20

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Direct-to-Substrate S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 0 Screen Printing HAVING A SYSTEM Before diving into organizing equip- ment, parties recommend shops make sure they have a standard operating procedure (SOP) established, so that all employees are aware of how and why shop tools and accessories are organized. Even smaller items are still an investment for the business to turn a profit, so every device should be treated as such. "It is up to management to make the time to train (employees) on all uses and procedures properly," suggests Howe. "This cuts down on waste, loss, and over- use of products and supplies." Along with cutting down on waste, having a system in place helps ensure that the rest of order management and production workflows can operate with minimal hiccups and downtime. "When staff doesn't have to search for supplies, productivity increases," suggests PJ Bordner, Easiway Systems. Markey echoes this sentiment and points out that the lack of organization with tools and supplies can also cause issues on the customer side. "Think of all that wasted time preparing a schedule only to spend more time rearranging that schedule to continue with production," Organization: The 5S Implementation Method PJ Bordner, Easiway Systems, shares a system he recently gleaned from his customer Cedarstream for organizing shop tools and accessories effectively. "5S is the most effective way to keep tools and supplies organized," con- tends 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: SORT – Eliminate unnecessary items that are not needed for the current workflow. 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. SHINE – Keep all equipment clean and free of clutter. Clean equipment equates to smoother productivity and improved quality. STANDARDIZE – Benchmarking and evaluation tactics should be utilized to maintain a con- sistent approach for carrying out tasks and procedures. SUSTAIN – Train and educate your staff so your production team can continue these prac- tices day in and day out. he comments. While a shop might still be able to rush-order an item like, for example, a specific ink color to complete a customer order, it'll always ultimately be an extra cost to the business and a dent in profits. For the organization of tools and accessories, parties recommend using some of the following approaches: Carts: Howe contends that every station in a shop should have their own designated cart with all the tools and supplies they need. "These kit carts should be set up for all orders the night before for production the next day," he says. Lining each cart up with its sup- plies, be it screen tape, press cleaner, gloves, and other essentials ahead of time ensures each day goes off without a hitch. Typically, these carts can be ordered from the same suppliers shops order their tools from. Ink Walls: For screen-printing shops, having a system for orga- nizing inks not only makes it easier to track down a specific color but ensures older inks are used up first to avoid spoil- age. Markey points to his team's system: "Water-based and discharge inks and sup- plies are on a separate shelf, as are poly and standard plastisol inks." Cleanup: While it might seem like an obvious step, the consen- sus is that keeping a shop clean makes a world of difference. Regular cleanup helps ensure that tools left out during the rush of an order build get returned to their proper stations, and picking up excess debris prevents slips, trips, and falls from employees. Plus, a cleaner shop helps minimize machine breakdown that happens from the accu- mulation of dirt, grime, or dust inside the equipment. 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 52

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