December '20

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7 8 G R A P H I C S P R O D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 7 8 G R A P H I C S P R O D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 PRODUCTION-MINDED DIGITIZING L arge-volume decorators occasionally call on me to evaluate designs for efficiency. My adjustments for one client saved an average of 10-15% of the stitch count, and I was frequently able to reduce color chang- es, jumps, and tie stitches significantly. On one 26,000 stitch design, I improved color cover- age while cleaning up the sequencing, pathing, and overall execution; this reduced the stitch count by 4,000 and dropped the color change count from 12 to 5. At 1,000 stitches per minute, factoring in for color changes, this saved roughly 5.16 minutes per run. It might seem trivial at first, but in an eight-hour pro- duction day, this added roughly four runs to the sched- ule, raising the maximum capacity on 12 heads for the shift from 204 pieces to 252. It's easy to see how im- portant it can be to secure the services of a production- minded digitizer. Not all designs can be so thoroughly cut, but even small improvements are worth consideration. Even if a design is used for smaller runs, it may stitch hundreds or thousands of times over the lifetime of your relation- ship with a customer; small gains in efficiency stack up. For ultimate efficiency, make sure your digitizer is aware of production friendliness, maintains a light hand with densities, uses appropriate underlay, and sequences to avoid unnecessary movement, color changes, and trimming. The design on the left has thousands more stitches and six more color changes than the design on the right, despite the final pieces looking similar. The more production-minded file results in a time savings equal to four additional production runs in an eight-hour day. Physical workflow is important in making your shop efficient. Once information is in-hand, having all tools within reach is critical to reducing wasted time and effort.

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