December '20

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 0 D E C E M B E R G R A P H I C S P R O 7 9 of colors, you can also thread your machine once for multiple jobs until all needles are threaded, only switching needle assign- ments as the jobs progress through the pro- duction queue. Sort jobs in such a way that setup tasks can be similarly chunked. This sort of staging can also be done with- in a run; for individually personalized gar- ments, separate your personalization into stitch files based on size/color combinations and stack garments accordingly. This means that without identifying garments by posi- tion individually, your operators can load a machine with a specified style/color/size of garment until all names in a single file are spent. The goal with physical staging, whether it is within an order or on the shop floor, is to reduce the need to inquire, examine, or search for the next garment, file, or mate- rial required for the job. By the time an op- erator is ready to run, the decision making should be done for any given order. EXAMINE YOUR ENVIRONMENT This idea of removing friction, decision- making, and searching extends to all man- ner of needs that your production staffers might have in the course of a shift. All stations should be examined to make cer- tain that necessary tools and supplies are within arm's reach at each machine. Each one should have the basic set of tools, lubri- cants, hoops, trims, and stabilizers as well as a hooping station, so that the operator can find everything they need to change a needle, oil the hook, change over the panto- graph, hoop the next run of garments while the current run is underway, and find in- formation about the next job in the queue. The minor expenditure on basic tools and maintenance items is worth it to reclaim the time I've seen spent when an operator must walk around a shop looking for the proper hex wrench, run off to a central cabinet for needles and bobbins, or navigate to a central printer/workstation for placement templates, production sheets, or to look up information. No matter what the produc- tion task you are trying to optimize, watch your staffers and see how much walking it takes to complete an order; every step wast- ed, every time a machine must be paused, is lost time you may be able to reclaim with a small investment in setup and supplies. CROSS-TRAIN FOR CRISIS Unfortunately, if you are thinking about cross-training now, it is likely too late for you not to already feel the pain of having a critical employee missing from their posi- tion. What crises can show you, however, is Sometimes there's nothing wrong with a little analog tool in your digital flow. A form like this can help you take all the pertinent notes in the initial interview process. ALL NEW LADIES ECO VEST CS-4180 1/3 Printwear Ad_December.indd 1 8/24/20 1:24 PM

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