March '23

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M M A R C H 2 0 2 3 • G R A P H I C S P R O 4 7 is keeps the job folders visible, so we notice something languishing in the pro- duction area while getting the completed job off the production board. We also schedule all installs on Google Calendar, so everyone has an up-to-date schedule accessible from any computer. Production While workf low is how a job moves through the shop, production is how we produce the job. We've been progressively busier over the last few years, and we've found that keeping a bit of inventory has helped us be more efficient. With short- ages across the industry, it's been crucial to plan ahead. We keep a healthy stock of printer ink, application tape, rolls of vinyl and laminate, sheet engraving mate- rial, and other products we go through. (Fig. 8 & 9) While it's important to keep inven- tory on hand, it's also equally important to narrow down what materials you use. We've created an arsenal of wrap vinyl, calendared vinyl, reflective vinyls, perfo- rated films, printable metallic vinyl, and the corresponding laminates. It reduces how much inventory we have to stock while also taking the guesswork out of knowing what media was used for a pre- vious job. (Fig. 10) We do little things in production to reduce mistakes or speed up a process. Our premium 3M wrap vinyl and the 3M calendared vinyl we use have the same backing paper, creating confusion about what media is loaded. We use engraved, magnetic signs on the back of the printer when the media is loaded to clarify what is loaded and avoid having a print sent on the wrong media. Once printed graphics come off the machine for drying, we have the same problem with keeping track of the vinyl. A quick note on the back of the print tells production which corresponding laminate to use. It's also an easy way to group prints for laminating. We've also created custom jigs for our laser engraver to hold multiple products so we can laser engrave a batch of mugs simultaneously versus doing them one at a 9 10 time. In our engraving area, we've also cre- ated organized shelves to stack sheets on end so we can quickly see what we have in stock. Clear bins, especially in the engrav- ing area, are a great way to stay organized while checking inventory. (Fig. 11) 11 Crystal Cling SS299 Excellent clarity, print compatibility and PVC free Photo: ER2 Image Group

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