Wearables

Medium-Sized Shop

Medium-Sized Shop

Size: 14,000 square feet

This shop is set up for robust production now and future growth over the next few years. We’ve extended the typical medium-sized shop (usually 10,000 square feet and under) to accommodate high-end equipment and additional support personnel as the company ramps up its e-commerce footprint.

Medium-Sized Shop: (See the digital infographic here) http://www.wearables-digital.com/publication/?i=273487&p=40

1-Most companies can get away with one loading dock, since incoming and outgoing shipments come in and out at different times of day. But two loading docks is a luxury that helps even more with workflow.

2-DZ: “A logical set-up starts with this: you don’t have clean blanks anywhere near ink until they’re on the press.”

3-MA: “For people who do the work like shipping and receiving, use a stand-up desk with no chairs. When they’re standing up and using bar code scanners and technology to bring the interface to the work, it is so much better.”

4-This shop’s workflow is simple: starting on the left, through production in the middle and then exiting on the right. Another option is to arrange production in a big circle, so goods end where they started – back at a single loading dock.

5-DZ: “To me, choosing between a manual and an automatic is a really simple, simple question. People will say ‘Well, automatic presses cost five times as much.’ Absolutely it does. And it’s 10 times as productive."

6-CT: “I would say 80% of the companies have too much space between their press and their dryer. Ideally, if you’re going to be efficient, you twist to put a shirt on the dryer but your feet don’t move. Usually I like to have 18” from the takeoff to the dryer.”

7-Heat presses can be used to cure DTG shirts, but conveyor dryers are still the best option, particularly with industrial printers.

8-High ceilings are easier to keep a shop cool and eliminate claustrophobia. But consider your local climate: shops in cold regions will be much harder to heat during the winter.

9-Staging is essential to having a productive shop. With space not at a premium, there is plenty of room to stage the day’s (and the next day’s) orders.

10-DZ: “To me, choosing between a manual and an automatic is a really simple, simple question. People will say ‘Well, automatic presses cost five times as much.’ Absolutely it does. And it’s 10 times as productive."

11-MA: “With the Kornit Paradigm II, you can have the full CMYK range of a direct-to-garment print with a lower underbase cost, but you can also add really cool applications to make it more retail friendly.”

12-CT: “Once you go to an automatic, you definitely want a gas-fired dryer. The ability to control the heat is that much greater. The cost of gas is considerably less than electricity. I think one of the big mistakes that people make is they buy big electric dryers. The cost of your electricity is going to kill you.”

13-This shop’s modern touches: A paperless system with job tracking through PCs or even tablets. LED lights with motion sensors. And at least three-phase electricity with panels that can be easily added to.

14-CT: “I find it difficult to tell clients to buy less than an eight-color or a 10-color automatic, even on their first one. I know the cost of going to more heads is higher, but if you’re going to make the jump anyway, you’ve added a huge amount of flexibility to your shop.”

15-As a general rule, longer dryer heat chambers enable quicker production. But to determine the correct length, companies like M&R crunch the numbers for you.

16-MA: “What you want is as much natural light as possible so you don’t have to use as much indoor lighting. Just put a bank of windows at the top of a wall. It’s not that difficult to do, yet most shops these days are windowless pre-fab metal buildings.”

17-CT: “The reason I love to put a production office on a second floor is that they can see workflow, and they can see where things are jamming up and work out how to get around those things.”

18-MA: “The questions people don’t think about – we’re adding salespeople, where do they sit? We’re adding artists, where do they sit?”

19-MA: “What you want is as much natural light as possible so you don’t have to use as much indoor lighting. Just put a bank of windows at the top of a wall. It’s not that difficult to do, yet most shops these days are windowless pre-fab metal buildings.”

20-Take the guesswork out of mixing inks with an automated ink dispenser, like PolyOne’s Wilflex DM4. Better yet, you can reduce your ink inventory by half.

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