Screenprinting often is an event driven industry. Every job needs to be treated like it has a due date, because most jobs do. In that, more and more shops are having to tighten up their production floor to accommodate larger orders with shorter turnaround times. Most of the inefficiencies these shops face aren’t very difficult to combat, they just require a high level of diligence every day. Here are three of the most common things screenprinters can do to make sure they can keep their presses humming.
Garments - Get your check in process dialed in. Often, garments have to travel from different warehouses in different states from across the country, which means sets of garments for one job showing up potentially different days. Have a system for your check in person to determine which jobs are ready to print and which are not, and make sure you schedule shirts to go to print after they have all arrived. Separating and staging out the days jobs also helps save time, and lets your production team know what’s going to print that day.
Ink - Having a well stocked supply cabinet at all times is crucial to getting orders out on time. Nothing is worse than having garments staged and screens set up on press only to find you don’t have enough ink to compete the production run. Keep track of what you use the most of, buy plenty of it, and always restock before you run out. A good general rule of thumb is to reorder the minute you open the last gallon.
Screens - Having screens that are burned a day in advance keeps your time and resources during the day focused on production, and in that, having the next day’s production schedule well enough in advance to have work orders and separations in time to burn screens is critical. Additionally, make sure you keep you dark room clean, and you are checking your screen for pinholes before the go to press - this will save critical production time.
There will always be inefficiencies that can be tuned up in all shops, both big and small, but addressing these three bottlenecks is a great place to start, and can drastically improve what your production team is able to accomplish.