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The Benefits of Standardizing Your Workflow

(January 2008) posted on Tue Jan 08, 2008

Davis describes how process standardization can help your garment-printing operation survive dramatic shifts in the marketplace.


The ultimate goal here is to ensure that the screens are uniform in tension and quality from run to run. The best way to achieve this goal is with retensionable frames.

The same procedures apply to the rest of the screen-production workflow. The areas that require the greatest enforcement are those where the bad habits of shortcuts may come into play under heavy production periods, when time is at a minimum. The most prominent area where screen quality suffers is in insufficient rinsing once the screen has been degreased. Although the process of rinsing the screen with a high-power pressure washer becomes a tedious one, it is crucial to the longevity of the screen on the press. Proper rinsing procedures ensure maximum production efficiency on the press and contribute to the overall success of the workflow in your facility.

I have found that it’s very easy to become complacent in screen reclaiming and degreasing, to the point to where you fail to closely inspect the screen for remaining obstructions in the mesh. The result is a wasted screen coating the next time you prepare that mesh for stencilmaking, when you’ll find the previously missed defect during the washout of the screen on its next exposure. Even worse is not detecting a stencil defect until the screen goes to press. The problem then extends beyond prepress into production, resulting in a loss of valuable time.

 

Press setup

The next most important area that requires standardization is the press set-up process itself. Most facilities leave it up to the individual press operator, assistant operator, and dryer catcher to get the press torn down, set up in register, and running in a minimal amount of time. But a lack of standardization costs time, because each person may have a unique way of doing things. The need to minimize production downtime is greater than ever and required to remain competitive within the market. Keep in mind that if your minimum run size must decrease in order to remain competitive, you will need the standardized processes to ensure that press downtime is as brief as possible.


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