Becoming more efficient is a fantastic way to become more profitable. Efficiency gains that drop profit to the bottom line are not customer impacting, which makes them less risky for most businesses.
In heat printing, some of the most significant opportunities for efficiency lie in the ability to eliminate waste. To identify waste in the process, be sure to document some typical jobs from start to finish. What tasks are completed, and where is there too much time spent or even extra time available? Some common areas where these additional profits can be found include:
- The staging and prepping of the garment
- At the heat press
- In the transfer making process, especially when cutting and weeding vinyl
To cover a specific example, ask yourself, “What is the heat press operator doing while the machine is locked down?” At the very least, they can prep the next garment to go on the machine. However, most shops find benefit in having a single operator utilize two presses or a dual lower platen machine for best throughput without an added electric expense. The practice involves having an operator load the next garment and place the transfer while one is completing its application. This process has shown to reduce the amount of time it takes to complete an order. Another big area for improvement is in adding a production tool for the placement of the transfer, like a laser alignment system.
Lastly, try to drive out seconds from the process through sourcing a faster-to-apply transfer or a heated lower platen that can reduce the time it takes to sublimate a shirt, apply a patch, and the like.