Your embroidery production can be affected in so many ways, avoiding some or all of these can make a massive difference to your output and profit. Peter Wright, managing director at Amaya Sales UK, has put together some tips that should help you achieve both of these and improve on your current position.
Remember that machine downtime can cost you thousands of pounds of lost production and profit. Also remember that you could lose customers if you let them down on delivery times.
Tip 1 – Machine maintenance
Embroidery machines are probably one of the most expensive parts of your business but many of them are neglected, in regard to service and settings. Please make sure your machines are regularly maintained up to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Most of this you should be able to do yourself, but I would advise on having a trained engineer from the supplier at least once a year. You may think that the cost of a service is expensive but compared to any loss of production it is negligible. Call your supplier for a quote now.
Tip 2 – Thread breaks
These are the most common cause of machine downtime. If they are happening on a regular basis it is very important to find the cause. A machine in good working order should have very few thread breaks.
Things to check:
- Check the condition of the needle and its positioning.
- Check the thread tension.
- Check the bobbin tension.
- Check the thread path is correct.
- Check the condition of the thread. Old thread could cause problems.
Remember that if you have a fixed multihead machine, all your heads are stopped until the thread break is repaired. This is not so costly on a modular multihead machine where only one head will stop.
Tip 3 – Framing
Make sure you have framed up your next run in advance, you should have at least two sets of frames per size. In this way one would be on the machine and the other one waiting for the other one to finish. In this way the machine is only standing for seconds.
Also you should have enough staff to feed your machine so as not to have down time waiting for framed garments. Another benefit of a modular machine is that you can reframe as soon as one as finished.
Tip 4 – Optimise your work area
Make sure your goods in, goods out and framing area are adjacent to your machinery and have a good workflow without obstructions.
Tip 5 – Digitised design
Test run your new designs to make sure they run free of thread breaks and do not contain too many stitches. Stitches on top of each other and a heavy density can cause thread breaks and downtime.
Tip 6 – Design input
Make sure that new jobs/designs are in place to minimise downtime. Some machine systems now have a barcode system that will enter information from the worksheet directly into the machine.
Tip 7 – Modular embroidery system
Consider a modular embroidery system which will drastically cut your downtime and make your whole operation much more efficient. If you haven’t already purchased a modular embroidery system, arrange a demonstration and see the difference it will make.
Tip 8 – Equipment leasing
If your machines are getting a little bit old why not consider purchasing more efficient new equipment. Leasing your equipment is very reasonable at the moment and could save you thousands in lost production.
Just take a few minutes to look at your setup and see if you can make any changes. You could be surprised on the amount of downtime and production you are losing.