In this month’s article, Dmitry Sarbaev, managing director of FLUXMALL DTG, provides some useful advice for increasing the efficiency of your direct to garment setup.
As a DTG machinery and consumables distributor in Vietnam, one of the major hubs for the world’s garment manufacturing and decoration, we are constantly asked not only how to set up a high-volume DTG production, but also how to make the most of your DTG investment.
Often times, when it comes to even semi-industrial facilities, the total cost of ownership is not low at all. Hence, it is important to understand how to increase ROI by using your equipment in the most effective way.
Here are some things to consider in order to increase efficiency.
It is all about speed
With industrial DTG speed is the king. Speed of your printers will substantially define the output of your facility. Nevertheless, it is important to look on some of the factors that contribute to fast and consistent output.
- How does your real output look like?
If you have never watched your DTG production staff operating the printers and other equipment, now is the time to step back and watch them working. If you see them busy in the way that there is zero time to slow down and take a breath – you are on the right track! However, many facilities lack this approach. Frequently you can see operators chilling and moving around in a very slow and relaxed manner. Printers can run very fast, but once the garment is unloaded from the printing machine, it can stay on the platen for dozens of seconds before being processed further to the conveyor belt dryer. If this is something happening in your facility – this is when you need to look at your Standard Operational Procedure for printing and align it with regards to the fact that there should be minimum time between unloading and loading.
In many cases making smaller adjustments with the layout of your setup will also help you achieve better results. This can include moving belt dryers close to the printing equipment, floor marking to ensure proper aisleways and clear navigation inside your facility, establishing rules for staff to follow, should they have any pause between operations.
- What is the standby time of your equipment?
If you have purchased expensive equipment for the benefit of your business, you receive a powerful tool to raise your capacity. Unfortunately, many people underestimate the fact that there is 24 hours in a day, and machines are capable of being up and running all 24 hours. Some facilities operate only in a single shift (eight hours of work), whereas in the remaining time the machines stay idle.
Literally it means that 16 hours per day is the reserved capacity of these facilities to utilise the equipment, and thus, speed up the ROI. It all comes down to calculating your labour cost, arranging extra shifts, handovers and maintenance to ensure a smooth workflow between shifts. When the process is well organized and optimised, the multiple shifts production can significantly help you to reduce both the standby time of your DTG equipment and your orders’ turnaround time.
- Are you well protected from potential downtime?
As the matter of fact, all machines break at some point of time. There is no way around, except for being well prepared when this happens. All of the new equipment is covered by the warranty. Furthermore, recent advancements offer so-called self-repair options when the operator can fix the certain malfunctions by replacing consumable parts himself. However, this doesn’t mean that spare parts are always at hand when you need them most. Make sure to keep the inventory of basic spare parts in-house, and you can request to change the broken one under the warranty later with no rush.
Preventive maintenance schedules for every piece of your equipment are absolutely necessary, if you want it to last long and serve you well. This is where your existing standby time can be used without any disruptions for the output. If the budget allows you – you may even consider redundancy with equipment in your production workflow – a spare heat press or a pretreatment spray unit, that can easily be replaced in no time in the emergency scenario.
Acting smart when it comes to raising the efficiency of your DTG production is the key concept to follow. In many cases it is all about watching, analysing, calculating and ultimately – optimising. Simple steps to manage the output better will help you succeed in becoming more effective!