Saving a few steps here and there may not seem like much, but in commercial embroidery, additional steps can add up quickly.
Here are 10 productivity tips that save you time and money. Use them to keep your commercial embroidery workflow running smoothly!
As the saying goes, “time is money.” In commercial embroidery, each second counts. By finding ways to streamline production and increase productivity, an extra minute gained results in bottom line profits.
Keep your work area organized to save as many steps as possible. The tools you frequently use should be kept in the area or during a production run stored somewhere in that area. This might mean duplication of tools, but that is perfectly acceptable! Saving time during commercial embroidery will balance out the minor business expenses of a few extra items. For example, keep scissors in the place where you cut or trim backing, as well as near the machines. Leaving an area to pick up a tool is a monumental waste of time.
For the best productivity, work areas must be clean and ordered at all times. In a busy shop, this can be difficult, but it takes more time to move things around and out of your way to be able to work properly. It can get confusing, especially if there are several people working in the same area using the same tools.
Store threads by color
Store commercial embroidery thread by color, as well as keep them clearly marked. It will save a few moments when looking for a single thread color.
Keep commercial embroidery thread dust-free
Thread always should be dust-free. Although most polyester embroidery thread is strong, it could spoil after a prolonged storage, resulting in excessive thread breaks.
Keep your thread close to the needle
Keep thread colors used in a design on the closest needles for each color. This step saves color change time. If there are four colors in a design, those colors should be needles 1, 2, 3 and 4. This way the system moves the shortest distance and saves color change time.
Store commercial embroidery thread nearby
Store the thread for each device near the commercial embroidery machine you are using. When working with various machines, you must have your thread in a location as close to the machines as possible.
Always follow needle changes
Always indicate the location of your commercial embroidery needles in the machine. With an ordered system, you can monitor needle changes. Some commercial embroidery shops use a “needle replacement sheet.” You can develop a log sheet for any commercial embroidery machine. They are perfect tools to stay on top of needle replacement. For a single-head machine like the SWF E-1501C, you only need to use one sheet. On the SWF K-Series Multi-Head Commercial Embroidery Machines, you should have one for each head. When changing a needle, note it on the sheet, including the date, size, needle type, and the reason you changed the needle. Have the sheets in a binder at the machine.
Buy backing in cut sizes
Purchase backing in cut sizes and store them close to the hooping area. Make sure you order several sizes for maximum efficiency. Of course, you want to save money by purchasing backing in large rolls, so make sure you cut enough in advance. Have a supply of different sizes on hand for lots of jobs. Having your backing ready to go, instead of cutting pieces for each job, can be a terrific time-saver.
Shake the dust off every morning
Every morning, prior to beginning production, you should brush and blow out both the rotary hook and knife area in your commercial embroidery machine. Add one drop of oil just outside the bobbin case on the rail of the hook.
Schedule weekly maintenance for Friday afternoons
Use Friday afternoons to perform weekly maintenance. Stop production early and make it a routine. This will pay off on Monday morning. You will begin the week knowing all your commercial embroidery machines will be in excellent shape and ready to go. Monday morning, you can begin quickly without worrying that a single head embroidery machine will fail during production!
To learn more about embroidery, check out this webpage.
Do you have your own timesaving tips to increase commercial embroidery production? Let us know in the comments below!