When moving up to an automatic textile press from a manual, one of your first concerns will be space. The number of print heads on this type of press has a direct affect on the press’s diameter. In addition to this, you will need to provide at least 3 feet of extra space around the press for normal production access.
Once you have determined the needed space for the press, you will need to consider the size and length of your dryer which will be increasing with the addition of the automatic press. In your initial planning, make sure you understand that these two pieces of equipment are going to be the largest and hardest to move once in place and will dictate the flow of goods in and out of the print area. Utilities such as electrical, air, gas ventilation and lighting, are all-important and will also determine optimum flow of goods, printing efficiency and safety.
One consideration that is often over looked is the pre-press area. Many people fail to realize that an automatic press will print an order substantially faster than a manual press, so the need to keep the press "staged" should be your next concern. Not only with the number of screens on hand, but the ability to process them quickly. The following represents a few of concerns with staging areas:
- Increased ink storage and supply to multiple screens on press
- Cleaning or touching up screens during production
- Squeegees and flood bars cleaned and squeegees kept sharp
- Platen adhesive system
- Garment storage and on-hand stock ready for the next order
- Personnel removing the dried garments after exiting the dryer
- Folding / packaging / staging of garment orders for shipment
When you decide to purchase an automatic press the chances of your business escalating into something much bigger is a reality you must be ready for and your plans for garments in inventory may need to change along with your customer base. Plan ahead! Who knows where your business may go.