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The thumbnail version:

  • Tony Palmer writing for Images Magazine pinpoints a typical bottleneck.

The full version:

Tony Palmer writes a regular column on technical matters for Images Magazine. In the May edition he responds to a question from a printer about where production bottlenecks most commonly occur in a textile screen shop.

As the title to this post suggests, Palmer points to prepress as the most common bottleneck he sees while visiting shops in the course of his consultancy practice. He mentions approval of the art, outputting the films, screen preparation, and mixing of the colours in particular where things tend to not be planned well. The result is that the start of a scheduled job, if delayed, is most likely to be because of holdups in those prepress processes.

Having mentioned the various aspects of prepress activity, he tags screen preparation as the most likely bottleneck, that is, stencil preparation. Alarmingly, he points out that while automation of this activity can solve the problem, the cost can exceed the cost of automating the application of prints on garments. For most Canadian shops that would not be an option.

So, it’s back to better planning and perhaps some relatively inexpensive planning software.