TIPS & TECHNIQUES 18 images DECEMBER 2017 Mark Smith percentage of this work is based on e-commerce retail and e-commerce fulfilment. This often means that average run lengths are as low as one or two pieces, with each job having a different garment, colour and graphic file. The production requirements for any single customer are growing rapidly and figures of over 1,000 such jobs a day are becoming more common. Many digital print shops start with a manual workflow system that involves printing out an order form, picking the garment from warehouse stock and sending in piles to the print department. The file is then manually opened from the relevant storage folder and sent to print. This is labour-intensive and time-consuming to the point where this manual system restricts the production output on some of today’s high production printing machines. There is nothing wrong in starting off with a manual workflow such as this, but it is best to avoid becoming stuck in the rut of ‘don’t change it when it is working’, especially when your business is expanding. To achieve the throughput expectations on Kornit high production industrial DTG printers, it is often necessary to automate the workflow and reduce the labour and time constraints for each print job from T he digital garment printing market has rapidly expanded over the last five years and continues to be a high growth area in the UK. In fact, the UK has now become a leader within Europe for digital print output in the garment sector. Our largest client has increased its number of Kornit Avalanche 1000 printers to 16 machines, and many of our other customers are continuing to expand as well. It is well reported and generally understood that system maintenance and environmental conditions are important factors for a successful digital garment printing facility, but the importance of workflow is often overlooked. Automated workflow The majority of digital garment print output is based on short run, multicolour print work and a high Each month, leading manufacturers, suppliers and print shop owners share their DTG know-how. This month, Mark Smith, Adelco’s managing director, discusses the use of barcodes for optimising DTG workflows receipt though to picking, pre- treatment, print, dry, pack and dispatch. There are several suppliers, such as Custom Gateway, that are active in providing automated workflow systems that specialise in affordable automation and control of the print throughput. These systems enable files to be processed automatically from orders placed online and downloaded to a hot folder with coding that matches the print output system. With Kornit printers, this coding includes the pre-treatment level, colour management, preview, job description, print size, position and quantity.