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Garnering Better Shop-Floor Workflow

How five shops have re-arranged their equipment array, and people, to expedite the flow of materials


By Jake Widman

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CSI
Planning from the Start
Location: Falls Church, VA
Time at current location: building 1, 5 years; building 2, less than a year
Size: bldg 1, 18,000 sq ft; bldg 2, 21,000 sq ft
Equipment: Inca flatbed wide-format printers ; Durst Rho UV curable printer, Gandinnovations Jeti 3300 solvent roll-to-roll grand-format printer; Oce LightJet 430 and Durst Lambda photographic printers; plus routers and other equipment.

CSI operates out of two buildings, one in Falls Church and one in Fairfax, VA, both suburbs of Washington, D.C. The buildings are a mile and a half apart-close enough to make it a short trip, says vice president Sean Haley, but far enough to still require loading and unloading a truck.

CSI has been in the Fairfax building only a few months, and "we got to plan for how the building was going to fit with the equipment," recounts Haley. The wide- and grand-format printers are located in the new building, and "we designed the space out specifically for those presses."

The building is divided roughly into two halves, with one side-about 36 x 130 feet-devoted to the grand-format printers. Also on that side is the sewing area. "In the grand-format part of the business, we’re doing things up to 100 ft long. The sewing is co-located with the Gandinnovations Jeti printer, so the output flows right into sewing and then into shipping and receiving."

"A big part of the planning was how to keep the smell contained," Haley recalls. They first began using the Jeti before they had the new building-it was housed in a space across the street from their old building, and there was a gym next door. The gym owners complained that their customers were having issues with the strong smell of the solvents-it turned out the wall between the gym and the shop was not sealed all the way to the top, and the fumes were getting over the gap and settling into the ceiling of the gym. "So when we built out the new place, we knew we had to have a good venting method," says Haley. "We built a hood around the Jeti, put plastic sheeting around the hood, and put it in the back of the room."


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