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TBT – Not Following One’s Own Advice

In honor of my post on American Apparel, here is my TBT post from my old blog, musing on procrastination and on equipment. It was inspired by head manufacturing dude at American Apparel Marty Bailey.

Fact: We have one of the most reliable presses ever built, an MHM SP4000. The SP3000’s and SP4000’s we have had for the past fifteen years have worked day in and day out. I do not think I have had even five days down TOTAL on all the machines put together! They also work with hardly any maintenance required and they rarely need adjustments. You don’t even have to ever level the platens, arms, or print heads.

Belief: My friend Marty Bailey at American Apparel is to my mind the driving force behind that company. He has that factory humming and cranks out thousands of shirts every day, and does it while treating his workers with dignity and respect. I once was visiting and was discussing the aerospace manufacturing method of Quality Circles. He has a more homespun version which is “have the machines and materials really ready for your workers, and be clear on what they are supposed to get done.”

Tape doesn't belong on a press. Mea culpa, deferred maintenance is stupid.
Tape doesn’t belong on a press. Mea culpa, deferred maintenance is stupid.

Shame: I know that Marty Bailey is right and you have to have your equipment correct, your materials lined up, and be clear on what has to get done. We had a super rush job that was ten colors and difficult to do last night.

The easiest press to fix around, mainly in that it hardly ever needs fixing, and it was down a station. There was no excuse for this, we were missing a part and I was too lazy to get the part and install it. Needless to say it was a major roadblock to getting the work done that night. We got it done, but at a price of frustration, extra expense, and aggravation. I ended up sleeping at the shop. That’s not fun. Part was ordered next day. Never again…


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