Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Setting up shop.

As I mentioned last time, I want to go over the best way to prepare for your equipment to arrive.  I went over the tools required and preparing for the truck, but what about inside the building?

Let's start with the screen room.  
To begin with, no matter what you have heard, you do not need a darkroom.  What you do need is light, heat and humidity control.  You also need power and water.

To start with, your machinery manufacturer should be able to give you dimensions for plumbing the drain to your sink.  You will need some flexibility in connecting all this so have a plumber ready.  Not just a guy who owns a wrench, but someone who has done real plumbing and understands that leaks are a problem.  You will also need incoming water in both a garden hose and power washer form.  Cold water is all you need. 

For the screen prep, make sure that you have a work table and your coated screens need a flat, dry, dark place to dry and store.  This could be a professional cabinet from the manufacturer or a rack that you constructed with a fan in it. 

The power requirement for the screen room is pretty simple.  Most items will need a standard 120V outlet.  The only item that may need special wiring is your exposure unit.  Confirm with the manufacturer the amp draw on the unit and whether it has a plug installed.  If no plug, you will need an electrician.  I will get to that person later.

The printing room.
For a manual print shop, you will need space and time.  Have the tools available and a person with some mechanical skills and patience ready to assemble and level the press.  This is where keeping the manual is important.  Presses need to be level to themselves, not to the ground.  So do not use a bubble level and follow the press leveling steps in the manual.  Unless you have followed all the steps, your press will not register.  No matter who you bought the press from.

For an auto shop, you will probably have a technician to help install.  Have all the parts uncrated and ready for the installer.  Then stay out of the way until they are ready for you.  However, when they say that you are needed, be prepared.  I will list the items necessary for this adventure in my next blog.

The dryer will need to have its legs attached, the exhaust fan vented and a hard wire cut-off breaker installed.  This is where I get to vent about electricians.  I am not talking about Uncle Buddy who fixed your lamp when your were in high school.  I am not talking about a guy who has worked on his garage.  I am not talking about a house electrician who has installed a few outlets.  I am talking about a person who installed industrial equipment.  One who has a multi-meter and understands how to use it.  One who has heard of 3 phase power and understands how it works.  Pay the money for the real guy.  You spent this much on equipment, now get it installed correctly.

Make sure you have the power specs from  the manufacturer.  All these dryers need a 4 line system for single phase.  All these dryers will need to be hard wired.  They do not come with a plug.  An industrial electrician will understand that.

Supplies are required.
I will list in my next post what you must have for the first day to get running.  Many shops come with a start up kit but these are just to get started and you will need more.

We want to make sure that our customers start on the right footing.  We want them to be successful.  We understand that starting a new shop can be frustrating but let's make sure that the frustration is not from being  ill-prepared.  Have the people and items that you need ready and available and the manufacturers and their representatives will help you get through.