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: Machine Time !!!  ( 871 )
YaBB God

Karma: +2/-0
: 4296

I'm Always In Trouble

« : July 30, 2016, 07:03:38 AM »

I am just wondering..Curious is probably a better statement. If you had to assign a number to the hours your machine runs per day/week, what do you think it would be ?

With our machines it all depends on orders. Some days the machines will run 6 hours and other days 2 or 3 hours. Sometimes they will run 6 and 7 hours a day, 7 days a week during our busy season and a lot less in our off season. On days when we are doing cutting the machine will run less. On days when orders are cut and need to be sewn they will go all day long. Average stitch length is probably 12 ft. so when the machines run, they are stitching long lengths.

How often is your machine running ?

YaBB God

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« #1 : July 30, 2016, 07:16:54 AM »

Average stitch length is probably 12 ft. so

I would love to see the size of that sewing machine! I'd hate to be sitting there watching the needle and feet come back at me on every stitch!!! (I know you are referring to the length of the fabric, and not the length of the stitch, but wow, what a visual.)

Doing furniture upholstery, I would guess my machines run 2 to 3 hours a day. That is a guess. Some days if I'm doing all boxed cushions, then the machine runs more than half the day. If I'm doing several orders of dining room chair seats, then it won't run at all that day.

Pulling staples out and putting staples in is where most of my time is spent, I think. Next would be sewing, and then cutting fabric.

I saw a video of a company that made copies of paper documents. He was using a regular office printing machine. The guy rigged up a 5 gallon bucket to feed the printing machine ink instead of having to constantly be changing the ink cartridge. Your sewing operations are probably more in line with this type of production that furniture upholstery.


YaBB God

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: 4546

All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.

« #2 : July 30, 2016, 07:45:57 AM »

Doing furniture upholstery, I would guess my machines run 2 to 3 hours a day. That is a guess. Some days if I'm doing all boxed cushions, then the machine runs more than half the day. If I'm doing several orders of dining room chair seats, then it won't run at all that day.
I think that is about average for most of us one-man furniture upholstery shops.

I try to spread my work out so that I spend close to half the day sitting behind a sewing machine to keep off my feet.

Years ago, I used to employ a seamstress. All she did was sew what I cut out and laid in front of her. Between stripping, tacking on, and cutting all the panels for her to sew, I was way more exhausted at the end of the day. She would sew the panels as fast as I could cut them, and then just sit there waiting for the next cut. I was worn out trying to stay ahead of her. When she moved on, I chose not to replace her unless I could find someone who could do their own cutting. I never did.

A lot of people can sew, but not all of them can cut and sew.

To me, that defines the difference between a seamstress, and a sewing machine operator. And if I were to hire one again, my pay scale would reflect that difference. A sewing machine operator is little more than an assembly line worker.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
YaBB God

Karma: +5/-1
: 1747

« #3 : July 30, 2016, 10:53:53 AM »

Here in some shops a good seamstress will take on the work of several upholsters sewing pull, welt, cushion cases, etc. and when she/he is slow there are draperies to do..  The going rate is about $ 23.00 / hour but for three upholsters it's worth it.  Very rarely will they pattern but they can.
I think in some ways keeping different hands off a machine is less trouble for the mechanical operation.
YaBB God

Karma: +3/-0
: 2284

Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.

« #4 : July 30, 2016, 12:32:52 PM »

My sewing machines will run 6-8 hours probably 3 days a week. The rest of the time she is cutting. In my mind a seamstress can pattern, cut and sew and do it better than me. Not an easy position to fill.

Minichillo's Upholstery
YaBB God

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: 600

« #5 : July 30, 2016, 01:24:20 PM »

I have thought about this a lot, So without further ado, good question.
Its my experience that a company needs to separate machine and operator time.
Doing this sure clears up the I been doing this all day, thing.
Not only that but better shows clients in certain task their hourly charge, or Companies theirs.
If you want to look at it in a repair state, I documented my start time and so when I'm done its punch the clock and compare to machine time if needed.
I never once minded clocking in or out and more like promoted it heavy, and did this for over thirty.
It was a required task in a basic three count: time, money, task/repair and it best make money or make it for others. This was always checked early on and everything documented and questioned, an excuse for me now being a stickler at times.
If I could have just put an hour meter on some mouths in my career and cashed in on their hot air I would be doing umbrella drinks in Tahiti all the time!
It was easy for me to look at this subject as gears in and "out" of the work, when you have a small piece of equipment down like 50,000 or $100,000. and a couple operators. So the issue was commonly ask what was this chump change equipment holding up in production and for how long. It took a lot of pro lug nut wrench training to say it will be 1 hour or 5 days, Clearly and Confidently to a person of power in charge of millions of dollar jobs or other more important things. So when I get a conference call of the chiefs and I had 1/2 hr sleep its like nice to say its all ready to Roll.


PS nowadays I can enjoy what I would like to do more: help people
YaBB God

Karma: +0/-0
: 2021

From the Costa Del Wotsit. Espania

« #6 : August 01, 2016, 04:41:07 AM »

Couldn't say, just depends on the jobs at hand.  I try to stick to a 5 day week for a start, then some days I spend all day out patterning or speaking to clients other days all in the shop cutting, sewing & tea drinking.
Very difficult to put an average on it.

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