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Dust Off

On the 23rd of February Boris announced the roadmap out of lockdown and gave everyone in the wedding industry a date to put in their diaries. We were finally getting back to what we love doing.

Thousands of wedding suppliers across the world have spent the last year trying to keep their heads above water without doing any weddings but at long last we have a date to get back to work.

For many suppliers this will mean charging up camera batteries, refreshing ingredients or getting their shops ready to open. For me it means dusting off the production equipment.

We have a 700 sq foot production facility that on the 9th of March was a hive of activity, laughter, music and general banter. A year ago today that all changed overnight and withing a couple of weeks the equipment was mothballed, staff furloughed and doors locked. It has pretty much stayed that away until today so now it’s time to take off the covers and get the machines back to work.

Firstly the guillotine. Our guillotine can cut through a stack of card 60mm thick with sub millimetre precision but it can only do this with a super sharp blade and we haven’t been able to get ours sharpened during lockdown until now. A strip down, re-grease and a new blade going in will sort this.

Next I will move on to the foiler, this is probably our busiest piece of equipment and spends 6 or 7 hours a day at temperatures in excess of 130 degrees so I will give this a clean and a re-tension of the rollers before gradually bringing it back up to temperature and testing it.

Whilst the foiler is heating up I can service the vinyl plotter. Another very busy piece of equipment that will run for 4 or 5 hours a day. All that really needs doing here is to clean and lubricate the pinch rollers and swap out the cutting blade with a fresh new one. A quick calibration and that’s the plotter good for another few months.

We also have a booklet maker that is probably about 40 years old now judging by its typed instruction manual. This is one of those machines that just keeps going year after year so all that will get is a dust and then Pat tested like the rest of the electrical equipment.

Lastly, the laser cutter. The 90W water cooled CO2 glass laser tube is suitable for engraving and cutting a wide range of materials such as paper, card, fabrics, leather, plastics, rubber and wood. We use it for card, wood and acrylic mainly. The water has sat in the sealed cooler for a year now so that will need replacing, the laser bed cleaning and then the tricky bit, cleaning and resetting the laser mirrors. These are extremely sensitive and need to be kept very clean so have to be handled with gloves and a lot of care. Finally, change out the fume filters and that’s the laser cutter ready for work. 

A tidy up, restock of materials and a quick hoover and the production room is ready for work. All we need now is the staff, music and of course – the banter.