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I keep reading folks say that there isnt alot of profit in a single head embroidery machine. Would it be better to get a dual head starting out???

i only have a home machine which can be frustrating at times and i might have the financing for a embroidery machine and im debating one or 2 heads now. I might have enough for a dual but what i was wondering is do they always run the same job? or can you program them for different jobs. or would it be better to do 2 separate machine to do 2 separate jobs.
 

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If you have the sales for it and the room then go for a 4-stretch or 6-Standard head. (They are usually the same width as each other so its about what your selling) The capacity is better for the scale of investment.
You might as well buy 2 single heads for the price of a dual head, a dual head costs 2x as much as a compact industrial single head...
Where as a 4 head is usually only about 20% more than the cost of a dual head and and 6 heads are about 30% more.

Dual heads are usually most useful for lack of space or special projects where alternating heads allows you to process things differently. But in most cases I wouldn't recommend it if you have the space for a 4 head and are planning on doing larger orders.

If you are planning on doing one off orders or small piece orders than single heads are better its just harder to run a business around and price competitively.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yeah after some responses ive gotten in a nother forum im leaning towards 2 singles looking space wise i wouldnt be able to get a 2 heaad machine in here but i can do 2 singles


If you have the sales for it and the room then go for a 4-stretch or 6-Standard head. (They are usually the same width as each other so its about what your selling) The capacity is better for the scale of investment.
You might as well buy 2 single heads for the price of a dual head, a dual head costs 2x as much as a compact industrial single head...
Where as a 4 head is usually only about 20% more than the cost of a dual head and and 6 heads are about 30% more.

Dual heads are usually most useful for lack of space or special projects where alternating heads allows you to process things differently. But in most cases I wouldn't recommend it if you have the space for a 4 head and are planning on doing larger orders.

If you are planning on doing one off orders or small piece orders than single heads are better its just harder to run a business around and price competitively.
 

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I've bought all singles and have 6. I find them more flexible. With a multi if one stops they all stop which slows down production. Even the very big embroidery houses in the UK are now buying singles instead of multi's for that reason

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I am in the market for the multiple head machine, however, after visited ISS long beach today I decided to move forward with the single head. What I found today that most of the single head machine can be synced together via software (can run all together or individually same time).
 

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Syncing machines together isnt the most important feature when it comes to machines. Reliability and frequency of the need for service is, a chinese machine will need more service over a tajima and a tajima more then a barudan and barudan more over a ZSK its all about moving components and the way the machine is timed depending on what you want to do with it. yes they will all network so that they "sync" but do they need an extra program to enable them to be networked or is it open sourced.

How many needles does it have if you are only going to run singles then the more needles the better flexiblity. zsk has the most with 24 and 18 needles every one else has 12 or 15. If you get a multi head then 12 needles will be ample as most designs wont have more then 5 colours

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I am not interested in any Chinese brands (except Ricoma) since I truly need the best tech support. I talked to Tajima (my 1st choice), Barudan (2nd), Ricoma (3rd) and may be Malco All four have Sync option (with Software and it comes with the Machine)
 

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Sync options are great but production methodology and market are most important. melco claims that 4 single head can outproduce a 4 head but can 9 single heads outproduce a 12 head? And can a single person manage 9 single heads... cause in high end contract world a single operator is managing 3 12-heads... so its all a matter of WHAT you are producing. Lots of single orders or massive orders. Massive orders need multiheads. the Independence of single heads is both good and bad as it prohibits predictive timing which is necessary for efficient operation on a large scale.
 

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I am not interested in any Chinese brands (except Ricoma) since I truly need the best tech support. I talked to Tajima (my 1st choice), Barudan (2nd), Ricoma (3rd) and may be Malco All four have Sync option (with Software and it comes with the Machine)
I would argue that the melco would provide you with a disadvantage as you constantly have to have a computer hooked up to enable it to run and see what its doing they are more for the domestic market (also are owned by Bernina) and i would still add ZSK over Ricoma any day of the week as i said before dont get fixated on synchronization of machines as this not only limits your capabilities and capacity for example Tajima give you pulse for networking but its digitizing for embroidery is way off the beat out there. And i wouldn't go the stretch option as electronicly are expencive to fix. At the end of the day what is your main goal as LTPEMB said if its mass volume get a multi head with a single on the side, if its on demand one off pieces then singles are where you want to be

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let's say you have 2 designs about 10,000 stitches and it takes about 12 minutes per design
Design A and Design B
IN 2 single Head, hooping and everything will take both design about 12-15 minutes because of hooping and cutting the backing
In a multi head(2 or more heads ), it will take you about 24-26 minutes, just because you have to run each design separate and you can hoop and cut while the other is running.

What i recommend is manage your time, because if your only job is embroidery, you can work with a 1 single head for a year, and then get another one, however if you do something else, then get 2 single head for your business
 

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I have posted this before But it is all about your market/qty and what you are selling.
single heads are great for running dozens or hundreds of 1-4 piece qty. orders. in a day

Multi heads are better for running 12 to 1000 piece orders (depending on the number of heads for each major time break)

A single operator can handle 1-3, multi-heads running different large orders by managing run times and batching steps, since you are changing out hoops on each machine all at the same time you can create rhythm by doing all of a task per machine at once.
Hooping 12 pieces all at the same time then doing finishing/backing trimming, all heads finish at the same time, all hoops swap out at the same time etc. Allowing for better batching. And pricing. However changeing out between orders and digitizing to perfection to keep machines running that fast is a killer and much harder.

Where as an operator on average can probably only handle 4-6 single heads running different artworks. as each machine stops and starts separately making it difficult to create a smooth rhythm. One order may finish while your in the middle of hooping another. and even if they all had the same artwork unless they are tied together to stop simultaneously you wont be able to stack or multitask the same way. The major benefit being that small orders can be more profitable. Where as larger orders you would have trouble competing.

The division being overhead and labor costs. lets pretend in both scenarios the maximum amount of machines a single operator can handle.
3 x 12 heads = 36 heads.
6 x single heads = 6 heads.

Your overhead and labor costs per hr averaged out for production efficiency and added profit margins. Lets pretend $200 for 3 12-heads and $100 for 6 single heads.
$200/36 heads = $5.56/head/hr.
$100/6 heads = $16.67/head/hr.
However the cost for small orders on the same 3 piece 12head arrangement would be say doing 3 1 piece orders makes them prohibitive $200/3 = $66.67/head/hr.

So single heads are great for a large number of small orders to make them cost effective and profitable.
Multiheads are 100x better for a moderate number of medium to large orders.

Its all about how efficient and effectively your operators are and the production workflow you use. You can have a single person run 3x12 heads running 15000-20000 stitch files pretty easily.
Try having a single operator run 36 single heads running 15000-20000 stitch files. that would be a nightmare.
 

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We have two single heads and 2 head machine. The 2 head machine rocks out. The two head, if running properly basically cuts your production time in HALF!!!

When the machine stops its typically a bobbin or thread break on one of the heads which can quickly be fixed and your off an running again.

Doing large orders on single heads sucks.
 

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I am still fairly new at the whole game and it's only a small part of my overall business which I mostly do for existing clients. TO date the single head (ZSK) has gotten the job done albeit occasionally a long process on 244 hats etc... IMO most any actual shop is probably in need of a solid running single head either way. I would hate to mess around with one-off or small runs on a multi head. Twice the needle and thread changes (or 4 or 6 times) in set-up or only running a single head and letting the other clang away. Just seems to me a single head any way you look at it unless you ONLY do massive jobs and I just don't think that's the norm. If I ever take the next step I will definitely up the ante and get a multi-head machine. 2 or 4 head and I would be enjoying life on the larger orders. My little shirt business just uses the embroidery as an "And..." option for higher end jackets and ball caps etc... I charge "a-plenty" and still keep it pretty busy.
 
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