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Buying a press? There are key questions

Buying a press? There are key questions

Thumbnail version:

  • You need to answer a few questions before looking for a press
  • The answers are key to buying wisely

The full version:

Writing for the March edition of Images Magazine (as he does every month), Tony Palmer discusses a generally “ideal” press and lists the questions you need to answer before looking for that ideal press for your shop’s specific circumstances.

Overall, his ideal press is an oval powered by a mixture of pneumatic and electric servo and with a configuration that allows him to print 12 colours. It must allow for three colours to be flashed and must have an option for two loaders. You should read the article for Palmer’s reasoning.

In the meantime though, he suggests that you ask yourself these questions before you start looking:

  1. What is my average run quantity?
  2. What is my average colour count?
  3. Where is all the downtime?
  4. What space is available?
  5. What budget is available?

Clearly there are going to have to be compromises among those answers. The point though is that you must go through the exercise in order to buy wisely.

 

Teflon time-saver for your heat press

Teflon time-saver for your heat press

Teflon sheets.

A Teflon sheet on the lower platen of your heat press can make it a lot easier to slide garments on and off. The rubber-silicon pad on the lower platen doesn’t allow for easy sliding on and off of garments. The Teflon sheet will change that.

You’ll want a sheet bigger than your bottom platen so that it will overlap the edges. Magnets on the underside of the platen can be used to secure the sheet in place.

 

Have you discussed ink with your Stanley’s person lately?

Have you discussed ink with your Stanley’s person lately?

These guys at Stanley’s know a lot about ink!

Ink manufacturers, Wilflex in particular, are constantly working on developing new inks and upgrading existing inks. Not only does it make business sense for them to do this, but they also have to make sure their products are compatible with the steady stream of new fabrics that regularly appear on the market and that they meet increasingly strict environmental standards. They also listen to printers’ demands such as the long-standing beef about having to carry so many whites for coping with different fabrics. On this particular topic, Wilflex now has an all-purpose white available. Have you tried it yet?

Give Stanley’s a call and ask to speak to a textile ink specialist about recent changes, upgrades and anything else you’d like to know about textile ink. Best locations to call about textile ink: Calgary (403 243 7722  ) and Cambridge (519 620 7342).

Chemicals = Gloves

Chemicals = Gloves

Keep ink and chemicals off your skin.

A recent post on LinkedIn pointed out that 60 percent of liquids (including paste-like products) that come into contact with our skin are absorbed. Even if, like me, you’re not sure how to interpret this number exactly, the fact remains that our skin absorbs stuff. If you’ve ever used a hand cream you’ll know this.

So, why do so many screen printers expose their hands to inks and chemicals? If you don’t wear gloves, you’re absorbing stuff through your skin that’s not good for you, to say the least! It’s a serious matter. Gloves, re-usable and disposable, are cheap at the price when compared with the cost of health problems.

Reclaiming, degreasing, and “de-ghosting” in the sink; there are alternatives.

Reclaiming, degreasing, and “de-ghosting” in the sink; there are alternatives.

Where is this going?

As local authorities become increasingly sensitive about what goes down the drain and into the municipal water processing system, you may want to consider alternatives to your open-sink screen recovery process. Stanley’s can tell you about dip tanks, closed loop filtering systems, and holding tanks. Do this before you’re forced to or, worse still, incur a fine.

Water-based ink and emulsions

Water-based ink and emulsions

Water-based ink will destroy some regular emulsions!

If you’re fairly new to the textile screen printing industry, you might not yet realize that water-based inks are much more aggressive towards emulsion than plastisol inks are. Standard emulsion for plastisol printing mostly won’t cut it if you’re going to use water-based inks. Talk to Stanley’s about emulsions suitable for water-based printing.