A Shanghai-based manufacturer of textile screen printing equipment has been very active on LinkedIn promoting its equipment. The images and videos of presses, screen-coating machines, exposure units and a variety of other equipment are always well done and impressive.
Recently, however, they produced a video of a line-up of turntable ink-mixing machines with cradles big enough for 20-liter (5 gal) ink buckets. Interestingly-designed ink paddles were in place, cradles with interesting-looking clamps were in place, and the machines were all turning. There was just one glaring problem in this demonstration though—no ink buckets.
A number of people responded asking to see the machines actually mixing ink, 5-gallons of plastisol in particular. After some back-and-forth, the company’s sales manager responded: “Because the market here is mostly water based ink, larger barrel ink mixing with another ink dispenser, for this one can mix plastisol but not with good mixing effect. However we have many customers who ask for plastisol ink, we are checking and probably will make a prototype soon for thick and sticky ink mixer.”
The lesson here? Ask the obvious questions and attend trade shows where you can actually see equipment working and doing what you need it to do before even considering buying it.