Hot off the press! Our Print Academy Training Course is back for 2020! Want to learn more about Screen printing? Or are you thinking about starting up and don’t know where to start? This is the perfect course for you!

These popular events held in the Roper Print Academy at SPW  headquarters based in the Midlands book up very quickly.

The day is perfect balance between practical and get your hands dirty printing, with the theory side from the Screen print experience training manual, which you get to keep at the end of the course.
The course runs from 10am -3 pm and is limited to 6-8 people in a class as we like to keep the class personal and friendly.

Over the day you will go over the basics of screen printing such as terminology, introduction to art, films and out, setting up a Printshop and screen room, Job prep and printing on a press, breaking down a job, curing and the general business of screen printing.

Dave Roper the MD of SPW says “I really enjoy meeting the people on the course they come from all walks of life and they get to learn a new skill!”

SPW also offer a one to one training day were we can train printers one to one on an area they may need help with , like screen making , multi-colour printing or just a update on the latest print methods and use of machinery and ink.

Dates for this years Academy which can be booked here

·         Feb 25th 2020
·         April 2nd 2020
·         May 7th 2020
·         June 18th 2020
·         July 30th 2020
·         Sept 3rd 2020
·         Oct 15th 2020
·         Dec 3rd 2020

For more information on our training course, contact us on 01562 829009 or alternatively you can send us an email on sales@screenprintworld.co.uk.

Thinking of investing in an automatic screen cleaner, but don’t no where to start? Screen Print World CEO and Screen printing expert, Dave Roper answers a few regularly asked questions on our Lotus Holland Evo Automatic Screen Cleaning Units.

Why should I invest in one of these Auto cleaning units?

It will turn up every day and works for less than the minimum wage, safer and better conditions for the employers no nasty chemicals, it will save you time, money and its kinder to the environment!

What size is the unit?

Very small foot print with only 5m in length and 125cm in height it’s the smallest auto cleaner on the market. they are that compact & self contained, most people put them in there actual Printshop with the added bonus that they run very quiet.

How does the Evo Automatic Screen Cleaning Unit work?

It is a very simple 3 chamber system as shown below.

How many screens will it clean?

The Lotus Holland Evo Automatic Screen Cleaning Unit will clean 200-225 screens in an 8 hour shift.

How many people is needed to run it?

Very little labour is needed! It will switch itself off when not in use and some print shops get the printers/end of drying staff to load and unload the machine.

How easy is it to use?

Very easy, no plc’s, no computers and as long as you follow some simple guidelines it’s push and go.

How long does the solution last?

Between 3 and 9 months depending on your housekeeping and how well you look after it and of course how often you use it! Pumps already on the machine help you replace chemistry quickly and easily.

How much does it cost to clean a screen 23 x 31?

The cleaning cost per screen is typically around 50p depending on a few variables.

What’s the compact Evo made from?

Quality stainless steel made in the Netherlands with hard wearing European parts and pumps.

What connections do I need?

Mains drain and needs 3 phase electric and compressed air to operate.

Will I have to degrease?

Nope, the solution has a built in degreaser so you are good to go.

Will I have to dehaze separately?

Yes, ghosting is caused by the pigments in the ink you use, so after some time you will have to use a de haze paste to remove previous designs.

What maintenance do I need to do on the machine?

Change the filter when needed, keep an eye on the level of cleaning chemistry and check the PH balance in the stripper with daily top ups of cleaning chemistry.

Can I use any emulsions?

Pretty much yes, always good to check first though.

Where can I buy the filters and the chemistry from?

For UK and eire, we stock the chemistry and filters here at Screen Print world, in our Midlands based warehouse.

Can I add sections at a later date if I need more though put?

Yes, it is a modular system.

What’s the warranty?

If you use the recommended cleaning chemistry and have it serviced once a year from a qualified Lotus Holland service tech then its a massive 10 years! Otherwise standard is 1 year.

What is the cost?

£45,000 for the Lotus Holland Evo compact, ex VAT ex delivery and install.

Over a 5 year period subject to finance, this would cost approx. £220 per week, £44 a day or £5.50 an hour.

Want to learn more about our screen cleaning units, or have any other screen printing questions, you can contact one of our experts on:

01562 829009

sales@screenprintworld.co.uk

www.screenprintworld.co.uk

 

 

Are you thinking about introducing folding and bagging  garments into your printshop? Dave Roper our CEO and screen printing expert, explains why now is the right time to introduce this into your screen printing process.

Why  do I need to fold & bag?

Its an extra service you can offer your customer, maybe some of your competitors don’t offer this as a service and this might give you the edge against them in a competitive world. You can also earn extra revenue from offering this service, lets break this down into number of garments being folded a day and what is the best route to go.

50-250 Garments a day.

Will usually be done by hand or maybe using a T-shirt folder, which will give you a nice even fold each time. Then it as simple as popping the garment in a plastic bag, job done.

250-1000 Garments a day.

1000 garments by hand will take a while but depending on how much you charge, it could be worth looking at a semi automatic folder. Semi auto folders like the FX23 you pop the garment on & it folds a shirt in 6/8 seconds, you can then drop a bag on it.

You will need a small compressor for this type of machine but its very easy to use. A machine like this will cost in the region of 10k for a new one.

1000 plus garments a day.

With this many garment I would 100% look at a full auto line as it could take up to 10 staff to fold 1800 garments in a hour which is what a Amscomatic K950 with an auto bagger could fold in one hour.

The investment with a bagger could be 50k, it will fold, bag and label the bag all with one person on the machine….. Just think 10 staff could cost a lot more, plus the K950 never calls in sick on a Monday!

Want to find out more about folding and bagging? Contact us for a chat on 01562 829009 or you can send us an email on sales@screenprintworld.co.uk.

Following on from our last blog regarding the best kind of glue to use for screen printing, our CEO Dave answers your  questions about our water based pallet adhesives.

 

Q. How economical are the Tekmar water based pallet adhesives?

A. One gallon of our TB adhesive can replace up to 72 16oz spray cans.

 

Q. Is it messy?

A. No, our water based adhesives are either sprayed on using an applicator such as our TB500, or they can be applied using the applicator bottle and spreader.

 

Q. Do I have to wait for the adhesive to dry?

A. If sprayed through our applicators, it applies a dry mist to the pallet.Direct applied dries while spreading out on the pallet.

 

Q. If I use your spray system, will my equipment get messy and covered in dust and stuff?

No, there are no propellant gasses in the glue, so it goes where you spray and doesn’t float around the shop.

 

Q. Does the equipment need lost of cleaning?

A. No. The glue only dries when it contacts the air, so in the system it stays wet.

 

Q. What kind of maintenance does the equipment need?

A. Once a day, wipe any excess adhesive off the tip of the gun. Anytime you change out the glue container, run some warm water through the system.

 

Q. Is the adhesive flammable or toxic?

A. No, it Is water based and has no hazardous ingredients.

 

Q. Can I flash with these adhesives?

A. All TB adhesives are heat stable up to 700°f.

 

Q. Can I spray/apply on to pallet tape?

A. We recommend pallet tape as it is the quickest way to clean up.

 

Q. How do I clean the adhesive off the pallet?

A. We have a citrus based cleaner TB Orange that will remove it.

 

for more information about water based pallet adhesives, or on any of your screen printing needs contact us on; 01562 829009

or send us an email on; sales@screenprintworld.co.uk 

 

The most popular glue on the market is in aerosol cans, lets look at the positives and negatives of running this type of system in your shop.

Positives

  • They are quick and easy to use.

Negatives 

  • They are expensive to buy.
  • They release chemicals into the atmosphere.
  • They make your working environment uncomfortable to work in.
  • They will knock years of your press, by plastering it in glue and fluff.
  • They are dangerous to work with due to them being flammable.
  • You have to dispose of them correctly so will cost you more.
  • The nozzles clog easily.

So what are the alternative to this flawed method of gluing a pallet?

You can buy a waterbased glue like Tekmar TB HV Waterbased Pallet Adhesive which has the following advantage over the aerosol cans:

  • Its cheaper.
  • Easier to apply and use.
  • Its better for your lungs.
  • Kinder to the environment.
  • Will not age your press by 10 years.

If you want to make it easier to apply the waterbased glue then invest in the Tekmar TB500 or TB1000 adhesive system. This will  make the product even easier to use with all of the benefits of waterbased glue.

An alternative to this is a pre glued pallet mask/paper such as the PMI Dual tack pallet mask. This is a 2 in 1 method of protecting your pallets and gluing them at the same time a win, win! The bottom line Kick the cans!!


For more information on what we can offer you give us a call on: 01562 829009

or you can send us an email on: sales@screenprintworld.co.uk

Blog banner-How to prevent dye migration-image of dye block inks with a hoodie

Dye migration is a real nightmare for printers when screen printing on to the dreaded polyester!

So what causes dye migration you ask? It is a result of the dyes in the fabric becoming wet and active again. This happens when exposed to excessive amounts of heat from flash cures and screen print dryers.

During the drying/heating process of screen printing, the migration tends to bleed through your screen printed design. This usually happens when block lettering on a sports garment like a football shirt and will turn the nice bright white lettering on a polyester football shirt pink! This can take 24 hours to happen so the effect may not be immediately after coming off the dryer, so please beware!

 

 

  1. Use a good dye blocking white, grey or even black in some cases such as our range of Dye Block Inks.
  2. Flash the base Colours, just touch dry as little heat as possible.
  3. Make sure the dryer is running accurate and don’t not over cure on the final cure.
  4. Do not stack the garments high after the print as they will retain the heat.
  5. Always test the garment prior to print at least first 24 hrs. prior to printing the order.

 

Meet our range of dye block inks

If you want to prevent dye migration while screen printing, Our range of Dye Block Inks  are a great option! You can find out more by visiting our website, or if you would prefer to chat to one of our experienced team you can get in touch on;

01562 829009 or email sales@screenprintworld.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Manual Printing Squeegee School:

  1. What makes a squeegee, a squeegee?

    A squeegee is the quintessential tool you’ll be getting your hands on as a screen printer, quite simply, your ink isn’t going anywhere without one! They come in all shapes, sizes and materials – some with ergonomic handles like the BADASS; today we’re looking at the rubber part of the squeegee, the blade.

    Squeegee anatomy is straight-forward; there is a handle for holding and a flexible blade for moving ink across the screen. Handles are typically made of wood with a fixed blade or in alluminium, like that of one of our best-selling alluminium squeegees, which can be replaced. All squeegee blades will typically be made of a rubber material such as polyurethane which is designed to bend, how much bend is up to you – enter, Durometer.

     

  2. What on earth is durometer?

    Durometer is the measure of how rigid a material is, this will determine how much your blade will flex under pressure.

    A squeegee with a blade in the range of 50-60 durometer will be considered ‘soft’, this means that the blade will flex under pressure and allow for a wealth of ink to be pushed through the screen.

    A soft blade is best-suited to jobs where sizeable sections of ink needs to be adhered to your fabric, but a firm hand will let you print finer spots too.

    The most commonly used squeegees are around 70 durometer, this is your ‘everyman’ of ink-pushers, this guy will get the job done, no frills, no matter what. Consulting the chart above, you could expect a squeegee of this duro would give similar flex as a pencil rubber.

    Squeegees ranging from 80-90 durometer are considered medium to hard, they’ll offer significant resistance and subsequently gather less ink to be ‘pushed’ through the mesh. A firm blade ensures coverage in even the most precise areas of the print. This durometer class of squeegee blade is the all-star for details because you can really lean into your glide.

  3. Choosing the right blade type for the job:

    ‘Single’ Rubber Blades

    Commonly spotted in the wild, these squeegee blades are made from a material with uniform durometer – what you see is what you get!

    With a single durometer rating, these blades offer easy, cheap replacing – it’s as simple as untightening 2-4 screws on your handle and inserting your freshly-sliced blade. We recommend that you change your blades every 12 months for optimal performance, one roll from us is 3.7m, that will last you for a long time…

    It’s also our firm belief that no printshop is complete without Storage Racks.

     

    Triple (or ‘Composite’) Rubber Blades

    A blade made of three layers of rubber, sandwiched together to form a single blade with unique qualities. In short, a composite blade will maintain the capability to print fine details because of its high durometer core, despite it’s exterior softer layers, these exterior blades allow for more ink to be gathered in your push and then deposit into finer detailing than you would be able to achieve with a squeegee of the outer duro rating alone.

    These composite blades are 70/90/70,  62/90/62 &  55/90/55, they’re great working examples of a higher duro core surrounded by lower duro, softer blades.

Facts to take-away:
  • The colour of the squeegee blade will denote how much physical resistance it offers (durometer)
  • Blade edges can wear over time, replace approx. every 12 months with a new blade.
  • Squeegees can be ‘single rubber’ for general use or ‘triple rubber’ (composite) for more-experienced printers.

The Truth Exposed: M&R Vs Cheap from afar

 

Choose your destiny

A wide choice of equipment is a major advantage for us UK screen printers – we’re close to the EU mainland and have strong shipping connections around the globe, the world is our oyster.

The modern screen printer has a lot of choice when it comes to equipment; an M&R Sportsman, an Adelco dryer and a Natgraph exposure unit can all work harmoniously together in a printshop.

Buyer beware, it’s not difficult to be marketed to unethically, eBay cowboys can flog dodgy units from unknown brands and get away with it without much repercussion. It’s not a story we’re unfamiliar with unfortunately, the lack of accountability (and traceability) of these units and their vendors make specification almost as accurate as throwing a dart at a board.

What to look for

An informed choice is going to feed your passion more; it’s a chance to flex your expertise and avoid being ripped off in the process – here are some of the things we look for in a quality Exposure Unit.

A good light-source is number one. Moving on leaps and bounds from halogen technology of yesteryear and the fad of metal halide lamps, high-output UV LEDs are without a doubt where the industry is headed; they’re cheaper, last longer and expose screens faster than ever.


The Starlight will be able to expose photopolymer emulsions in as little as 3-5 seconds, how can it do this?

This M&R Starlight 2331, and its eBay counterpart, boasts UV LED bulbs – a big box ticked, but are all LEDs created equal?

These bulbs will determine more than you might think; exposure time, electricity used, quality of exposure. The secret is in the dense matrix of LED bulbs inside the Starlight, eBay counterparts will typically have around 100-200 bulbs, the Starlight has 1200

Here you can see just how many high-output UV LEDs are packed into the Starlight, this intense grid ensures a thorough, even exposure through your design. Cheaper matrixes will have large variations in intensity of light which produce a ‘wavy’ pattern of unexposed emulsion, or may not expose at all!

There are countless benefits to using a premium, branded machine over a chancing shipment from Shenzhen are innumerable – this unit in particular is capable of exposing around 100 screens an hour, each exposure as perfect as the last.

It’s here the value of an even intensity is tested – and where eBay tatt crumbles!



 

 

 

 

 

Pushing buttons vs pulling squeegees

Foreword by Dave Roper

 

I have been asked this question hundreds of times, it’s a big question that’s on every printer’s mind – while there’s no magic one-size-fits-all formula or answer, if you are answering ‘yes’ to any of the following, it’s probably time to look at auto-printing in your shop:

  • Are you letting your customers down on delivery dates?
  • Not enough hours in the day and printing weekends to catch up?
  • You dread the enquiry for 500 shirts in 6 colours?
  • Inconsistent prints across the print day?
  • Can’t compete in the open market with other printers?

What do I need to know?

So, you meet the criteria and you recognize that you can’t be pulling squeegees by hand for the rest of your life …so what’s next? What do I need as well as the shiny new blue auto? The other stuff:

  • Space! You will need at least 1000 square feet of ground level floor for a 6-colour auto, more colours demand more space for your press, don’t underestimate this one, when you are producing twice as much, you need space for incoming and outgoing stock
  • A decent three phase compressor with chiller unit, all autos need a good one – don’t skimp here.
  • Flash cure units for the auto (3 phase)
  • A dryer that can keep up with your new auto (3 phase)
  • Also take a look at your screen room, you will be printing twice as quick, so you will burn twice as many screens, and waiting 10 mins for a screen to expose …isn’t going to cut it, the latest LED exposure units burn a screen in under a minute from start to finish.

Can I afford it?

A new 8-colour auto with a flash cure, compressor and an electric dryer, installed will cost you around £40k, and believe me, I don’t have £40k in my bank account at the moment, so how do competitor printers afford these machines? Let’s look at this in a different way – not all debt is bad debt and 90% of the autos we sell are on finance, so let’s look at the figures:

 

A financed auto of £40,000, paid over 5 yrs. (60 months) would cost you around £789 a month; £183 a week or £37 a day…

So for £37 a day you’re buying:

  • Twice as much production capability as a manual
  • Consistency across your prints – the first print is the same as the last
  • No fatigue, pushing buttons is a lot easier than pulling squeegees…FACT
  • And de-skilling the job, its easier and faster to print on an auto, so you can afford that printer you have dreamed about – in turn freeing up your most valuable asset, time.

“Have time to work on your company, not in it”
– a wise man, long, long ago.

In this feature we’ll be hearing from Aimee Hibberd, Director of the Newport based screen printers Sticky Ink Studios.

The T-shirt of the month competition sees screen printers from up and down the country, from Aberdeen to Penzance, sending in one of their printed designs for a chance to win some printing goodies – this is our spotlight on our chosen winner for July


What does it take to produce a successful and eye-catching print in 2019?

It’s not David Vs Goliath when it comes to design; that it so say productions of any size can produce top-notch prints if they are well-informed and well-equipped, a good design can come from anywhere, like Aimee’s call to production “The design came from a client of ours who is a professional wrestler, those shirts got taken the night we printed them and flown to Japan for a series of matches”

Defying expectations, it might be surprising to learn that Aimee utilizes a rototex 5/5 at Sticky Ink to print her orders – “It’s an old machine but it works great” – keeping it seriously old school; did you know we refurbish and resell equipment too?

We asked Aimee about her choice of consumables to be used in this batch of prints. Featuring large primary colour elements, you might not expect the colours to be too difficult to achieve, being so close to the primaries…

“We mixed by hand to make the colours in this design, we used Amex CMX Inks for the colour-matching” 

“The registration was easy, but the hardest part was getting the colour matches as close to the Pantone references as we could, as we mix by eye and not with a mixing system”.

If you’re looking to produce precise Pantones every time, the new 7500 inks from International Coatings are exactly what you’re looking for. Designed for use with Ultramix, the guesswork and costly mistakes are taken right out of the equation.

Getting started with exact Pantones isn’t hard nor expensive; check out what’s included in the Pantone Ultramix Starter Kit

With waves of artists and screen printers switching to a Pantone mixing system, the skill and the art lives on in Newport.

That’s all for this month’s feature; if you’d like to see your own work on our office walls (seriously, we have about a hundred t-shirts pinned up!) and have a little write-up, send us a tee – details below.