One of the questions we get asked most by printers and print shops is, when is the best time to Automate. Dave Roper MD of Screen Print World ltd shares his expert knowledge in this post and explains when to make the leap from manual to auto.

 

There is no “Magic Formula”. But the decision is not as difficult as you might think.
The time to automate usually comes when one manual is not enough to handle the workload. In fact, there are many one-manual, one-man shops that have an automatic.
If you find yourself needing to add another manual press in order to keep up with production, it’s time to consider the purchase of an automatic press.

  • Arms longer than your body! You can only do so many manual prints a day before fatigue hits. 
  • Letting customers down on delivery times. 
  • Customer base has grown. 
  • Need for a quicker turnaround. 
  • Want more output for less input; space, wages etc. 
  • Need a more consistent print throughout jobs and for repeat business. 
  • It’s just the right time.

  1. Become available to a bigger market.
  2. Provide a quicker turnaround time.
  3. Ability to print faster.
  4. Last print is same as the first – Consistency.
  5. Get the best out of your ink.
  6. Print larger areas.
  7. More money due to all the above.
  8. Frees up time for yourself. 
  9. Increased value of the business. 
  10. Registration is spot on .
  11. Quicker to set up a print run.

To compare manual press output to automatic press output, we’ll make these following assumptions about setup and production:
The following timings and prices have been arrived at using the years of experience and knowledge from myself (Dave Roper) and the team at Screen Print World.
They are estimates based on a print shop running at its maximum capacity, when running a job of 100 white T-shirts with a three-colour print is priced at £415 in this scenario.

Once you decide an automatic textile press is right for you, you’ll need to decide on the number of colours and the print-area of your new automatic. Plan for the future by using the 80/20 Rule, which recommends a press that will accommodate at least 80% of the work you are currently printing. For example, if only 5%-10% of your business is large format, the cost of a larger press might not be cost effective.

  • Size of screen – 23” x 31” minimum.
  • Exposure unit – does your current exposure unit have room for more than 1 screen?
  • Is you screen room up to scratch? 
  • 3 phase- Compressor is needed with dried chilled air, if not this may void the warranty.
  • Flash normally needs 3 phase due to the speed needed, heat given, and bigger area covered. 
  • Larger dryer needed to cope with max output of the machine. 
  • Have you got space for the garment storage and machinery.
  • Being organised is key.
  • Ground floor level is suggested.
  • You may need to consider a folder and bagger for large output.

The cost of an automatic press is generally no more than that of hiring an additional employee to print on the new manual. The return, however, is much greater. An automatic press will not call in sick and it will work weekends without overtime pay. The time saved, as well as the extra production capabilities, will allow you to build the business at a much faster pace.

 

For more information on our automatic presses, you can visit our website www.screenprintworld.co.uk or contact us on 01562 829009, alternatively you can send us an email at 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

 

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

 

 

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.

 

Here are some tips for prolonging your Dip Tank solution:

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Join us in attending FESPA – the Global Print Expo 2019 this May, 14th – 17th.

The exhibition is held in Munich, Germany.

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Want to know how much your cost per print is?

Follow these steps to figure out your ink cost per print:

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