When Is The Best Time to Automate Your Screen Printing Process- By Dave Roper.


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 .


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