Do You Save With Cheaper Inks?

ScaleBlogWith budgets getting tighter and tighter, everyone wants to save money.  So how much money can you really save with cheaper inks?  Here is Kieth Stevens with food for thought relating to cheaper inks, an article recently published in Impressions:

What does it take to achieve the maximum amount of prints per day, per hour or per minute at the lowest overall price?

After all, the more prints you get out the door at a faster rate, the more money you can make. Sounds logical, right?

What then, is the best strategy for attaining that maximization goal? There are many variables to consider, but let’s focus on inks. Often, printers think that purchasing the cheapest inks will achieve the maximum profits needed at a lesser cost. It could, on some rare occasion, but most likely it won’t. While all cheap inks aren’t bad, you must compare apples to apples and test the inks.

Cheap inks often use cheaper ingredients, which may not result in high-performance ink. Some of my customers only purchase high-end inks because they know they can rely on ink performance and, thus, save money overall.

How so? For example, if you could print 12 prints per minute with the ink you are using, but you find that a cheaper ink slows you down to 11 prints per minute because of a slower flash speed, the cheaper ink can cost you dearly.

Let’s say you are charging $0.50 per impression (or whatever you are making per print) at a rate of 720 impressions per hour (12 prints per minute at $0.50 per print). That gives you $360 per hour. In our example then, the newer, less-expensive ink slowed your press down to 660 shirts per hour, which gives you a gross loss of $30 per hour.

What about ink yield? If the ink you are using costs $50 per gallon and, because it is of good quality, you can get a decent print through a 160 mesh and you found that you are getting a yield of 800 prints per gallon, then the ink costs per print is $0.0625.

Let’s assume that the less-expensive ink costs $45 per gallon but upon printing, you find it is a little less opaque, so you may need a softer squeegee or lower mesh to get the same opacity as the original ink. This will result in a lesser yield to, say, 700 prints per gallon, which gives you a per-print cost of $0.0642. Combine this with the loss due to the slower flash and the “cost saving” will cost you dearly in both time and money.

So be careful, and do your homework. In these cases, you get what you pay for.

Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

August 19, 2014 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Winner of Summer Quiz Series

Quiz

Congratulations to Paul H. for winning the grand prize of the summer quiz series. We will email you shortly regarding the grand prize. Thank you to everyone who participated. 

 

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit our website at http://www.iccink.com.

August 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment

Winner of Quiz 8

quiz1

Congratulations to Leory C. for being the winner of last week’s quiz.  The correct responses were “Fibers of the fabric showing through the print and/or causing fading” and “1 & 4″.  You will soon be emailed your $5 Starbucks gift card. A big thanks for everyone who participated in the summer quiz challenge. Stay tuned, next Monday we will announce the grand prize winner!

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit our website at http://www.iccink.com.

August 15, 2014 at 8:32 am Leave a comment

Alternatives to Regular Plastisol Inks?

AXEON-Non-PVCMany screen printers frequently ask whether textile inks will ever become PVC-free. That question usually is quickly followed by, “What are the alternatives to PVC plastisol?” Here is Steve Kahane’s article, recently published in Impressions, outlining more insight on where the trend towards alternative inks is going and what the current status is.

The answer to the first is we don’t know whether or when there will be a switch. If there is, it’s still too early to tell what the more viable alternatives will be.

Because of its versatility and relative ease of use, PVC plastisol still is the ink of choice for textile screen printing in North America. And it has a large following around the world where water-based inks are more widely used.

The pressure to switch away from PVC is coming from a few major athletic and clothing brands. This pressure is driven more by commercial choice rather than regulatory requirements. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in the United States is the primary regulatory driver affecting the use of textile inks for products made and sold domestically. The CPSIA targets certain ortho-phthalates and lead in children’s products and child-care articles. It does not ban or restrict the use of PVC plastisols.

There are two emerging alternatives to PVC plastisols: water-based and 100% solid, plastisol-like inks. While both do not contain PVC resins or phthalate plasticizers, they are not direct PVC plastisol drop-ins. Water-based inks, as a rule, don’t offer the same yield, versatility, durability and ease of printing as plastisols. Although newer, “high-solids” water-based inks come closer to plastisols in terms of yield and other attributes. However, they still don’t offer the ease of use and versatility of PVC plastisol inks.

The new non-PVC plastisols (sometimes referred to as acrysols) come closer to PVC plastisols. They are very much like PVC inks in terms of yield and the fact that they don’t dry in the screen. They also are available in a range of special effects inks with attributes that water-based products have a difficult time matching — high density and other dimensional effects. On the other hand, the non-PVC acrysols available today do not offer the same wet-on-wet print and bleed-blocking capabilities as PVC inks. With time, that will likely change and improve.

Steve Kahane is International Coatings’ President & CEO. Prior to joining International Coatings, he held senior executive positions in the environment and engineering fields. He holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Health, and a doctorate in Environmental Science & Engineering, both from UCLA.

International Coatings has been at the forefront of non-PVC ink development and offers a range of high solids water base inks (GEN IV), non-PVC acrysol special effects inks, and a soon to be released non-PVC acrysol ink system.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. We also feature a line of AXEON Non-PVC Special Effects Inks that are currently available. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

August 12, 2014 at 5:04 am Leave a comment

Quiz 8

Congratulations to James D. for being the winner of last week’s quiz.  The correct response was “They are transparent”.  You will soon be emailed your $5 Starbucks gift card. This week’s has 2 questions! Be sure to get them both right for a chance to win!! The link for this week’s quiz can be found here (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KFKJNRL).

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit our website at http://www.iccink.com.

August 7, 2014 at 10:55 am Leave a comment

Which White Ink to Use When?

Cotton vs Poly wht InfographOne of the most-asked questions we get is “which white ink should I use when printing polyester?” followed by “can I use a cotton white to print on polyester?”  The answer to the second question of course is that due to the possible dye migration (bleeding) issues with polyester, we recommend that you print with a poly/low-bleed ink when printing on polyester fabrics.

We do have a lot of white inks, and a lot of choices for a poly/low-bleed white ink, so with all the various choices, it may be confusing which ink would work best with which substrate.

So today we’ve created an infographic which, we hope, will help you navigate through our offerings of white inks a little easier.  We’ve also outlined some of the characteristics and differences between cotton inks and poly/low-bleed inks.  Take a look!

 

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

August 5, 2014 at 10:52 am Leave a comment

Quiz 7

quiz1

Congratulations to Candace for being the winner of last week’s quiz.  The answers was “1 & 3 above”.  You will soon be emailed your $5 Starbucks gift card. The link for this week’s quiz can be found here (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/28JX7HX).

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit our website at http://www.iccink.com.

July 31, 2014 at 11:32 am Leave a comment

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