Posts tagged ‘screen print industry’

Screen Printing Startup Equipment, Part II

M&RComboHere is Part II of John Levocz’ article, published on Printwear, on what printers need for a start-up (Read Part I on our blog):

CHOOSE A PRINTER

There are many types and styles of manual printers in the market place, but they’re ultimately all designed to complete the same process. Some print better than others, but the job at hand is to enable a printer to print sing;e or multiple-color designs onto garments quickly, efficiently, and in registration.

Look for a printer that’s expandable. This could be a printer that expands from a single color to four colors or four colors to six colors. It’s less costly to expand this way as opposed to buying new equipment because you outgrew what you originally purchased. Given the designs and types of garments that are printed today, start with a four-color printer with four stations for loading, flashing, and cool downs. Also, consider a printer with micro-registration for a quicker and easier job setup.

Buying a printer is like buying a car. Visit your distributor’s showroom if possible and take a test drive. Do the micros move smoothly? Does the press spin freely with minimum effort? Remember, if all goes well, you’ll use it all day. As for the references of other decorators who use this equipment. If possible, call them to get their opinion. As long as you’re not in direct competition, most are willing to answer a few questions regarding the press they purchased.

FLASH CURE UNIT

Along with the printer, you need a flash-cure unit. This equipment enables you to flash your under base, so you can print on dark garments and specialty pieces. A flash cure unit is an essential piece of equipment in your shop. These units operate at high temperatures to gel the ink before moving to another screen, especially on designs that cannot be printed wet-on-wet.

Considering the high operating temperature, an automatic-style flash is a good option. This type of flash stays over the garment and moves away after a specified time to eliminate burned shirts and, even worse, burned platens on your press that would have to be replaced. In my experience, I can almost guarantee that if you opt to not get an automatic flash, you will get distracted and burn shirts and platens.

DRYERS

After the printing is complete, the garment now needs to be cured or dried. Standard plastisol inks require 325 degrees F at specified times for a proper cure. You can have the best artwork and nicest design, but if the ink washes off the first time your customer cleans the shirt, you won’t be in business long. Proper curing is an important part of screen printing and should not be overlooked.

For a startup business, I recommend an electric infrared conveyor drying system. These dryers convert infrared energy to heat to cure the printed garments. As with presses, many dryers are expandable in length, so the dryer can grow with your business. If you saved some money in other areas look for a 36 belt width. This allows for a press on each side of the dryer as your business grows. And with all the different types of material printers are asked to decorate these days, good airflow is a must. This airflow helps eliminate scorching and shrinkage and solidly cures the decorated garment.

John Levocz, International Coatings’ Northeast regional sales director, has been in the screen printing industry for more than 30 years and has broad experience in graphics and textile printing. John is a contributor to International Coatings’ blogs and holds print seminars all over the country.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

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June 13, 2017 at 5:24 am 3 comments

Screen Printing Startup Equipment

VastexComboStarting a screen printing business is an exciting venture, but like most startups, determining what you need can be an intimidating process, especially if you’re new to the industry. With more than 30 years of experience, here is John Levocz’ take (published in Printwear) on what equipment is needed to start a profitable screen printing business.

GETTING STARTED

You don’t have to be an artist to get started in screen printing. In fact, there’s a variety of companies that can provide stock art programs to help you create basic designs, which are printed onto a clear film. Start by researching these companies online and speaking with your equipment distributor to find the right program for you. Many laser and inkjet printers are available, so it’s helpful to review options with your distributor.

Choose a printer that gives you the densest black possible in your price range. This dense black on the clear film is used to create your screen. Remember, the blacker the print and the cleaner the film, the better. To create the screen, you need a screen frame along with an exposure unit or light source to burn the image from the film onto a screen coated with emulsion. As far as frames go, they run the gamut–from wood to retentive aluminum.

When it comes to light sources, three types are available to screen printers: multi-bulbs, single bulbs, and LED units. The multi-bulb fluorescent units use fluorescent tubes, which provide a specific light spectrum designed to work with screen printing emulsions. Do not make your own unit with the fluorescent lights from your home. It will not work well. In the case of a single bulb, it provides that same specific light spectrum to expose screens and generally holds finer detail. The newest technology is the LED exposure unit, which uses a multitude of LED lights to create the proper light spectrum.

For a screen printing startup, consider a multi-bulb fluorescent unit for its affordability and ability to hold reasonably good detail. Whichever unit you choose, make sure it has a vacuum to hold the film with the screen.

Stay tuned for Parts II and III or read it on Printwear.

John Levocz, International Coatings’ Northeast regional sales director, has been in the screen printing industry for more than 30 years and has broad experience in graphics and textile printing. John is a contributor to International Coatings’ blogs and holds print seminars all over the country.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

 

May 30, 2017 at 12:35 pm 5 comments

ISS Atlantic City Starts This Week

ISS17_AC_637X375

Come join us at the ISS Atlantic City Show starting this Thursday, March 23rd – Saturday, March 25th at the Atlantic City Convention Center. John Levocz will be in attendance, so be sure to connect with him there.

Don’t miss our latest products showcased at our distributor partners’ booths:

Davis International, Booth 1437

Nazdar Source One, Booth 729

See you there!

March 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm 1 comment

Building a Darkroom for Print Shops With Limited Floor Space

darkroomracksCan you suggest some approaches to building a darkroom for a screen-printing shop that has a limited floor space? This was a question posed by a Printwear reader, and here is Kieth Stevens’ response:

A booth can often be constructed of black plastic sheeting, which is relatively cheap to purchase. Choose a location close to the washout area to minimize exposure to light. Simply construct a 1′ x 3′ wooden frame and determine where to place the entry to the dark room. Staple the plastic to the frame and overlap some plastic to create the “door.” By overlapping the plastic sheets, it will minimize the light coming through during entry and exit. Also, be sure that the plastic cover reaches to the floor to block out light completely.

Another way to create a darkroom with limited space is to repurpose an existing room. For example, if the bathroom is not too small, turn it into a dual-purpose room. Repurposing a closet is also a great way to make use of the space you have.

Stand in the darkroom prior to use to be sure that there is no light leaking into the room. It may be necessary to block out minute shafts of light coming in through the bottom or sides of a door. Use plastic sheeting or light-blocking curtains to eliminate any light contamination. Consult your emulsion manufacturer as to which lights would work best and add a dehumidifier. In such a closed room environment, your screens will dry faster and more thoroughly when moisture content is controlled.

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 Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

March 7, 2017 at 5:04 am 1 comment

To Push or Pull? That is the Question.

to-push-or-pull-that-is-the-questionIn a recent article published by Impressions magazine, Kieth Stevens gives us some tips on how to properly use a squeegee.

How your squeegee method can affect your print results

I visit hundreds of print shops a year — teaching, training and sharing. I also visit a few trade shows and distributors’ open houses. One thing I see in the trade shows and open houses that I rarely see in professional print shops is printers who are pushing the squeegee instead of pulling it.

Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t a time and place for pushing — I sometimes push the squeegee instead of pulling it when I need to move an image a tad in that upward direction in order for my registration to line up correctly without having to re-adjust the entire screen. However, those times are more the exception rather than the norm.

To some, it may seem more ergonomically correct, but that is not how the process was originally designed: Why do automatic screen printing presses use a squeegee with a bendable blade? Why don’t they simulate the pushing technique?

I may be old-school…okay, I am old-school. It just seems odd to me whenever I see it. Yes, there are people that have a hard time pulling the squeegee and get better results when they push (people who aren’t as tall as others, people with upper body disabilities, etc.) But, what I’ve learned over the years is that pulling a squeegee allows the blade to be more flexible than pushing it.

Take screen printing a skateboard for example. The surface has some curves, especially on the edges. Yet, when the squeegee is pulled, the print goes on it smoothly and the squeegee blade is able to conform to the substrate much better. When the squeegee is pushed across such a surface, the blade somehow does not conform as well and may even leave streaks.

You may argue that when printing on a shirt it may not matter much because it is relatively flat. But what if you print over seams or zippers, or if your platen is not entirely flat?

Another thing I have observed is people printing one screen twice, once in both directions. This is a definite no-no. Choose only one or the other method. Printing a screen in both directions can cause a lot of problems, including a blurred image as well as difficulty registering other colors. This technique can result in an even worse image distortion when the mesh isn’t tight enough.

Again, my preference for pulling rather than pushing the squeegee is simply that, a preference. However, I feel that by pushing, the printer is not taking advantage of the flexibility of the blade and its ability to conform to the substrate.

Kieth Stevens has been teaching screen printing for over ten years and is our Western regional sales manager. In addition, he is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

February 28, 2017 at 4:41 am 1 comment

How to Build a Darkroom for a Screen-printing Shop With Limited Floor Space

darkroomracks

Can you suggest some approaches to building a darkroom for a screen-printing shop that has a limited floor space? This was a question posed by a Printwear reader, and here is Kieth Stevens’ response:

A booth can often be constructed of black plastic sheeting, which is relatively cheap to purchase. Choose a location close to the washout area to minimize exposure to light. Simply construct a 1′ x 3′ wooden frame and determine where to place the entry to the dark room. Staple the plastic to the frame and overlap some plastic to create the “door.” By overlapping the plastic sheets, it will minimize the light coming through during entry and exit. Also, be sure that the plastic cover reaches to the floor to block out light completely.

Another way to create a darkroom with limited space is to repurpose an existing room. For example, if the bathroom is not too small, turn it into a dual-purpose room. Repurposing a closet is also a great way to make use of the space you have.

Stand in the darkroom prior to use to be sure that there is no light leaking into the room. It may be necessary to block out minute shafts of light coming in through the bottom or sides of a door. Use plastic sheeting or light-blocking curtains to eliminate any light contamination. Consult your emulsion manufacturer as to which lights would work best and add a dehumidifier. In such a closed room environment, your screens will dry faster and more thoroughly when moisture content is controlled.

International Coatings Blog | Forum for Screen Printing Tips, Ideas, Thoughts

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 Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

December 16, 2016 at 4:49 am 1 comment

ISS Long Beach 2016

IC - ISS LONG BEACH 2016

Less than three weeks away, ISS Long Beach trade show is coming to town!

Come by our booth # 1831 and learn what new products and techniques we have in store for you!

This year, award-winning students from Pasadena City College will also be printing at our booth.  Come catch the excitement and get a pass for FREE by typing in COATINGS for the promo code.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of non-phthalate 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.

#internationalcoatings #iccink #textilescreenprintinginks #creatingperformancesolutions #screenprintinginks #screenprint #isslongbeach2016 #iss2016 #imprintedsportswearshow #isslongbeach #booth1831

January 6, 2016 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

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