Printwear

December '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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54 || P R I N T W E A R D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 D uring my customer vis- its, I have found that many screen printers concentrate their ef- forts on art and print techniques but seem to skim over the importance of screen work. The necessity of the screen room and screen procedures seem to take a back seat to the other areas in a print shop. When you speak of the screen depart- ment, the most ignored procedure seems to be in the reclaim/screen cleaning task. The need to keep up with production will often make the screen tech cut corners in hopes of speeding up the screen making or reclaiming processes. These shortcuts often adversely affect the quality and ef- ficiency of the production area. These procedural problems usually continue in the print shop as the new screen techs are trained by the previ- ous techs. In these cases, the new employee doesn't even realize that the pro- cedures and techniques are inadequate. Once a screen is in pro- duction, any time used to correct a flawed screen becomes very cost- ly. If the stencil breaks down or an image is clogged, the machine is not generating revenue. This is where the cost-cutting shortcuts that take place in the screen room affect the bottom line. With this in mind, it is important to achieve four basic goals when cleaning a screen for reuse: 1) Ink and tape removal 2) Emulsion removal 3) Stain removal 4) Mesh prep REMOVING INK AND TAPE FROM THE SCREEN The first step for the screen cleaning pro- cess is to get as much ink out of the mesh as possible. I have found that this initial step is usually done in haste and often incomplete. It is counterproductive and wasteful to leave a large amount of ink in the screen before it goes to the reclaiming area. The ink adds waste to the reclaim fluid and most often prolongs the process. Using thin cardboard or spatulas will aid in the complete removal of the ink. Ray Smith has been in the screen-printing industry since 1978. He has been involved as an art director, production manager, plant manager and business owner. He currently specializes in application processes and business development. Clean Break D uring my customer vis- its, I have found that many screen printers are trained by the previ- ous techs. In these cases, the new employee doesn't Ray Smith has been in the screen-printing industry since 1978. He has been involved as an art director, production manager, plant Clean Break Clean Break Clean Break Clean Break Clean Break Clean Break Clean Break Clean Break Clean Break Clean Break Clean Break Clean Break B Y R A Y S M I T H MANUAL SCREEN CLEANING

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