March '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 M A R C H P R I N T W E A R 5 1 vide. "These are aluminum frames that al- low you to stretch your own mesh on the frame," he adds. "There are different mesh counts, and the mesh is interchangeable." With an aluminum frame, shops can, for example, convert a 110 mesh frame into a 230 mesh frame, without having to stock both items. This cuts down on excess ware- housing space and allows a small-scale printer the ability to take on different types of detailed artwork jobs without having to order more supplies. Additionally, Landes- man notes that the aluminum frames make the re-order process faster. When a cus- tomer calls in a fresh order for an older job, decorators can re-mount the old exposed mesh and resume printing. Matthew Marcotte, T&J Printing Sup- ply, also contends that by choosing alumi- num frames, shops will benefit from their stability. "Purchasing aluminum frames will hold more rigid and keep better tension, as well as (be) less likely to bow and cause registration issues," Marcotte contends. If a shop is on the cusp of expanding or ramping up their production volume, parties recommend that producers start researching automatic technology to up their screen and frame game. Automation not only speeds up the production process but helps reduce chances of human error. "An automatic screen developer and screen reclaimer is a great addition for a larger shop looking to improve their workflow," suggests Landesman, adding that if a shop typically experiences high turnover in their screen room department, bringing this technology onboard eliminates the need to continually retrain and reinvest in one arm of the business. TO DIY OR TO NOT DIY If the budget allows, shops can opt to out- source some of the screen-making process to another company, but sources contend it shouldn't necessarily be something they jump on immediately. Marcotte recom- mends producers look into static aluminum frames if they're looking for an in-house way to speed things up. "Static aluminum frames have been trending as the go-to frame choice for most print shops for the last five to six years," Marcotte contends. "If a shop isn't already stretching their screens and is looking to ramp up pro- duction, they should look at purchasing a good quantity of static 23" X 31" frames." If a producer's screen demand starts piling up into the dozens, however, sources con- tend that an outsourced facility can help streamline production. Landesman also points out that someone new to the overall process may want to consult a professional screen-making service while they learn the craft. "Screen restretching is an art and sci- ence," Landesman elaborates. "Jobbing out screen restretching can be more affordable because professional screen restretchers buy the mesh at a lower price point and pass those savings onto you." DO THE DIP Having a clean screen is just as important as having a well-tensioned screen, but how shops clean and reclaim them can vary. Some operations have the budget and space to use a dip tank, but for smaller enterprises that may not always be an option. So, how can a shop still ensure their reclaim pro- DAILY eNEWSLETTERS WEEKLY PRODUCTS & DEALS THE NBM SHOW COAST-TO-COAST PUBLISHED MONTHLY Subscribe at or call 800-870-0904. the ISSUE & MORE

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