Printwear

April '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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4 8 P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 2 0 In addition to systems that you can pur- chase or even build yourself to capture sol- ids before they go down the drain, there are also products offered by your chemistry companies to capture solids while cleaning your squeegees and flood bars. These prod- ucts offer solutions that range from captur- ing particles in filters that can then be cured in your dryer and disposed of properly to fa- cilitating active enzymes to break down ink sludge. Speak to your local screen print sup- plier or attend a trade show to learn more about these and more options. The goal here is to keep as much chem- istry and uncured ink from leaving your facility as possible. By capturing and curing these solids, we prevent them from contam- inating our drinking and ground waters. By disposing of this waste responsibly, we minimize the impact we create from our waste. What about all those cut-up T-shirt rags you have been using to clean screens? As your printing process improves over time, you should notice less garment waste, which means you will need a new source for rags to clean screens. Uniform laundering companies typically provide a rag reclaim service with a regu- lar delivery of reusable rags, that are then picked up to launder and dispose of the ink waste responsibly. This means we elimi- nate the impact caused by throwing away ink-covered rags. That responsibility now belongs to the laundering service, the cost of which is offset by the savings we see in our garbage haul away costs and time lost searching for and cutting up used garments for cleaning. So much of our productivity is lost running around the production floor searching for various things versus working continuously and without distraction. CHEMISTRY Now, let's look more directly at the chem- istry we use to clean and reclaim screens. Much of what you are paying to ship to yourself is water, so the most obvious im- provement that most shops can make is to switch to concentrates. For example, if a shop is buying three drums of a finished product per year, there is an obvious benefit to buying and shipping one drum of con- centrated product and adding water to it on-site. Not only do you save on shipping, you reduce container waste. One of the inefficiencies I regularly en- counter is an employee who thinks that spraying more chemical on a screen makes it reclaim faster. There is a point of dimin- ishing return that you reach pretty quickly, meaning, that your employee is just wash- ing wasted product down the drain. And you paid for it. When I began buying my chemicals in bulk drums, I was offered a free air delivery sprayer system. This system enabled me to create a standardized process that dictated exactly how many squeezes of the sprayer per chemical, per screen, were required. The illustrated procedure was then posted in the reclaim area for employees to reference dur- ing this step of the process. Now, let's address single-use chemistry and how to avoid it. The most obvious an- swer is to use a dip tank for your emulsion Continued on page 49— (after The Sublimation Report) Screen printing implies that both the screen and the printing aspect of our industry must be of some importance. And it's true. We are only as good a printer as the screens we produce.

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