Start Here October '20

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S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 0 Ideally, if a shop keeps in mind that every tool comes back to helping their bottom line, they'll be on the right path to growing a successful business. (Image courtesy Lawson Screen & Digital Products Inc.) ACROSS THE BOARD Regardless of discipline, Taylor Landesman, Lawson Screen and Digital Products, recommends that every busi- ness keep some core screen-printing supplies on hand. Cleaning supplies are a given, but he also points out that safety should be top of mind, regardless of business size and scope. "Things like fire extinguishers and other safety items are a must for complying with OSHA," he notes. In addition to this, sources say every shop should keep these tools at the ready: Exposure Calculator: Having a reliable calculator helps lock in accurate exposure times, says Ray Markey, Kidd Company. "Not only does good exposure help keep your prints crisp, but you also save a ton of time with efficient washout and reclaim," he adds. Tension Meter: A small but crucial tool, the tension meter is arguably one of the most important to keep at hand, says Alan Howe, Easiway Systems. "Poor tension is the link to almost 85% of all print problems," he contends. Problems such as rough underbases, blurred, dou- ble, or halo images, as well as registration issues, poor coating, improper exposure of the screen, and reclaim issues can all be linked to poor tension. Howe points out that all these issues can also contrib- ute to overall profit loss since it affects the final product and poses the chance of having to re-do an entire order. Donut Probe: Markey says that a donut probe helps ensure prints cure correctly. "A donut probe, unlike a laser temp gun, will accurately show you the tempera- ture of the ink through the dryer," he explains. "If this process is even a little off, you could be dealing with some seri- ous headaches. Dye migration, scorched garments, and under-cured prints are just the tip of the iceberg." Job Tracking Software: While not a physical tool, having a reliable system in place that accurately tracks an order from the early stages with quotes and approv- als through the printing and produc- tion process helps ensure that everyone involved is up to speed on the where- abouts of the client's job. 51

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