Proven advice for industrial applications and other situations where delivering less-than-flawless prints isn’t an option.
By Mike Young
It’s true for just about every printing operation: Whatever they are printing today is much harder and more demanding than what they did five years ago. And what they printed back then was more challenging than five years earlier, and so on – all the while expecting superior results from printing equipment and processes that may have long passed their peak!
There are two predominate reasons why screen printing technology has handled this challenge relatively well. First, these higher degrees of difficulty and more stringent demands have slowly evolved over the course of time, not overnight. Parents, for example, do not notice their children growing each day, but they sure do. The changes only become apparent when looking back over the years.
The second factor in the apparently smooth transition toward more dynamic work with more controllable results is that screen making products have also advanced, in some cases significantly. This fact nicely dovetails into the theme of this article, because, like it or not, manufacturers have done their share – but have we, as printers, done ours by taking full advantage of these substantial developments? Are we taking these more technically advanced consumables and applying them in the manner prescribed? Or do we simply turn a blind eye to innovative materials, training, and astute instructions, thinking we can cruise along using techniques from the past because they still seem to work?
Often, the reality is closer to the latter, and it’s the barrier that prevents many printing operations from advancing their processing abilities. Ever wonder why screens that come from trade screen makers or other suppliers look absolutely magnificent? The truth is they really don’t — they were just painstakingly made following the instructions. Anyone can make “magnificent” looking screens, but only if they meticulously follow processing directives without cutting corners.
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