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Advanced Digital and Screen Printing

(September 2006) posted on Fri Sep 08, 2006

Where graphics production is a family affair

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By Lori Leaman

The screen room is where you'll find the company's Douthitt DMV 79 x 190-in. exposure unit. Here, Geoff Bommer coats all screens for both process and spot-color jobs by hand (Figure 2). He typically applies five coats on one side of a screen, flips it over and applies one coat, and then applies one face coat on the other side of the screen. He regularly measures the tension of screens stocked in the room, labels each screen with pertinent information such as size, tension, and date the screen was stretched, and he keeps the details in a log.

In the production area are four M&R semi-automatic graphics presses, including two Eclipse models (36 x 24 and 40 x 50 in.), a 40 x 55-in. M&R Renegade press, and a 48 x 120-in. Renegade XL press (Figure 3). The XL model, purchased in March of this year, is the newest addition to the graphics-printing equipment. The company's original Filbar press, along with an M&R Vitran II, and a Daytona press round out the equipment in the graphics-production area.

The finishing department, which is located next to the production area, is equipped with a Seal Image 600 (60 in.) laminator. It's also where Ron Cooper uses his numerous years of experience in classic screen-printing methods and sign lettering to put the final touches on print jobs. Ron sometimes traps films by hand when the high-tech software programs in prepress can't handle the job.

The digital side

Advanced used to outsource orders for digital jobs to Columbus, OH-based Key Color. In 2002, Ramsey asked one of Key Color's employees to join Advanced Digital and Screen as the sales representative for digital printing services. As luck would have it, Advanced's newest employee brought along digital print jobs and a lot of orders for screen printing.

Advanced purchased a MacDermid ColorSpan 72UVR inkjet printer in 2005 to bolster its efforts in digital imaging (Figure 4). The company has found it ideal for producing one-off jobs. Ramsey was initially concerned about the speed and expense of a digital printer, but he quickly overcame his doubts when he noticed the increased use of digital printers in producing P-O-P signage for retail businesses throughout Columbus.


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