An Automation Wish List for Your Printroom
Options to make your printroom more efficient.
Even the best-managed garment printing facilities can become more efficient with a boost of up-to-date technology. Here are some options you might want to consider.
Shop MIS System
Client communication, recordkeeping, estimating, production scheduling, and seamless interactions with all departments of your company – these all play a key role in getting to the next level of efficiency, and all will be dramatically improved through a good operating system designed specifically for printing companies.
Automatic Screen Making
Many shops have invested in LED exposure systems because of their speed, but there are other opportunities to automate this critical part of your operation, including CTS imaging, automatic screen coating, programmable drying cabinets, and more.
Donut dryer probes, screen tension meters, Pantone books, and more can help you get predictable results from job to job. Stop guessing. Create quality standards and live by them. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
After you’ve flashed your underbase, use a roller squeegee in the cooldown station to flatten out the print. This creates a wonderfully smooth surface to drop the other colors on and helps prevent fibrillation. For fleece or any other fabric that might move during the print, you can also set up a rolling station after loading to help the shirt adhere better to the platen adhesive. Several press manufacturers offer roller squeegee systems now; they are also available from third-party manufacturers.
Automatic Screen Cleaner
Cleaning screens is the worst job in the entire building. An automatic system will give you a car wash for your screens – dirty in, clean out.
On-Press Digital Printing
Want to add DTG technology, but need other print capabilities too? Maybe you have high-quantity runs and are looking to lower the cost? Hybrid screen/DTG units add an inkjet head to an automatic screen press to give you more job flexibility. Often, printers set these lines up to apply a discharge or regular white underbase via screen, and then drop the CMYK down on top after flashing. That leaves other stations free to add more colors or special effects.
Explore the rest of The Automation Issue:
The Automation Issue, Steve Duccilli
Killing Your Top 5 Time Wasters, Mike Ruff
Going Digital: Automating Sales and Marketing, Mark Coudray
The Benefits of Screenroom Automation, Johnny Shell
5 Steps to Take Control of Your Printroom, Marshall Atkinson
MIS: Whipping Your Data into Shape, Eileen Fritsch