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Getting Registered Right from the Start

(June 2008) posted on Mon Jun 16, 2008

Achieving proper registration at the front end of your production workflow is critical for reducing setup time and boosting profits. Trimingham discusses how you can reap the benefits of such a system.

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By Thomas Trimingham

• Screen frames are all the same size, both outside and inside surface areas.

• Press platens and screen clamps can consistently hold registration and are all level and balanced with each other.

• Squeegee blades and floodbars are in good condition so that printing can take place with minimal pressure.

Changes require a buy-in from the workers. Therefore, you should develop the registration system with positive involvement and feedback from your team. Resistance means some retraining may be necessary from an objective third-party consultant to get everyone to work to-gether. Some may believe that a registration system will only cause more work for different departments rather than eliminate excess waste. Use an objective source who can provide examples from other companies and define realistic results. If you’re sure that everyone is ready to make the next step, then it’s time to determine which system is best for your shop.


System selection

Registration-system selection stems from the style of press and screens in use and then filters backwards into the art dept. While this approach isn’t necessarily wrong, it’s important to look at each end of the process to make sure that the system you finally put in place doesn’t shove the burden off from one department to another. It wouldn’t make sense to install a system that requires an extra half an hour from the art department to prep each job if it only saves ten minutes on the press. Proper procedures and best practices in the art, screen, and production areas will assure that everyone shares the workload and benefits of the method. A quick review shows that there are common elements to most of the registration systems on the market, with some exceptions, and some simple methods that printers can use to create their own registration systems.


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