There are some tasks for which a machine may truly be the best man for the job.
By Johnny Shell
In The Automation Issue, we present a collection of expert essays on an important topic in the industry today. Here, Johnny Shell discusses automation in the screenroom.
Automation: It’s happening anywhere a machine or robot can be inserted into a manufacturing process to perform a specific task. It’s being embraced across most industries, around the world, because it increases productivity and output, simplifies workers' jobs, and adds consistency, repeatability, and quality assurance by virtually eliminating errors.
Even screen printers are getting in on the act. Many are automating their screen making operations, adding a range of technologically advanced equipment to counter against competitors, increasingly tight profit margins, and pressure from alternative print technologies. Printers enjoy a wide range of options today for automating virtually the entire screen making process from stretching to reclaiming.
Automatic Frame Cleaning
Before stretching even begins, today’s screen making department can utilize automatic frame cleaning machines that fully strip the gluing surface of mesh and adhesive to ensure optimal bonding between the mesh and the frame. These systems use either abrasive pads or high-pressure water that is jetted at the frame surface at up to 21,000 psi. Systems that use abrasive pads often include a ventilation system to draw dust or fumes away, keeping the work environment clean and the operator safe. For high-volume shops that use static frames and frequently change out the mesh, automatic frame cleaning systems are a good automation choice.
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