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They’re Built Like Tanks

(May 2011) posted on Tue May 24, 2011

Screen presses don’t really care about what they’re fed—if you can hold it still, you can screen print it.


By Ben P. Rosenfield

I’ve visited numerous printing facilities in the almost nine years I’ve been covering this industry. I’m always amazed by how many shops still operate garment and graphics screen presses that are 25 years old—or older. Some show their years of service plainly, while others are more cosmetically endowed. They may bear the names of manufacturers long gone or carry the logos of major players still going strong in the press-building business. Either way, these machines typically operate as effectively and efficiently as they did when they were new. How is this possible?

They’re built like tanks.

Automatic screen presses are hunks of steel. They’re built to churn out graphics of all sizes and types for a variety of applications and in quantities that would wake Carl Sagan from his grave. And they do it without a hiccup, as long as they’re maintained. Each hiss heralds profits as products ranging from ad-specialty items and P-O-P displays to garments and precision parts are unloaded. Screen presses don’t really care about what they’re fed—if you can hold it still, you can screen print it. They’ll produce all day long for many, many years to come. Meanwhile, it’s just a matter of time before their counterparts on the shop floor become obsolete and are phased out.

If you have some classic muscle you depend on to get the screen-printing done, please take a minute and send me your thoughts about how far it’s taken your business.


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