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fine detail with fluorescent?????

Posted on Thu, 7 Nov 2002 at 10:58



The biggest problem in our screen room is exposure of fine detail with our fluorescent bulb exposure unit. I know that fluorescent units are not ideal for fine detail or half tones but until I can convince "the powers that be" to buy us a metal halide unit, I don't have much choice. We already underexpose (gasp!!!) which presents all kinds of problems from delamination on press to stubborn reclaiming. I have tried thinner emulsion coating, emulsions that are "supposedly" faster and have even resorted to putting Scotch tape on the back side of the positive as a filter. For small print runs these tricks work ok but for bigger runs our screens break down. If anyone has any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated.
Thanx!
Amy =)

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Comments

Anonymous says: Sounds like you know what YOUR doing. (you've done some really positive things to get more out of what you have) Face it Amy, we that know how, will always fight with the people who have to pay for it. ...

Sounds like you know what YOUR doing. (you've done some really positive things to get more out of what you have)

Face it Amy, we that know how, will always fight with the people who have to pay for it. Obviously your company doesn't trust your judgment, and if your the person they've hired to tell them what need's to be done......................

The solution to your problem is also obvious, you'll find it on this web page under the forum heading "HELP WANTED"

The amount of trouble you've gone to to "solve" the problem that your bosses have caused by not listening to you shows me that you shouldn't have any problem finding another position (I know I'd hire you in a heartbeat).

Every company is faced with the problem of buying the right equipment for the jobs they want to do. A GOOD company will not fool themselves into thinking thier doing the right thing only because it fits the parameters of what they want to do, and they'll limit their activities to products that they can ACTUALLY print with the equipment they own.

Keep you head up and perservere, we (this industry) need people like you who can take what they have and squeeze every little bit of what it's got to give out of it.

posted on: Mon, 11/11/2002 - 2:05pm
Anonymous says: Amy, I also have experienced some thick skulls, my only suggestion for you until Rocky gets you a job at his place is to either use a fast exposure emulsion or a light colored mesh . yellow or white ...

Amy,
I also have experienced some thick skulls, my only suggestion for you until
Rocky gets you a job at his place is to either use a fast exposure emulsion or
a light colored mesh . yellow or white . although white may not give you the
fine detail you're looking for. good luck! Dover

posted on: Tue, 11/12/2002 - 7:10am
Anonymous says: Thanks for the support guys! I knew that fellow screenmakers would understand my frustration. Thanks also to Bron Wolff who has turned me on to face coating. I have coated 30 trial screens 1 on 1 and ...

Thanks for the support guys! I knew that fellow screenmakers would understand my frustration. Thanks also to Bron Wolff who has turned me on to face coating. I have coated 30 trial screens 1 on 1 and then put a face coat on. This has reduced our exposure time from 7 minutes to just under 5 minutes. Not a huge drop but I'll take it! Time will tell how long these screens will last on press due to the loss of "my security blanket"... thick emulsion. The thing with our company is that due to downsizing I'm the only person left that understands (or cares about) the screen room. It's the same old story... If you want quality prints, you need quality screens. If you want quality screens, you have to pay for quality equipment.
Amy =)

posted on: Tue, 11/12/2002 - 7:50am
Anonymous says: Tamas C. Frecska wrote a book in the early 1990's call "Troubleshooting the Printed Image and it deals with sawtooth, smears, static, mesh marks, edges, double images, bleeds, etc. In the book he mentions ...

Tamas C. Frecska wrote a book in the early 1990's call "Troubleshooting the Printed Image and it deals with sawtooth, smears, static, mesh marks, edges, double images, bleeds, etc. In the book he mentions there are over 200 variables (The SPTF shows over 500 on their chart). His book deals with 41, and he devides these into 6 groups: 1. Screens and screenmaking, 2. epuipment, printing, curing 3. Inks 4. Artwork 5. environment and 6. Substrates.

He performed a Pareto analysis on these variables to determine the statistical importance of each variable to the total number of variables. It breaks down as follows:

33% of the imaging problems are screen related, relating to tension, coating procedures, exposure, reclaiming, emulsions etc.

26% of the problems are equipment related, 25% of theses are off-contact and peel issues, 16% of these are squeegee-pressure, and speed settings issues.

13% of the problems are related to artwork. of which 43% are poor artwork or incomplete artwork, 36% dust or dirt, contamination of film.

12% of the problems are ink related of which 38% relate to higher or lower viscosity, and 23% relate to higher tack levels.

9% relate to environment, or which 45% have to do with contamination and 38% are temperature/humidity related.

7% of the problems are substrate related, of which 37% deal with surface texture or dyne being unsuitable, 25% with absorbency of the substrate.

When we teach the the Four-color Graphics class at the SPTF we deal with 76 variables. Over 20 of these are in the screen room.

Of all the plants I have been in over the years, in the vast majority of the cases (not all), the screen room personel are the least trained, lowest paid, and often the first released when times get slow. Yet, if Tamas and I are correct, this is where the majority of the press, and print, related problems are occuring. What is it that I don't understand here? If I can control 26% of the variables, and 33% of the print and press related problems, by concentration of training, money, talent, in the screen room, as a manager/owner I would be very negligent in my duties if I did not look in that direction.

In many shops that I have been asked to help troubleshoot problems or improve quality, I ALWAYS begin in the screen room. It is obviously where a lot of these press issues are beginning. It's not the glamor position. The screen room people are not the ones introduced to the custiomes, they are the grunts, the lineman, defensive line, not the QB's, or ends in the spotlight.

If you give me a $20 and hour printer, with a $.25 screen, it doesn't take much imagination to see what kind of print I would get. In a lot of cases, Amy, its time and talent mis-spent. I wish it were otherwise, but I've been doing this garbage too long to think it will change in the near future.

I'm glad I could be of some assistance, and I try to help when I can. I do not always have a lot of time to devote to these boards, (I do unfortunately have to do something to justify my salary) but when I can, I do. Let me know how that works for you.

Bron Wolff

posted on: Tue, 11/12/2002 - 5:04pm
Anonymous says: Boy, I'll tell ya. I'm going to look for anything Bron puts out from now on , whether it relates to anything I'm actually doing or not. Can he put two words together or what! I hope you don't mind but ...

Boy, I'll tell ya. I'm going to look for anything Bron puts out from now on , whether it relates to anything I'm actually doing or not. Can he put two words together or what!

I hope you don't mind but I'm printing your entry out and passing it around to the powers that be around here. My forehead is flat from banging my head against the wall.

And Amy, if you EVER feel like spending the rest of your life in sunny southern california, you give me a whistle here at Gold Graphics in beautiful Pacoima and if I can't convince them here to hire you, I have many friends in this business I'll turn you on to.

posted on: Tue, 11/12/2002 - 5:27pm
Anonymous says: No I don't mind at all if you put it up and use it. If I did I wouldn't have posted it to begin with. A lot of times I respond off the boards, if I do at all, and have the time, because I do not like ...

No I don't mind at all if you put it up and use it. If I did I wouldn't have posted it to begin with. A lot of times I respond off the boards, if I do at all, and have the time, because I do not like to get into this I know, you know, we know, and who the h... are you anyway. Well back in the old war we did it like this, or that, and frankly who cares. There is a lot of bad information the comes across these boards, and there are some people (by the way Rocky I consider you on of those that care) that genuinely try to help others through problems. Sometimes some of the responses get a bid much, and I don't like the politics and BS anyway.

If I can help, I will. If someone decides I smoke dope, and don't know what the h... I'm talking about thats OK too. Do what you want, it effects my pay how?

That screen room issue is an issue I have been fighting for years. How's the old song go " I have been fighting a loosing battle, but having a wonderful time trying to win." This is something I have always taught, and believed in. This area, too me, is one of the most, if not the most, critical area in a print operation. I have always taught, and said in the classes we teach, if you want to make an impact start in the screen rooms first. Get this squared away and the rest is duck soup. Might be wrong, but don't think so.

Rocky it wouldn't be the first, nor will it be the last time, that something I wrote got posted somewhere and some big shot says "Bull, he's full of ----!" I usually just and spend another night with no sleep, as I worry about those kind of things.

Sounds like this topic might make an interesting article for one of the columns anyway. It could probably fill two columns in the magazine if I do it right. I'm always looking for info to do. Especially things that stir up a little head banging. Thanks for the input.

Bron Wolff

posted on: Tue, 11/12/2002 - 10:17pm
Anonymous says: Hi Amy, I now use a Metal Halide exp light but i started off with a box of fluro tubes, after starting to use Agfa laserlink film I noticed that fine details were coming out better than with clear film, ...

Hi Amy, I now use a Metal Halide exp light but i started off with a box of fluro tubes, after starting to use Agfa laserlink film I noticed that fine details were coming out better than with clear film, maybe this might help you.

posted on: Wed, 11/13/2002 - 4:07am
Anonymous says: Most of our positives are Ecopro thermal films which are quite good. Nice sharp images and black as black can be. We do shoot some positives on our camera with an Agfa film, not the one you mentioned ...

Most of our positives are Ecopro thermal films which are quite good. Nice sharp images and black as black can be. We do shoot some positives on our camera with an Agfa film, not the one you mentioned though. This could be something to look into as well. I'm going to put another question out today as well. A Nazdar sales rep came to see me this morning and had a proposition for me. He told me that if I buy all of our screen room supplies (reclaim chemicals, mesh, emulsion, films, tape etc.) from him, he would either give us a metal halide unit or sell one to us at a steep discount. Sounds good to me but it sounds a little too good. I am running into wall with management because of the prices of these units. We use alot of the products they offer already but he wants to rope me into a 2-3 year contract with Nazdar. Has anyone else had an offer like this? If so, what kind of questions do I need to be asking myself or the rep about this? Our production supervisor told me it's pretty much my call and I really want a metal halide unit, which would help us out with a ton of the issues we have in the screen room. But I have dealt with quite a few shady reps in the past and I don't want to do anything I might regret. He seems like a stand up guy though, hasn't given me any problems in the past. My main reservation is switching meshes. We have always used Saati mesh with few problems. Do I need to be concerned or am I just balking at change? If anyone has any thoughts on this please post.
Amy =)

posted on: Wed, 11/13/2002 - 12:42pm
Anonymous says: For the last 5 years or so the major ink companies (Coates, Sericol, TW/Polymeric, Naz-Dar........) have been using the "contract" method of business. I've got mixed feeelings about the advantages / ...

For the last 5 years or so the major ink companies (Coates, Sericol, TW/Polymeric, Naz-Dar........) have been using the "contract" method of business.

I've got mixed feeelings about the advantages / dis-advantages of the idea. (and I've spent a few years on that side of the fence and was responsible for looking for new areas to attract your kind of attention using this method of marketing)

On the one hand, by agreeing to do this, you truly can get the use of exactly what you need for buying what you already are going to anyway (and all of these people sell products that will work just fine for almost any situation, at competitive pricing)

On the bad side of course is locking yourself into a situation that leaves you absolutely no wiggle room in the future ( a lot can happen in 2 - 3 years)

There IS an oportunity to get your cake an eat it too, depending on what all the products that Naz-Dar sells that you could use add up to in a year (and you really need to do your homework here, seeing how whatever you "get" from Naz-Dar will mostly depend on how "high" a figure you can realisticly meet)

Definitely be aggressive on the pricing you agree to pay for the products that your thinking of buying (don't limit yourself, look at inks, screen supplies, press room supplies, even some substrates - they sell some good "ALL WHITE" 50pt board and Opaline) You'll have little room for negotiation's afterward.

Last but absolutely not least is, if Naz Dar proposed this, what do you think your Coates or Sericol rep would say or do............

FYI, some of the things I've seen companies get for 2-3 year commitments are:

(FREE) Complete pumping system throught a 20,000 sq ft shop supplying 2 6 color inlines and 6 other assorted automatic press's with various cleaning and operational chemicals, along with a complete computerized color matching system complete with computer, softwear and 100# electronic scales - 2 year commitment: close to 4 millions dollaars.

(FREE) 16foot automatic screen coater for large format screens for a 2 year commitment worth about 1.2 million.

A $30,000 Stacker for the end of the 6 color inline press that they bought for approx. 1.4 million.

You don't have to be worth 1-2 million a year in buying power to get free ink pumps for your presses or Washout booths, or drying racks or, yes, even metal halide exposure units

Remember this if nothing else, these salesman are on the most part extremely helpful and fair. That however being said, they have more wiggle room on price than a used car salesman and about as many tricks. Be firm and aggresive (did I already say that) and truly get a good bargain for your supplies that you buy AS WELL as your free exposure unit, you CAN if you do your homework (what your buying power a year is) and shop around (this is too big to not talk with everyone posible)

I would be very interested to hear what you work out (as I'm sure the other "guys and gals" of ScreenWeb). So drop us a line an let us know how your doin'.

Rocky

posted on: Thu, 11/14/2002 - 10:37pm
Anonymous says: Thanks for your input Rocky. Call me a cynical mesh monkey if you will, but I believe that there is no such thing as a free lunch (or exposure unit). Nazdar makes no bones about wanting our screen room ...

Thanks for your input Rocky. Call me a cynical mesh monkey if you will, but I believe that there is no such thing as a free lunch (or exposure unit). Nazdar makes no bones about wanting our screen room business, we already get the majority of our inks from them. At the moment I'm ordering screen room stuff from 3 or 4 different companies and I would prefer to deal with just one company for everything. That would be so much easier. Price is my main concern I guess. While the rep was here the other day he called his people to see what his price for EasiStrip reclaimer would be. I waited until he had his price before I told him how much we pay for it. His price was almost double what we pay now. He couldn't understand why we pay so much less and he wasn't sure if he could get his price down to match. He suggested a Nazdar 2 part reclaimer, which would be priced comparably, but that's another step in reclaiming that I don't have to do with the EasiStrip. I believe there will be some definite hard core number crunching before I decide for sure. Thanx Rocky and Bron for your opinions.
Amy =)

posted on: Fri, 11/15/2002 - 12:17pm

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