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.
The steps for using a registration system in the art department include printing out the films with alignment and registration guides and then positioning the artwork onto carrier sheets that align with the pins in the registration system. Artists need to put additional thought into the print positions suggested by the locations on a carrier sheet. They need to make allowances for images that are mostly flat and horizontal, like a chest stripe, and designs that are intentionally off-center or asymmetrical. Popular print locations should be determined and located appropriately in a template inside of the software that the art department uses to print out the positives. For example, a left-chest print has a location that’s centered on a template that is aligned to a top and centerline on the left side of the carrier sheet (Figure 2).
An important consideration for keeping this system efficient is the process of using and reusing the carrier sheets. The carrier sheets should be readily available, clean, and in good condition for each job that is about to be attached. Having to wait on finding, cleaning, or printing out new carrier sheets is almost as bad as spending extra time registering the job on press. The effect of the system is important, not blind adherence to a dysfunctional method. If it takes too long to place art on the carrier sheets, then you should investigate another method.
The screen department
Registration equipment in the screen department consists of pins on a setup board or exposure unit to locate the film and carrier sheet onto the proper area on the screen. Some companies remove the carrier sheet prior to exposure; some leave it on. It depends on the process and the need for the sheets in the art department.
The registration system’s ability to generate good image locations from screen to screen is important to the efficiency of the process. Time wasted in the screen department spills backwards into screen shortages and slower delivery of finished screens to the press.
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