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Ink Mixing and Matching

(February 2010) posted on Mon Jan 25, 2010

Tools of the trade for screen printers

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By Gail Flower

Who supplies what to whom?
Most ink providers have a system for matching custom colors. The following represents a sampling of companies that provide tools and consumables for color matching.

Amerigraph offers AdVantage scales that come standard with stainless-steel platforms to hold standard ink-dispensing buckets. Models have dual AC and rechargeable batteries and come with an RS232 data port. Model B1200.01 has a capacity of 1200 g with 0.01-g resolution for sample batches. Model WV6000.1 has a capacity of 6000 g with similar resolution. Its 9 x 12-in. stainless-steel pan is designed to accommodate 1-gal mixing buckets. Model FW30Vk.5 has a capacity of 30 kg with 0.5-g resolution.

The company’s ink pumps are designed for use with plastisol inks specifically for the screen printing industry. Available in 1- and 5-gal sizes, the 1-gal units are available to fit a particular ink manufacturer’s container. Amerigraph also offers dispensing systems that work with Rutland and Wilflex mixing systems.

Spindex 106M2 features foot-control latch operation, independent rotating carousels (ten for 1-gal; six for five-gal containers) and is designed to be used with Rutland mixing systems. Spindex 141MX is a two-tiered rotating carousel for 14 1-gal containers and a docking cart for 5-gal containers. Model 142PC is for the Wilflex system and has 14 1-gal pumps and two 5-gal pumps on the system.

FUJIFILM Sericol USA, Inc. has developed a complete package of inks, scales, dispensers, and software (Figure 1). The ColorSense computer-and-scale system retains formulas and instructs the user how much by weight of each component to pour into the mix. The ColorSense IMS (automated ink-management system), was developed specifically for use in the markets served by FUJIFILM Sericol. It includes a spectrophotometer option that recommends an initial formula when read from a color chip provided by the customer. If any adjustments need to be made to the formula, the software will retain the changes and save the final formula for future use. The software also provides ink-inventory management, including suggestions for working with excess inks left over from prior jobs.


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