Graphics screen printing most likely originated with retail displays more than a century ago, but that doesn’t mean this sector is staid or safe. New retail construction tailed off even before the Great Recession and may never recover. Amazon and other online-only merchants have taken an astounding share of the consumer’s budget in a very short time. Marketing strategies have been turned upside down as retailers seek new ways to leverage the vast information they have accumulated about their customers and develop highly targeted promotional campaigns.
At my company, our team continually struggles to find the best mix of materials and methods to complete each job in a responsible manner while remaining competitive in the marketplace. It isn’t always easy. If we’re honest with ourselves, large-format digital printing has a substantial impact on the environment. The raw materials we use (plastics, metals, inks, laminates, etc.) don’t always do well in landfills. These components are a huge part of our manufacturing process, and because we work in large formats, we produce a lot of them.
The Screen Print Biz Group, a new decorated-apparel business-management and development alliance, has announced that its first meeting will take place May 8, 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee.
The group is organizing to address the following business issues:
Wadjet AG, an international manufacturer of wide-format digital printers based in Switzerland, has announced the start of operations of its North American subsidiary, Wadjet America, Inc. Earlier this year, Mantel Digital AG spun off its wide format digital printer manufacturing business into Wadjet AG, a separate, standalone company.
Do me a favor. Take a few seconds and look around your office. Now, count how many logoed items you see. I’m betting you have at least one or two pens advertising your local bank or maybe your dry cleaner, as well as a stylish coffee mug bearing a company’s name and possibly even a T-shirt or cap branded by the sponsor of your kid’s soccer team or the last 5K you ran. Chances are you have a logoed USB, mouse pad, and calendar on your desk, too.
Designed for short-term promotional window applications, 3M’s Scotchcal Perforated Window Film IJ67 has a 40% die-perforated pattern that allows the printed image to be seen from the outside of the window while enabling viewers on the other side to see through the graphic.
The 5.9-mil, removable pressure-sensitive film, designed for first-surface applications indoors or outdoors, comes with a poly-coated paper release liner backed with a continuous paper layer, which 3M (www.3Mgraphics.com) says enables easier registration during printing.
The latest release of SA International’s (www.thinksai.com) SAi EnRoute software for CNC signmaking and fabrication includes more than two dozen productivity-enhancing features and improvements.
Among the enhancements to SAi EnRoute 5.1 are new import filters (including support for Caldera digital registration and contour cut and improved Onyx XML import), additional nesting options for the Automatic Toolpath Processing option, and new Parametric Textures.
Designed to screen print a wide range of cylindrical products, the PT-8 from Systematic Automation (www.systauto.com) uses an eight-station, pneumatically controlled turret that operates solely through compressed air with no electronics or hydraulic components.
Pre-tooled dial plates for different cylinder sizes allow users to quickly change the machine from one job to the next. Press settings such as print speed and squeegee pressure are controlled from a single operator panel.
Garment printers can create Pantone simulations or standard colors using the UltraMix PD Color System from International Coatings (www.iccink.com), which includes 19 non-phthalate high-pigment dispersions along with two mixing bases.
The latest release of InkSoft’s (www.inksoft.com) Web-based management software includes integrated support for the Brother GT-3 series of direct-to-garment inkjet printers.