Unfortunately, not every visitor who walks through the front door of your shop will be there to spend money on a print order. In fact, one visitor may cost you thousands of dollars if you aren’t prepared. When a compliance officer from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) shows up at your shop, it can only mean your shop is about to be inspected. And that, in turn, means it will not be a normal day.
Designed to provide exceptional print quality and productivity at an affordable price, the VersaEXPRESS RF-640 eco-solvent printer from Roland DGA Corp. (www.rolanddga.com) is a 64-in. machine with top speeds of 521.9 sq ft/hr. The printer uses the company’s Eco-Sol MAX 2 inks, which have been GREENGUARD Gold certified, as well as Intelligent Pass Control to precisely control dot placement and eliminate banding.
Wilflex Epic Amazing Base from PolyOne (www.polyone.com) is a non-phthalate mixing base designed for printing vector-art designs onto 100%-cotton or cotton/polyester-blend substrates using manual or automatic screen-printing equipment. Compliant with CPSIA Sections 101, 108, and 1303, Epic Amazing Base is designed to help garment decorators meet performance goals and compliance standards while improving productivity. It has a matte finish to provide a soft appearance.
Dubuit’s (www.dubuit-usa.com) new 9150 automatic UV-LED inkjet printer for cylindrical objects can print up to 800 pieces per hour, depending on the dimensions and material of the substrate. Designed for short-run production of bottles, containers, and a broad range of other applications, the five-color (CMYK + White) printer features grayscale printheads with a native resolution of 360 x 360 dpi (720 x 720 dpi apparent resolution).
SGIA has announced that booth space for the SGIA Expo 2014, to be held Oct. 22-24 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, has sold out with more than 500 exhibiting companies. In a press release, Michael Robertson, president and CEO of SGIA, said that attempts were being made to create exhibit space for a short list of companies on a waiting list. Robertson also said that registration numbers were ahead of previous years.
I wrote a column for the September 2013 issue of Screen Printing about the social media revolution we are experiencing. For a business owner, the real value of social media is its opportunity to have direct engagement with your customers. You can access the massive consumer and behavioral data and the associated analytics behind virtually every single click that has taken place on a given social-media platform. Used properly, social media allows you to really understand your target market, competitors, customers, and potential prospects.
Infotrends is updating our global forecasts as I am writing this column. Several things are jumping out at us at the lower-end of the market:
Direct-to-garment (DTG) printers have come a long way since the first models were introduced at the 2004 SGIA Expo. Engineers, software developers, and chemists have made remarkable advances in printheads, equipment design, inks, workflow, and software.
The Onset R40i UV flatbed from Inca Digital, distributed exclusively by Fujifilm (www.fujifilm.com), uses Fujifilm Dimatix Spectra printheads, delivers a 14-pL drop size, and is based on the company’s Onset Scalable Architecture platform. The R40i is available in several color configurations: CMYK, CMYKLcLm, CMYK + White, and CMYKLcLm + White. Users can modify their machine from a four-color configuration to five, six, or seven colors (using up to eight ink channels, two for white ink).
Designed for small and startup screen-printing businesses, the Transformer & Blu-Flash system from M&R allows users to do flash curing and conveyor drying from the same equipment. The system is based around the Blu-Flash flash-curing unit, with an IR panel and a variable-percentage power control (from 1-100%) that provides rapid, consistent curing. Users can combine up to three Blu-Flash units with the Transformer conveyor belt to create an electric IR conveyor dryer, adding or removing Radiant panels simply by moving them.