We all use paper money – banknotes, as we say in Europe – and surely every reader of Screen Printing understands that the currency we use is printed somehow by someone, somewhere. As you might expect, those details are among the most sensitive, carefully guarded secrets in all of printing. Since paper money is frequently subjected to counterfeiting attempts, banknote printers use very sophisticated technology to thwart these efforts.
Craig Armiento, director of the Printed Electronics Research Collaborative, has revealed plans for his session November 3 at the SGIA Expo Printed Electronics Symposium. Armiento will speak on the rapidly growing sector of printed and flexible electronics in a talk entitled “Printed Electronics for the Defense Industry: Technology Development Through Corporate/Government/Academic Partnerships” at 8:45 a.m.
FlexTech Alliance will host a workshop focusing on power sources for mobile devices and wearable electronics this September 29-30 at Binghamton University (BU) in Binghamton, New York. The event will kick off on Tuesday the 29th with a tour of the roll-to-roll manufacturing facility at the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing – the nation’s first prototype research and development facility in large area flexible electronics, according to a release.
In my role with IDC, I cover three important markets: wide-format printing, digital displays, and 3D printing. Not long ago, I was at a 3D printing trade show in New York City. As I approached a stand where a printer was being demonstrated, I noticed that the booth was slathered in wide-format digitally printed graphics and also featured a digital display advertising the company and its products. For a moment, my three worlds collided.
I don’t often laugh out loud while reading a technical article, but I did when I read Steve Duccilli’s “An Update on UV LED Screen Exposure” (August/September 2014). This isn’t an insult to Steve; it was the tale he told about the screen maker who calculated his exposure times by how long it took him to smoke a cigarette. Sadly, this is a true story!
IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries has released its July update from its monthly American Printed Circuit Board Statistical Program. The study revealed that the book-to-bill ratio had increased to 1.09 – “a good indicator of sales growth in the second half of this year,” says Sharon Starr, director of market research.
Systematic Automation has added the Model JH-59 screen tension meter, which employs a stainless-steel weight to deflect the screen fabric and calculate the tension rather than the conventional springs and mechanisms common to other tension meters. Its wheelbase is reportedly twice as large as other meters to increase its accuracy. The JH-59 also features an electronic display unlike the dials found in conventional units and allows the user to switch from metric (millimeters) to imperial (inches) at the touch of a button.
Prior to the 1960s, water- and solvent-based inks were the first choice – the only choice, really – for apparel printers. In those days, the garment decoration business was certainly not what it is today in terms of sheer numbers. However, screen printers that did image T-shirts then struggled with a number of production issues: ink transparency, drying in the screen, emissions, stencil breakdown, curing, washfastness, storage, and more.
Workhorse Products has released the Flashback Express, a flash-cure unit designed to fit within the small diameter Freedom Express automatic press. The unit allows for printing, flashing, and cooling on the same printhead, eliminating the need to dedicate print stations to flashing or cooling. The unit can cure an area up to 16 x 16 in. After the print stroke, one of four thin quartz elements automatically slides between the garment and screen, wherein it instantly flash cures and cools the print via two turbo fans.
Vastex International has added the C-1000 Semi-Automatic Screen Coater, designed to produce stencils with greater uniformity than manually coated screens. Featuring a foot-pedal control that lowers the screen at a constant, adjustable rate, the coater can still be held using two hands for improved accuracy. The spring-loaded screen holder accommodates wood, aluminum, and retensionable frames from 23 to 36 in. tall with a max. weight of 11 lbs. It can coat up to 50 screens/hr, each with three coats of emulsion, according to the company.