Garment screen printers are used to two types of dryers on the production floor: infrared and hot air. Both dryers use a conveyor to transport garments through the curing chamber and use heat to set the inks on the garments (up to 330°F for plastisols). These are the only similarities between these two dryers. The dryers are otherwise very different in design, capacity, versatility, running cost, and level of investment. For starters, infrared dryers work with direct heat radiated from infrared panels to heat up the ink to a specific drying/curing temperature.
I fondly remember a chat I had several years ago with a printer who was promoted to manage the production floor on which he’d labored for quite some time. His first order of business: to make sure the workers for whom he was now responsible were not simply kept busy, but challenged instead.
A conversation I had with a screen printing company owner stuck with me over the years. He said, “Newspapers are all printed using the same settings and processes. Why can’t we color separate T-shirts and get the same result every time?”
Roland (www.rolanddga.com) says its CAMM-1 PRO GX-640 vinyl cutter is the company’s largest, most powerful system to date. Roland also reports that the GX-640 is ideally suited for restyling applications and is fully integrated with Roland VersaWorks RIP software that allows it to contour cut pre-printed graphics for signage and decorated apparel. Other features include an operating mode for large, heavy media; an overlap function for multiple cuts on thick materials; and extend mode for increased cutting width to aid in tracking cuts.
Albatross (www.albatross-usa.com) recently introduced NPE II, billed by the company as a cleaning solvent blend with lower toxicity and fewer regulatory requirements. Albatross says NPE II is a powerful formula developed for removing oil, grease, dirt, screen print ink, adhesives, and more from all types of textiles. The cleaner is non-flashing and is shipped as non-hazardous.
On August 4, 2010, Avery Dennison set the Guinness World Record for the largest amount of school supplies donated in a 24-hour period. The company donated more than 8,500 pounds of school supplies worth more than $10,000 to a New York City in-need school. The paper notepads, pens, and other materials were packed in a school bus wrapped with promotional graphics using Avery Graphics MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS and DOL 1060 Gloss overlaminate by SkinzWraps.
In the printing industries it used to be that a company would buy a huge printing press, which we affectionately call big iron. Their market would only be marginally established. Over a period of time, their huge investment in big iron would pay off because of the opportunity it presented not only to the company, but also to the marketplace. Simply having the capability was enough to attract new business. Business often would develop organically, independent of the actual marketing effort. Pricing was based on quality, service, and price. You could have any two of the three.
Richmond, VA-based Drytac’s EnduraCoat and InstaCure liquid coating lines have been approved as compatible with HP’s latex inks on HP Outdoor Frontlit Scrim Banner and HP PVC-free wall paper. HP and Drytac cooperated on product compatibility tests between liquid coating products and HP Latex inks. Products in both the EnduraCoat aqueous coating and InstaCure UV-curable coating lines test compatibly with HP Latex ink prints.
All garment screen printers want magic in a can—a white ink that always works perfectly on every type of apparel. Unfortunately, this mystical product does not exist. No ink formulation contains every desirable performance characteristic. That means garment screen printers must make concessions and plan carefully.
Grand-Flex 15-oz. Coated Backlit and Rio 15-oz. Laminated Backlit are two new films from Value Vinyls (www.valuevinyls.com). According to Value Vinyls, Grand-Flex can be used for long-term indoor and outdoor signage, including applications exposed to vigorous winds, and RIO is best suited for long-term indoor and short-term outdoor projects. Both backlit options are designed for single-sided printing and are compatible with screen printing, digital imaging, and pressure-sensitive lettering. Both films are NFPA-701 Fire Retardant certified.