2010 represented a tough year for many screen printers. Clients, business models, and profit margins changed. But now the winter solstice has passed, when long nights give way to lengthening days and the rebirth of the sun gives new energy. After the New Year celebrations calm down, lots of printers take an assessment of where they stand as far as equipment, organization, and new business development for the next cycle. Forecasters predict a better year ahead in 2011, and we need to plan for success.
Kapco Graphic Products (www.kapco.com) now offers three new media for solvent printers. Satin White Vinyl is designed for indoor and outdoor signage printed with OEM and mild-solvent Inks. Its adhesive is formulated to bond to hard-to-stick, low-energy, plastic and textured surfaces in cold temperatures. It’s available in a 54-inch x 150-ft (1372-mm x 45.8-m) roll. Kapco says Scrim Banner offers blockout technology, supports high-quality print resolution with OEM solvent inks, and is printable on both sides.
Stahls’ ID Direct (www.stahls.com) recently introduced CAD-CUT Glow. It’s designed for use with a heat press and vinyl cutter. According to Stahls’, CAD-CUT Glow appears white during the day or in bright lighting and features a lime-green appearance when activated by a black light or UV light. Stahls’ says CAD-CUT Glow cuts and weeds easily and features a smooth, matte finish once applied. It arrives on a pressure-sensitive, frosted carrier and is available by the roll in 1-, 5-, 10-, and 25-yd (0.9-, 4.6-, and 23-m) lengths by 20 in. (508 mm) width.
M&R (www.mrprint.com) says its new Diamondback XL sets a new standard in affordable, large-format, entry-level automatic garment printing. It features a 20 x 21-in. (508 x 533-mm) print area, prints up to nine colors, accepts screens up to 26 x 36 in. (660 x 914-mm), and features pneumatic printheads and a servo-driven indexing system. it comes standard with M&R’s Revolver Print program, which is designed to automatically operate individual printheads in programmed sequence and allow multiple flashing without losing a printing position.
ITW Trans Tech (www.itwtranstech.com) says its new ExpressPad is designed to allow users to replace pads with absolutely no tools, cut replacement time, and improve the precision and repeatability of pad placement. It can be used for short and long runs and is available in 2.4-, 3.5-, and 5.1-in. (60-, 90-, and 130-mm) configurations. ExpressPad is available on all ITW Trans Tech Aero and Syncro pad-printing presses, and retrofit systems are available for customers using other pieces of equipment.
The :Jeti 3020 Titan from Agfa Graphics (www.agfa.com) is a wide-format flatbed UV inkjet printer designed in a modular format that allows users to extend the unit’s color and speed capabilities. The standard version features 16 Ricoh Gen 4 grayscale printheads for CMYK output at resolutions up to 1200 dpi. The system supports a maximum print area of 9.8 x 6.6 ft (3 x 2 m) and print speeds up to 1216 sq ft/hr (113 square m/hour). Modular upgrades are available for up to 48 printheads and a maximum print speed of 2432 sq ft/hr (226 sq m/hr).
Rick Fuqua, owner of Real Performance Machinery, gives us this preview of the article he's writing for the February/March 2010 edition of Screen Printing magazine:
Does maintenance increase performance while decreasing downtime? Or, is maintenance a unnecessary mystery that is better solved by a factory technician the next time he is in the area—perhaps after you have paid him to make a service call.
The 2010 SGIA Expo welcomed what the Association describes as record crowds to the Las Vegas Convention Center from October 13-15. Equipment and materials suppliers filled the show floor with products for graphics, garment, industrial, and specialty printing applications. This article highlights some of the products shown to the North American marketplace during the Expo.
Determining the future for any industry cannot be done using just one source. As we walked the floor at the SGIA Expo this year, we asked exhibitors what could be expected in the near future for screen printers from their viewpoints. Most of these companies provide products and services to the screen-printing industry; therefore, their insight comes from lots of first-hand experience. In this article we summarized their comments, identifying each source, and then coming to conclusions based on repeated results as to what we could reasonably expect in the near future.
Editors are always shamelessly looking for a great story. If you’ve got one to tell, please share it. Here’s one I found quite unexpectedly.