Preventative Maintenance

Get in the habit early and benefit from the payoff

Preventative maintenance is a term normally associated with our health, but it should also be a common term associated with our equipment.

Why is that important?

Now, more than ever, our dollars need to stretch further to ensure the survival of our business. Times are tight and any undue press downtime or service call can really put a strain on your cash flow. By implementing a simple end-of-day cleaning process for your presses, you are taking a major step in preventative maintenance.

Preventative maintenance is really a simple process that should only take up to ten minutes at the end of each day. Your goal, using mineral spirits or a press wipe solution, is to remove any lint, glue, or ink that is built up during the day.

By keeping all of the little nooks and crannies free of lint, glue, and ink, you are helping to prevent equipment problems down the road. Lint and glue alone in moving parts will eventually ruin them. You also may be able to spot a leaking air line or loose bolt that could quickly become an unexpected cause of production downtime.

I started my shop’s preventative-maintenance program more than 25 years ago. Before that, we’d only clean our printing equipment when we couldn't read the registration guides on the press or see the gauges. Needless to say, we were constantly making repairs.

The daily routine is basic and can be shorten the time you spend on your standard weekly or monthly maintenance. Exercise, diet, and regular checkups are all part of our own preventative maintenance. A little press/equipment maintenance now will yield positive dividends of great equipment performance for a long time to come and extend the life of these critical investments.

Andy Anderson is owner of Anderson Studio, Inc., a Nashville, TN-based shop that specializes in garment screen printing and decorated apparel. You can visit him online at

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