Screen Printing - June/July 2013 - (Page 18)
Variables in the
Standardization is a key part of preventing costly quality-control issues on press.
there is one component of the screen-printing process
that has a greater impact on the quality of the finished product
than any other component, it is the screen. The truth of this
statement lies in the number of facilities that have made the
investment to maximize the quality of their screens. While
some still get by with whatever they have available, a majority
of garment screen printers have either upgraded their frames,
mesh, or stencils, or they’ve completely revamped their screen
Among the greatest challenges that screen printers face are
understanding the important role of the screen plays in their
shops and adopting the philosophy that the screen is the key
to producing the quality that customers demand. This philosophy drives the shop manager or owner to make the required
investments and changes to assemble a screen department
with the sole purpose of producing the highest quality screen
from production run to production run.
There are few things in the world more frustrating than discovering an error in your artwork after you have already exposed your screens—or worse, set up your press and printed a
strike-off. The work required to fix this type of mistake means
a loss of time and money.
Let’s look at artwork separation from two different
angles: outputting to film and direct-to-screen (DTS) imaging.
In either case, you should always have a second pair of eyes to
review a separation prior to it being sent to film or your DTS
system. There are numerous aspects to a set of separations
that have to be reviewed to ensure that there are no errors
when the art is ready for the screenroom. The simplest and
most common error that should be double checked is spelling.
It’s easy to catch and correct while still in the art department.
For film-output separations, you should be able to
review the finalized art on the computer monitor and be able
to ensure that all is correct prior to sending the art to the filmoutput device. Once you’ve reviewed and finalized the art and
it has been properly reviewed and approved, it can be sent to
the film-output device and the films sent to the screenroom.
The same general procedure also applies to the separations for the DTS imaging system. The primary difference here
is that there is no film to check, so you must be 100% confi18
dent that the art is correct prior to sending it to the DTS to
ensure that the image being applied to each screen is correct
from the start.
The best time to design and engineer a screenroom is during
the startup period of the facility. It is at this point that you
must determine the required amount of space needed for
current production, as well as the amount of additional space
needed for future growth. Keep in mind that the screenroom
you are currently designing may not only need to double its
output in time, but also serve multiple shifts. Therefore, the
original design of your screenroom may seem excessively
spacious—but with any increase in growth, that space will be
used in short order.
Another key element in regards to designing a good
screenroom is to plan the environmental aspects into the
design. The simplest means for maintaining the proper environmental conditions within your screenroom is to have the
screen area added onto the central air system that you use to
air condition your office work space. Attempting to use roomair conditions is generally a bad idea because it will dramatically increase the relative humidity and, as a result, hinder the
screen-drying process after reclaiming or coating.
The layout of the screenroom should be designed for a
smooth and even flow of work orders through the department
(Figure 1). You do not want people backtracking or, in the
case of multiple screenmakers, getting in each other’s way.
The screen department should be broken into individual work areas/rooms if possible. The flow of work passing
through the screen department should start with the screendrying area as the first stage. The department needs to be kept
as dust-free as possible, which is why the first area should be
used for the screen drying that takes place following screen
reclamation. This area can also be used as storage for clean,
coAting AreA And Procedures
The next work area will be used for coating and drying. Of all
the work areas within the screen department, it is here that
you need to ensure that dust and garment lint are kept to a
minimum. You need sufficient racking to allow for the drying
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - June/July 2013
Screen Printing - June/July 2013
Standardization Secrets for Screen Printing
Eliminating Variables in the Screenroom
Decorating Trends in Team Wear
T-Shirts to Medical Trays: An Intro to Ir Conveyor Dryers
Screen Printing - June/July 2013