Screen Printing - June/July 2013 - (Page 18)

eliminating Eliminating Variables in the Screenroom Standardization is a key part of preventing costly quality-control issues on press. rick davis If 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 departments altogether. PhilosoPhy 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. Art PrePArAtion 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 screenprinting 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 screenroom 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. screenroom lAyout 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, uncoated screens. 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
Editorial Insights
New Products
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
Distributor/dealer Directory
Opportunity Exchange
Ad Index

Screen Printing - June/July 2013