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June/July 2011

Special-Effects Printing

p. 22

Automatic Presses p. 26

DTG Update p. 32


Go with EFi or Go nowhErE Fast

Introducing the EFI VUTEk GS3250LX. Reduce cost of ownership and increase productivity with EFI’s LED UV-curing superwide printer.

the new EFi™ VUtEk® Gs3250LX helps you drive down operating costs with decreased power consumption and no bulb replacements, thanks to EFi LED “cool cure” technology. its continuous board feature increases board-to-board speeds for faster and more efficient job production. with no VoCs, less consumables and waste, and the ability to print on recycled and thinner, less expensive materials, the VUtEk Gs3250LX helps you go green while increasing your application range for more high-volume, high-margin jobs. and with EFi integrated digital inkjet workflow solutions from job acquisition to production – and industry-leading inks and service – you’re always ready to print to win.

Scan or visit www.efi.com/LED3 to see the hot benefits of cool LED. Or call 1-800-875-7117 for more information. ©2011 EFI. All rights reserved.


DOUTHITT CONVENTIONAL OR CTS - DOUTHITT HAS THE OPTIMAL SOLUTION! Model CTS Digital Screen Imager Print head technology with smaller drop size and solid ink technology enables imaging halftone frequencies up to 75 lpi. Optimize image quality without compromising on throughput or consumable cost. Call us to see if CTS is right for you. The World’s Best Metal Halide Lamps

Model Sahara Screen Dryer •Uniform Air and Heat to Insure Fast and Complete Drying of Screens •Stainless Steel Racks •Digital Temperature Control •Any Size Available

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Douthitt’s self contained screen exposure systems provide the best vacuum contact and the best registration. Combined with our focused reflector metal halide printing lamps, our units offer the sharpest resolution, guaranteed coverage, shorter exposures and completely hardened emulsion.

Olec Olite & Theimer Violux Lamps & Parts in Stock! Contact us for more information on Douthitt’s complete line of Exposure Units, Vacuum Frames, CTS Imagers, Dryers, Inspection Tables, High Wattage UV Printing Lamps, Integrators and Blankets for any vacuum frame. Visit us at www.douthittcorp.com Contact us for a free catalog! Once you’ve seen it you’ll never be satisfied until you own it

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JUNE/JULY 2011 Volume 101 / Number 3

CONTENTS COLUMNS About the Cover Advances in ink technologies and experiments on press are leading to new territory in garment printing. Turn to page 22 to learn more about modern special effects. Cover design by Keri Harper.

EXPERT APPAREL

14

Separations in Screen Printing for Variable Data Thomas Trimingham

Would you like to personalize repeated printing designs? Learn how to prepare your production department for variable data.

DIGITAL DIMENSION

20

Green Printing and Product Life Cycle Tim Greene

Find out how you can make your operation into a sustainable one by adopting the latest in methods and materials.

FEATURES

22

New Techniques in Special-Effects Screen Printing

26

An Overview of Automatic Garment Presses

32

What’s New in Direct-to-Garment Printers?

Michael Beckman

Keep in touch with trends and how to create innovative special effects for boosting your company’s profits. Ben P. Rosenfield

Get details about important features and functions of the most recent editions of automatic garment presses. Gail Flower

If you’re thinking about including DTG printing in your mix, be certain to read what experts in the field say about it first in this roundup article.

DEPARTMENTS SCREENPRINTING Online Communities

4 6 36 37

NEWSWORTHY NEW PRODUCTS INDUSTRY UPDATE US & CANADIAN DIRECTORY

38 39 40

OPPORTUNITY EXCHANGE ADVERTISING INDEX EDITORIAL INSIGHTS

SCREEN PRINTING (ISSN 0036-0594) is published bi-monthly by ST Media Group International Inc., 11262 Cornell Park Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45242-1812. Telephone: (513) 421-2050, Fax: (513) 362-0317. No charge for subscriptions to qualified individuals. Annual rate for subscriptions to non-qualified individuals in the U.S.A.: $42 USD. Annual rate for subscriptions in Canada: $70 USD (includes GST & postage); all other countries: $92 (Int’l mail) payable in U.S. funds. Printed in the U.S.A. Copyright 2011, by ST Media Group International Inc. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the consent of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for product claims and representations. Periodicals Postage Paid at Cincinnati, OH and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Screen Printing, P.O. Box 1060, Skokie, IL 60076. Change of address: Send old address label along with new address to Screen Printing, P.O. Box 1060, Skokie, IL 60076. For single copies or back issues: contact Debbie Reed at (513) 421-9356 or Debbie.Reed@ STMediaGroup.com. Subscription Services: SPTG@halldata.com, Fax: (847) 763-9030, Phone: (847) 763-4938, New Subscriptions: www.screenweb.com/subscribe.


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NEWSWORTHY www.screenweb.com

ISP OPENS VISIONARY INNOVATOR CONTEST Do you consider yourself an idea person? Screen Printing’s sister publication, Industrial + Specialty Printing (iSP), is running a contest in its July/August 2011 issue of to see who can come up with the best application idea for a printed battery. Blue Spark Technologies has conquered the challenge of printing a 1.5-v battery that’s thin, small (the size of a square Band-Aid), and can be made fairly inexpensively. Their article, set for publication in the July/August 2011 edition of Industrial + Specialty Printing, talks in detail about how the battery was made. Industrial + Specialty Printing would like to invite you to find a use for this printed battery. The magazine will publish an article about the best idea, provide 100 full-color reprints of the article to the winner, name the winner a Visionary Innovator, and award $200 in prize money from contest sponsor NorTech. Figure the odds for winning. Who is more creative than you? Visit http://tinyurl.com/batterycontest to request a sample battery, learn more about the contest, and to submit your ideas. Good luck!

SCREENWEB POLL RESULTS What types of garments do you print most often?

T-SHIRTS (COTTON AND BLENDS) 88%

POLO SHIRTS 4% HOODIES 3% PERFORMANCE FABRICS 3% OTHER 3%

IN ADDENDUM Lisa Humrich, marketing manager for Black Creek, GA-based Oracal USA, Inc., wishes to give credit to Oracal’s Dean Strohmenger as the co-author of the company’s article, “Simplifying the Vinyl-Selection Process,” published on page 16 of the April/May 2011 edition of Screen Printing.

Steve Duccilli Group Publisher steve.duccilli@stmediagroup.com Gregory Sharpless Associate Publisher gregory.sharpless@stmediagroup.com Gail Flower Editor gail.flower@stmediagroup.com Ben P. Rosenfield Managing Editor ben.rosenfield@stmediagroup.com Keri Harper Art Director keri.harper@stmediagroup.com Mark Coudray, Rick Davis, Tim Greene, Andy MacDougall, Rick Mandel, Thomas Trimingham Columnists Linda Volz Production Coordinator linda.volz@stmediagroup.com Lou Arneberg – Midwest lou.arneberg@stmediagroup.com Lisa Zurick – East US, East Canada, Europe lisa.zurick@stmediagroup.com Ben Stauss – West US, West Canada, Asia ben.stauss@stmediagroup.com Business Development Managers Andy Anderson, Jeff Arbogast, Albert Basse III, Reynold Bookman, Bob Chambers, Don Curtis, Dean DeMarco, Michael Emrich, Craig Furst, David Gintzler, Bob Roberts, Jon Weber, Andy Wood Editorial Advisory Board

Jerry Swormstedt Chairman of the Board Tedd Swormstedt President John Tymoski Associate Director/Online Customer Service Screen Printing Subscription Services P.O. Box 1060 Skokie, IL 60076 P: 847-763-4938/877-494-0727 F: 847-763-9030 E: SPTG@halldata.com

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Free Subscription www.screenweb.com/subscribe Renewals/Address Changes www.screenweb.com/renew


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new products Dye-Sub Ink Nazdar (www.nazdar. com) announces the availability of Lyson TX650 series, a water-based dye-sublimation ink for transfer applications. It is designed to deliver excellent color vibrancy and Nazdar unparalleled durability, and Nazdar says the ink is ideal for sportswear garments, soft signage, home textiles, and more. Lyson TX650 series ink is formulated for wide-format digital printers that use Epson DX4 and DX5 printhead technologies, including—but not limited to—systems from Roland, Mimaki, and Mutoh. The ink is available in CMYKLcLm in 1-liter bottles. According to Nazdar, users of Lyson inks can save up to 30% on ink costs compared to OEM ink formulations.

Wide-Format UV Inkjet Printers

Automatic Garment Press

Hirsch Int’l

Hirsch Int’l says its MHM Synchroprint E-Type AC eight-color automatic garment press is an ideal solution for any start-up or small shop that wants to automate. It features servo-driven indexing with double-index and freewheel capabilities, ACdrive printhead with linear guidance, fully enclosed drive belts, online support and downloadable software upgrades via USB port, and more. The E-Type AC requires single-phase power and comes standard with a full-color touchscreen display that gives access to commands for all of the main operator functions. The press also features individual printhead controls with multiple print-stroke capability, plastisol/waterbased print modes, sequential start/finish, sample/test-print capabilities, a dwell timer, remote flash-cure-unit programming, and real-time production data.

Vision-Registration System Océ

Océ (www.oceusa.com) says its new Arizona 360 GT and Arizona 360 XT feature enhancements over previous models that enable users to increase productivity and application versatility and open doors to technical and industrial applications. The Océ Arizona 360 GT model features the standard table size of 49 x 98.4 in. (1245 x 2500 mm); the Océ Arizona 360 XT model’s table is 98.4 by 120 in. (2500 x 3048 mm). Both offer an Express Mode print speed of up to 377 sq ft/hr (35 sq m/hr). A new High Definition print mode is designed to reproduce incredibly fine feature, including the ability to print text as small as 2 pt. Both feature UV curing systems designed by Océ that are engineered to provide more UV energy to support challenging media while reducing heat at the media surface by 50%. Both also feature a new style of tabletop that’s designed to allow direct printing of very thin media without mechanical distortion caused by vacuum holes. The Océ Arizona 360 GT and Océ Arizona 360 XT printers use UV-curable inks and Océ VariaDot imaging technology. Options include support for rollfed media and white-ink printing. 

screenprinting

Vision control is necessary for digital finishing systems, according to i-cut Inc. (www.icutvision.com), because all printed materials contain size, rotation, and scaling distortions that, if not corrected, will lead to inaccurate digital die cutting. Version 7.1 of i-cut Vision, part of an integrated hardware and software solution, offers new features that i-cut says compensate for these distortions and enable digital cutting systems to produce error-free results. They include Adaptive Registration, designed to reduce the number of registration marks needed to adjust the orientation of a sheet on a table; the ability to eliminate overcuts automatically in sensitive materials by cutting away from inside corners; a Global Cutting Key library that allows a number of devices to share the same cutting-key libraries; multipassing for lasers; and more.

Wide-Format UV Inkjet Printer Agfa Graphics (www.agfa.com) recently announced the worldwide debut of its :Jeti 3020 Titan FTR (Flat-to-Roll) hybrid UV inkjet printer. It’s designed with a modular format to allow users to extend color and speed capabilities as needed, and the FTR option enables the printer to accommodate roll-fed materials. It supports media rolls up to 750 lbs (340 kg). The :Jeti 3020 Titan FTR accommodated rigid media up to 2 in. (51 mm) thick and offers a maximum print area of 124


x 79.5 in. (3150 x 2019 mm), imaging resolutions up to 1200 dpi, and print speeds up to 2430 sq ft/ hr (225.8 sq m/hr). The system uses Ricoh Greyscale Piezoelectric Generation 4 printheads and supports configurations for CMYK, CMYKLcLm, CMYK+W, CMYK+W+V, CMYK + 2 x W, and CMYKOG. The :Jeti 3020 Titan FTR’s printing bed is equipped with with retractable registration pins for substrate positioning. The printer also features linear motion technology, designed for greater accuracy in jetting 8-pl drops.

Wide-Format Inkjet Printers

Mutoh

Wide-Format Hybrid UV Inkjet Printer

Roland DGA

Roland DGA Corp. (www.rolanddga.com) recently introduced the 64-in. (1626-mm) VersaUV LEJ-640 UV-LED wide-format hybrid inkjet printer. The LEJ-640 can print on roll-fed and rigid media, and it comes equipped with a built-in sensor that’s designed to ensure proper printhead positioning. The LEJ-640 is offered in three ink configurations: CMYK + White + Clear, CMYK + White + White, and CMYK + Clear + Clear. Clear ink can be layered to produce gloss and matte finishes, including 72 ready-to-apply patterns from the Roland Texture Library that is part of Roland’s VersaWorks RIP software. The printer features UV-LED curing, Roland’s Automated Ink Circulation System that prevents pigments in the white ink from settling, a 1440-dpi Artistic Print mode, a take-up system that supports media rolls up to 88 lb (40 kg), and more.

Mutoh (www.mutoh.com) announces the release of the ValueJet 1324-54 and ValueJet 1624-64, the newest additions to that line of wide-format inkjet printers. These models replace the ValueJet 1304 and ValueJet 1614 models. The ValueJet 1324-54 is a 54-in. (1372-mm) system that features a new printhead, print speeds up to 300 sq ft/h (27.9 sq m/hr), a service door for maintenace accessibility, automatic sheet-off function, and an optional Mutoh Spectrovue-VM10 color-measurement tool. The ValueJet 1624-64 is a 64-in. (1626-mm) printer that features a new printhead, print speeds up to 313 sq ft/hr (29 sq m/hr), moveable ink-cartridge holder that accommodates both 220- and 440-ml cartridges, automatic sheet-off function, i² Intelligent Interweave technology, an optional Mutoh Spectrovue-VM10 color-measurement tool, and more.

Casters for Screen Presses

Vastex

Eco-Solvent Inks and Bulk-Ink System EDX inks are the newest eco-solvent formulations from INX Digital (www.inxdigital.com). The company says dual compatibility allows users to perform cartridge-by-cartridge changeovers without wasting ink and notes that new color profiles are not required to obtain the same color as OEM inks when printing. EDX inks are designed for Roland printers with Epson DX4 printhead technology. EDX is HAPS- and TAPS-free and is formulated for low odor and fast drying. INX also made a recent introduction of the Eco Bulk ink-delivery system. According to INX, Eco Bulk is easy to use and features a unique cardboard box design that consists of 100% recycled material. Ink is housed in a foil bag that, once emptied, is disposed of and replaced. The foil bag can contain up to 2 liters of ink, and 440-ml cartridges are available for customers who use less ink.

Vastex (www.vastex.com) says its new drop-down casters for the V2000 screen press enable operators to print at a proper height while providing in-shop mobility. The swivel-locking casters position presses 3 in. (76 mm) lower than conventional casters or 0.75 in. (19 mm) above stationary, floor-standing presses. Each caster is rated at 500 lb (227 kg) and can be installed on each leg of the V-2000 using one bolt.

Wide-Format UV Inkjet Printer The VUTEk GS3250LX from EFI (www.efi.com) is a wideformat UV inkjet printer that incorporates LED technology to reduce energy consumption and extend curing-system life. According to EFI, the VUTEk GS3250lx produced high-definition P-O-P graphics at true 1000-dpi resolution and with three-layer june/july 2011




new products

white-ink printing. The system is designed to print up to 55 pieces/hr at a size of 4 x 8 ft (1.2 x 2.4 m). EFI explains that a precision alignment fence aligns every board accurately for highly consistent image placement without adjustments and notes that the addition of the VUTEk MediaMaster automated material-handling system also aids the production of highspeed, high-volume jobs without manual loading. Multiple jobs can be run at once across the width of the printer with the multi-queue functionality available at the user interface. Audit information is also available on every print job, including printing time, media usage, and ink usage, through bi-directional communication between the Fiery XF RIP and VUTEk system.

RIP Software Wasatch SoftRIP, now at version 6.8, features a new Separations mode that’s designed to detect the correct spot color and process separations to produce for incoming jobs automatically. Wasatch says it also offers enhanced support for dye sublimation and textile printing, enhanced support of custom inksets for most popular printers, improved handling of PDF files that involve transparency, and more. Another upgrade was made in the way SoftRIP supports custom inksets for popular printers. In past versions, users needed an instrument to help produce CIE XYZ data in the inkset-creator



screenprinting

window. For many configurations, Wasatch explains, this was an unnecessary obstacle because those numbers are only used for the screen display. In Wasatch SoftRIP Version 6.8, the inkset creator allows users to enter colors with a colorselector tool—a process that Wasatch explains is much more convenient for users who need to configure custom inksets. The company reports that version 6.8 also includes dramatic improvements to the handling of PDF files that involve transparency and notes that Press Curves and Calibration Curves are now available in all editions of Wasatch SoftRIP 6.8, not just in the SP Edition.

Corrugated Plastic Sheets Coroplast (www.coroplast.com) recently unveiled CoroGreen, a corrugated plastic sheet the company describes as sustainable and 100% recyclable. According to Coroplast, CoroGreen offers the industry’s highest level of post-consumer/postindustrial content and meets requirements for U.S. Building Council LEED credit. The recycled, corrugated plastic can be used for outdoor signage, and its 100% polypropylene composition facilitates its use in high-moisture environments. CoroGreen is designed with white, printable surfaces and a black core. It comes in an assortment of stock sheet sizes. Custom surface colors and custom sheet sizes are available.


Dye-Sub Appliqué

Wide-Format Flatbed UV Inkjet Printer Dalco Athletic

Dalco Athletic (www.dalcoathletic.com) recently released Game Balls, the newest addition to its Dye Sub Fabric collection. It pairs a choice of ball with a team name and sport to create a full-front appliqué design. The approximate size of the appliqué is 5 x 10 in. (127 x 254 mm). Foreground and background color selections are available. Sports balls include football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball. These appliqués are made of 100% polyester twill. They comes with an EasyStitch sew disk or backed with a permanent, heat-applied adhesive. According to Dalco, the appliqués can be used on a variety of apparel, but not mesh materials.

Fujifilm Sericol bills its Acuity Advance LT as a value-based, high-resolution, flatbed UV inkjet printer that offers the latest in digital imaging technology at a truly affordable price. According to Fujifilm Sericol, the Advance LT is designed specifically for print applications that require fine detail, such as rigid and flexible P-O-P graphics. It features variable-dot imaging technology, print speeds of 130 sq ft/hr (12 sq m/hr) or higher, optional roll-to-roll module, and more. It supports a maximum print size of 49.6 x 98.8 in. (1260 x 2509 mm) and can accommodate media up to 1.89 in. (48 mm) thick. The unit can be upgraded to Acuity Advance or Acuity Advance with White. Supported CMYK inks include Uvijet KO and Uvijet KI. Supported RIPs include ColorGATE PS5 and Onyx Production House.

Heat Press The RS 1620/RhinoScreen Heat Press from RhinoTech (www. rhinotechinc.com) is billed as a powerful, compact tool for producing a stencil with the RhinoScreen Dry Stencil Film stencil-making system. RhinoTech says the press revolutionizes the way a stencil is made by reducing the process to two steps: creating and printing a design onto an image sheet and using the RhinoScreen Heat Press to merge the image sheet

• Industrial apps • Packaging proofs • Prototypes & comps • Membrane switches • Labels, stickers, decals

UV LED PRINTER

Effective print area: 11.8"W x 16.5"L Maximum media thickness: Up to 2"

Affordable, versatile tabletop UV LED flatbed The Mimaki UJF-3042 may be small in size but it comes up big in performance. A true multi-tasking UV LED printer that is ideal for one-offs and short run production. u u u u u

Spray Suppressor System prevents satellite drops. UV LED requires less energy to operate. Prints on heat-sensitive and non-coated materials. Uses eco-friendly, low VOC UV inks. White ink under and overprint along with gloss ink capability.

ATL:

888-530-3988

BOS:

888-530-3986

CHI:

888-530-3985

LA:

888-530-3987

www.mimakiusa.com © 2011, Mimaki USA, Inc. • 150 Satellite Blvd., NE, Suwanee, GA 30024-7128, USA Fax: 678-730-0200. Outside the USA: Mimaki Engineering Co., Ltd. • www.mimaki.co.jp

june/july 2011




new products

with a transfer sheet. The RS 1620 is available with a 15 x 15-in. or 16 x 20-in. (381 x 381-mm or 406 x 508-mm) heat platen and features central load-pressure adjustment, floating top heat platen, Teflon coating, timer range of 0-999 sec, temperature range of room temperature to more than 500°F (260°C), and more.

Cutter Material for Garments Siser North America (www.siserna. com) designed its VideoFlex Glitter material for application to 100% polyester, 100% cotton, and cotton/polyester blends. It comes in silver, gold, pink, red, blue, and black. The polyurethane film is cut in reverse and weeded prior

Siser North America

to application. After preheating the garment, Siser suggests applying medium pressure for 10-15 sec at 302°F (150°C) and peeling cold. To wash, Siser recommends turning the garment inside out, using cold water and mild detergent (no bleach or dry cleaning), and drying at a normal household dryer setting. The material is available in 15-in.-wide(381mm) rolls and lengths of 5, 10, and 50 yd (4.6, 9.2, and 45.8 m).

Banner Materials Value Vinyls says its new Rio 18 oz Opaque Matte features a unique base fabric that’s engineered to exceed industry standards for strength while ensuring equally smooth face and back surfaces. Rio 18 oz Opaque Matte can be used for printing on one or two sides and is compatible with screen printing, digital printing, including solvent, UV, and latex inks, as well as pressuresensitive lettering. It is intended for long-term indoor and outdoor displays and is available in widths up to 126 in. (3200 mm).

Media for Océ Digital Printers Océ (www.oceusa.com) recently added Adhesive-backed Bond (ABBND) to its Océ Première Collection of media. It is designed for the use with the Océ ColorWave 600. Th 24-lb, white media includes a repositionable, acrylicmicrosphere adhesive and a silicone 10

screenprinting


release liner. Océ says ABBND is ideal for posters, indoor signage, and P-O-P displays. ABBND is available in widths of 24 and 36 in. (610 and 914 mm). Océ also reports that it has qualified several products produced by M-real Corp. for the Océ Arizona Series of flatbed UV inkjet printers, including M-real’s Carta Elega and Carta Integra paperboard and Kemiart topsheet used in corrugatedpackaging applications. According to Océ, qualification consisted of producing samples on the Océ Arizona printer at the Océ Knowledge Center in Itasca, IL, followed by further evaluation by M-real. Océ says the resulting image quality and ink adhesion were exceptional using the Océ IJC256 Series inks, even when printed at high-volume-production speeds.

Estimating-Workflow Sofware Estimator Corp. (www.estimatorcorp. com) has added remote-access functionality to its eponymous software solution for printers. The browserindependent system is programmed on the the newly released Microsoft remote protocol and is designed to deliver the fastest, easiest, and most advanced in-house or hosted cloud solution available. Estimator Remote Access (ERA) allows connectivity to an Estimator database from any location that offers access to the Internet, allowing authorized personnel to create or update existing information. According to Estimator Corp, real-time availability speeds the entire work-flow process, thereby delivering time and money savings on the spot. The company also notes that all of its estimating-workflow solutions are accessible from any location simultaneously.

takes & Tour S weeps

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Attend these June events: Financial Decisions of Capital Purchases Webinar June 8 & 10, 2011

or see the Rastek H652 at Nazdar SourceOne in Cincinnati, OH June 22, 2011

Spaces are limited. Register Online Today! SourceOneOnline.com/RastekSweepstakes

Send us your news! Please send your news releases and photos announcing new products, changes in your business, awards, appointments, and other noteworthy developments to: ben.rosenfield@stmediagroup.com.

june/july 2011

11


• •

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HP Scitex LX600 Printer

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Imagine It. Print it. With HP Latex Printers. Great ideas happen every day. Bring them to life with HP Latex Printers! Now you can produce everything from banners and soft signage to vehicle wraps—the possibilities are as unlimited as your imagination—and all with innovative HP Latex technology that delivers: • Brilliant output—sharp lines, amazing clarity, stunning images • Unmatched versatility—from soft signage, wallpaper and frame/canvas printing to backlits, vehicle wraps, and building banners, all from one printer • Incredible durability—output is smudge and water-resistant • Amazing productivity—prints are immediately dry right out of the printer and ready to laminate, ship or display

New! HP Scitex LX850 Printer—the latest in HP’s family of Latex Ink solutions. Double-sided printing capability allows printing of two-sided banners with minimal operator intervention

HP Optical Media Advance Sensor (OMAS) controls registration

New HP LX610 Latex Scitex Inks generate rich blacks and glossy results on self-adhesive vinyls and banners

HP Scitex LX850 Printer Dual-roll capability increases productivity and versatility

User-replaceable printheads reduce downtime and service costs

HP Latex Printers. Just imagine all you could do. Learn more at www.hp.com/go/latex © Copyright 2011 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice.

4/11/11 11:49 AM


EXPERT APPAREL SEPARATIONS IN SCREEN PRINTING FOR VARIABLE DATA Thomas Trimingham

This month, Trimingham explores techniques that allow printers to satisfy different clients with the same designs.

W

ouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a way to create multiple orders from a single set of separations with only one screen that has to change? Of course this can be done the oldfashioned way, where the client has his name unceremoniously slapped underneath the design as an afterthought. But what about a creative layout wherein the client’s name is the highlight of the design? This is possible through the creative use of a process with a fancy term called variable-data printing. Any print can be considered variable data if multiple clients use it during the same print run, but the real challenge is to make it creative looking and not an obvious, boring name drop so that the clients love it and the shirts sell quickly. The term variable data, as it applies here, means creative ways to use one design for many different customers. A simple way to make this style of printing successful is to print a design that has a name drop on it and then integrate it with a complete system. This way it can become even more visually attractive and profitable by combining multiple clients into one large order that doesn’t look like a name-drop print. A structured method is important to use for variabledata printing because any time work is done in parallel (for more than one client at the same time) it will magnify not only profits, but also problems. It is possible to minimize issues by creating a process that is controlled from the beginning during the design stages. One effective way to create variable-data screen prints is to start with the design template and then develop the artwork around the printing solution. That will maximize the visual impact while limiting the on-press headaches. The graphic template will need to be created so that the separation method can be executed using the pre-planned process of name dropping, stenciling, or overprinting.

Thomas Trimingham has worked in the screenprinting industry for more than 15 years as an artist, art director, industry consultant, and head of R&D for some of the nation’s largest screen printers. He is an award-winning illustrator, designer, and author of more than 45 articles on graphics for screen printing. He can be reached at ttrimingham@yahoo.com.

The easiest way to market is to focus on the benefits to the client, which include the savings of art, design, screens, and shared cost of setup. Depending on the ease of printing and the overall scope of the order, some printers will also offer a portion of the volume print savings to their clients to really motivate the initial buy in. The limitations of the process must be explained carefully because multiple clients will attempt to push the boundaries of the name drop or stencil process to include all manner of things. As long as it is discussed up front during the sales and marketing of the variable-data process, it can be dealt with by either steering a demanding client into a separate, custom order or letting the additional cost speak for itself and allowing the client

Sales and marketing of variable-data screen prints The proper marketing and education of clients during this process will save countless headaches during the printing of the final garments. There are certainly limits to these types of prints, so it is crucial that the customer’s expectations are addressed and managed during the sales process. The last thing a printer wants is to have the print run’s due date approaching and then find out that three of the clients want their fullcolor logos somehow embedded into the design. 14

SCREENPRINTING

FIGURE 1 A simple sales piece shows some of the possible variations for the artwork can make a difference in addressing potential issues.


expert apparel

to make the decision based on their needs. Typically, this process works best if there is only one color and one screen to change out per client. Any time this limitation is not adhered to, the savings on the production end go up in smoke because registering the additional screens almost equals a whole new setup. Of course, there are always exceptions and clients that are simply worth the extra hassle, but a little education and prevention can really ease the burden on most orders. A simple sales piece that shows some of the possible variations for the artwork when it is personalized can make a big difference in properly educating the client and addressing many of the potential issues (Figure 1). There will still be impossible requests, but having a visual reference makes for an easy discussion about the limitations while still giving some options for compromise.

FIGURE 2 (above) The name drop can customize a design.

FIGURE 3 (RIGHT) Using a vector software program, it’s possible to create an envelope shape with live text that can be edited for multiple names.

Design and separation for variable-data screen prints The goal of having a name drop shirt that doesn’t look like it was a name drop is a challenge that needs forethought to make it production-friendly when it is first being created. It is ok to have a design that is simple and clear, but for a shared design to define a higher value, it will often need to spark some interest and look more like a custom piece of artwork than a quick identification piece. The simplest version of a namedrop design typically will have the name arched over or under a curved element in the design, then the graphic will have this screen line up with the other colors that have been previously placed into the press. One option that can save time and money is to have the separations replicate just the name drop several times on a screen rather than create one whole new screen for each name. Depending on the wiggle room in your press, you can often create four to six name drops on a screen and then slide the screen out a little for each one. If you’re printing manually, this process

can even be quicker, depending upon the design. The drawback to doing it this way is that you will end up having two trap colors and there may be a little ink pick-up on the back of the name drop screen that you will have to watch for as you slide it out and change names—unless you flash in between the final color and the name drop. In the example design, the banner that is used for the main design has a flag in the middle with type that has a custom envelope forcing it into the shape that arches over the top (Figure 2). By using a vector-based software program like CorelDRAW, it is possible to create an envelope shape with live text that can be edited easily for multiple names and then the whole design can be changed quickly without making a time-consuming revision. The way to then separate this artwork into a variable-data print is to stack name drops above each other on the screen and then rotate others so they fit several up

on each name drop screen (Figure 3). This works as a name drop that overlaps some of the design elements because the trap color is black ink and won’t show when printing over the top of other colors, as long as ink deposits underneath are not very thick. An important consideration on all variable-data printing is to thin out the accent colors when overlaying trap colors. Whenever possible, it is ideal to use a chino base or other thin-ink base that will allow the ink to soak into the garment to give the best final result to the overprinted areas. The drawback is that opacity can be compromised. Make certain colors are opaque enough to block shirt colors when working with dark garments. june/july 2011

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FIGURES 4a and 4b A design with a shape or area around a personalized name that will cover over some of the texture creates an illusion that the design is a custom piece.

Working with stencil designs Stencil design relates to the type of personalized print that is overprinting on top of a texture, picture, or graphic and it has the type knocked out so that the picture shows through the type. A typical design may have a shape or some sort of area around the personalized name that will cover over some of the texture and create the illusion that the design is a custom piece created just for that client (Figure 4). Designing these types of designs can be a little tricky because the background graphics have to work for a variety of typographic changes. It will sometimes seem inevitable that a client with 45 letters in its name will want to try to jam it all into the stencil area. The goal is to make the embellishment underneath work for the majority of simple names and not to get too caught up with exceptions. Most of the time, if the client is excited enough, they will be okay with the extra cost of doing a separate run (as long as they have enough quantity to justify it), and it will be a moot point if their name doesn’t fit or if they must have their logo with the giant panda in it. It is especially important when creating stencil designs for mass production that the colors underneath have a good balance from the top to 16

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the bottom of the potential image area. Test the design with a couple of different name sizes and types (with ascenders and descenders in the fonts) to help isolate any potential problems that will crop up during production. One other development issue that is more design specific is when the background image has asymmetry or specific points of high interest that need to be shown through the front type graphic for it to look good. In these cases, it is a sales and marketing job to define when the graphic will work and when the name drop just won’t look good. In the example graphic, the type that will be stenciled out of the background needs to be very simple so that the front of the design shows the proper imagery in the right places (Figure 5). This stencil style is more of a hassle on the preproduction end because each name drop will have to be carefully manipulated to make certain that it will display the background in the proper places. The final effect can be very dramatic and worth it. This style of stencil will have to be tested and will probably have a type-character limit to keep it from being mashed together. The burden can be placed on sales to communicate this with interested clients.

Composite designs as variable-data prints In many ways the composite design is the simplest type of a variable-data style to print. The way these designs are compiled and stacked on top of each other makes it a lot less important if the registration and the clarity of the drop screen vary a little. Graphics in these designs tend to be distressed—an advantage in case the final print has less-than-perfect edge quality. Many composite prints will even look cool and develop a unique style if the drop image is not completely opaque and allows the graphics underneath to show through the top overprint to a certain degree. What could be a better scenario for a name-drop shirt than this? The hardest part of creating composite designs is to find artwork


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that has the proper urban feel without looking like clip art. Some of the best looking composite designs on T-shirts have a hand-crafted look to the artwork and a lot of detail, engraved textures, flourishes, or tribal elements that serve as a background for the images that will stack on top of them (Figure 6). Though these designs may sometimes seem to be thrown together, they actually can take quite a long time in development and separation to get them to merge together well. Without delving too deeply into an art-for-art’ssake discussion, the abstract designs need to have a visual direction and a good combination of texture, contrast, and a properly developed merging of layers to create something that looks like more than a jumbled mess. Think of it in terms of a kaleidoscope with different elements overlapping and combining to form a harmony of sorts that accentuates the shirt itself rather than a random stacking of imagery. One method of creating personalized designs for composite imagery is to have a cutout of just the area that includes the name similar to the simple name drop. This adds a screen, but it also allows for the stacking of names onto screens so that more customers can be combined onto one screen should the layout allow it. There is also a strong trend in composite designs for the artwork to be printed in alternative locations on the garment. This can add challenges to production, so it is a good idea to look at how the garments can be loaded and printed effectively on the press and whether the design flows off of the standard press location, it can be advantageous to print the garment for the background imagery and then come back later and personalize it with a separate print run. This can actually be the smartest way to handle some alternative location prints, particularly when the job involves a wide variation in garment sizes and the personalization has to shift position in relation to the background to look right on the shirt. 18

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FIGURE 5 The type that is stenciled out of the background needed to simple in this example so that the front of the design shows the proper imagery in the right places.

FIGURE 6 Composite designs on T-shirts should have an urban feel without looking like clip art.

The limits as to how a creative, variable-data screen print is put together are only defined by the innovation that the art and production departments can create. These types of orders can be very attractive to new customers because they allow them to sample some of printer’s products and services without incurring the initial setup costs. The drawback to a printer is that it requires some education. One final thought is that all processes can

be refined through trial and error, and the execution of variable-data printing can be practiced and made very profitable by the careful recording of each area in the marketing, art, separation, and production/fulfillment stages. Each process can be made better, more efficient, and can assist the next department in creating a whole new method of capturing new clients with a minimum amount of effort in art and separations.


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THE DIGITAL DIMENSION GREEN PRINTING AND PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE Tim Greene

This month, Greene looks at the latest trends in new products for and adoption of green sustainability in wide-format printing.

T

his article covers the trends in green wide-format printing, which are largely enabled by UV-curable inkjet printers. While I believe strongly in conservation, it would be a big stretch to call me a tree-hugger or sustainability freak. My take on sustainability is that there are a lot of very practical reasons for companies to undertake sustainability initiatives that are all based on the potential these initiatives have on growing the bottom line. InfoTrends has done quite a bit of research on the topic of green printing and there seems to be some fairly basic findings that are important to describe. First among these is that there is no question, at least among the printing companies we have surveyed and interviewed, that there is growth in the demand for green wide-format printing among wide-formatprint buyers. To be honest, I don’t know if this is an altruistic let’s save the planet kind of trend or if this is driven by the buyer’s desire to save on shipping and disposal costs. I am certain that another aspect of this trend towards green printing is brand-driven, with some of the big brand retailers and manufacturers driving the concept of sustainable printing. Another core finding is that many wide-format-printservice providers are changing from solvent inkjet production to UV-curable inkjet production. Once again though, I think there is a real mixed bag when it comes to primary motivation for making this kind of transition. While there are definitely some companies that are deliberately going green by reducing or eliminating solvent inkjet printing for environmental reasons, many of the companies we have interviewed and surveyed reported that going green is more of a by-product of their investment decision than the primary motivator. One of the companies we recently worked with knew for certain that they were going to buy a UV-curable inkjet printer to replace some of their existing solvent inkjet printers, but their motivation was most certainly because UV-curable inkjet printers are faster and offer capabilities such as white-ink printing. The green aspect was a nice-to-have, not a must-have, and I think we’re seeing this frequently. Companies tell us they are most interested in quality and speed when it comes to their new printer, followed closely by operational cost and then environmental factors. What is going on in the green wide-format-printing market is classic in the product lifecycle. Of course there were the early adopters who were among the first to go green. 20

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Tim Greene has been the director of InfoTrends’ Wide Format Printing Consulting Service since 2001. He is responsible for developing worldwide forecasts of the wide-formatprinting market and conducting primary and secondary research. Greene holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Northeastern University. He can be reached at tim_greene@infotrends.com.

These companies have helped define, as much as possible, what that term even means when it comes to signage and graphics. The early adopters help manufacturers understand what the market needs. They serve as the beta sites, become the gurus, and frequently build a strong book of business based on their understanding of the applications and customer requirements. For a few years now there has been a steady stream of new media products that are designed and manufactured with sustainability in mind to meet the needs of companies that have undertaken sustainability initiatives. This is absolutely vital to accelerating the growth of the market—creating the ability to replace many non eco-friendly signs and graphics with similar or comparable eco-friendly signs and graphics. However, the limitation has been that in many cases these eco-friendly substrates are more expensive or simply are incompatible with existing production processes. We have come up against the cost limitation from the outset as it relates to using new types of eco-friendly media, with signage and graphics producers reporting that they can’t or just don’t want to use these products because buyers will not accept a higher price.

LED lights up green curing Although the development and production volume shift onto UV-curable flatbed inkjet printers represents an important upswing in the green printing market, InfoTrends believes that enhancements to UV-curable are required to reach new heights. Now, one of the big trends we’re seeing in the market that we expect will enable a greater level of green printing and greater adoption of UV-curable inkjet printing is LED curing. Curing inks using LEDs consumes much less power and throws less heat, which enables printing on a wide variety of media. This is the kind of very practical development that indicates an incremental technological improvement that will enable green production methods at operational cost advantage with the bonus of an upside in terms of the additional types of media that can be printed on. That is progress. At the recent ISA show there were several new printer models launched that illustrate these technological advancement perfectly. At the low-end of the market (more on this in a minute) Roland introduced a 64-in.-wide LEJ-640. This sub $75K printer uses LED curing and promises enhanced


the digital dimension

speed and print quality even while providing a low operational cost. As I understand it, the LED curing lamp is more expensive to buy, but then operates for a lot longer and consumes much less power while doing so than conventional mercury arc lamps. These are not the first LED curing products in lower-end wide-format printers, but I think they are the lowest-cost LED-curing wide-format printers to come to market so far. At the higher end of the market, EFI introduced a new model of its VUTEk 3250 called the 3250LX, which also uses LED curing lamps. This is the first production engine that I know of to use LED curing lamps, so it is a real test to see if LED-curing works as well in a production environment. If it does, then we will see a lot of other vendors incorporate LEDs as well. Along the same lines, also at ISA, OcĂŠ introduced new models of its

Arizona series UV-curable printers that use a new high-output/low-heat UV arc lamp that the company says uses less power and provides the same expanded media range advantages that the LED-curing companies are highlighting. Power consumption is a pretty big deal because of the rising cost of energy. I recently visited a production site where the company reported that it spends over $1,000 a month in energy costs just to run its high-end UV-curable printer.

Wide-format-print-service providers’ green involvement In one of our recent survey projects, almost 85% of wide-format print service providers reported that they either have made some kind of changes to become more of a sustainable printing company or they plan to in the future. That could mean something as simple as using a different kind of media or

different kind of printer, or something much more robust such as an enterprise-wide assessment and revision of operations with the goal of higher levels of sustainability. As we look at the global wideformat market and even the national market here in the U.S., there are hot spots where green printing is much more prominent based on the demands of local buyers and the regulatory environment. InfoTrends believes that as these pressures increase, technologies such as improved curing methods and new ink sets will enable wide-format graphics producers to not only effectively produce these graphics, but also grow their business based on green printing principles.

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NEW TECHNIQUES

in Special-Effects Screen Printing Special effects give garments unparalleled visual and tactile appeal. This article showcases effective methods for boosting the value of printed apparel. Michael Beckman

At first glance, it may seem as if the garment marketplace is running low on truly new special-effects prints. However, inks, fabrics, and printing processes are changing in response to consumer trends. For example, customer requirements for PVC-free inks and increased use of polyester fabrics are affecting garment screen-printing significantly and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Demand for special-effects printing is coming back right now, and most major brands have at least some graphics in each season’s lines that use one specialty technique or another. What is different is that most special-effect printing is entirely design driven rather than just technique for its own sake. The technique is secondary to a quality graphic and adds to the design rather than being just used for effect or to lend pop to a weak design. The following gallery of effects highlights modern trends and methods and presents an overview of the techniques and consumables used.

HEAT SEALING WITH TRANSFER PAPER A very smooth halftone blend was printed on top of a specially smoothed underprint and then heat-sealed using a glossy transfer paper. This really evened out the surface of the print and imparted a subtle shine to it, much the same way a clear foil might. The effect added to the design, whereas a rainbow or metallic foil might have overpowered it. In this case, what some refer to as a smoothing screen was used on press to impart surface finish. This is a screen with a high mesh count—but without an image exposed on it—that’s printed, so to speak, with a hard squeegee after a flash in the print sequence. Squeegee actions smooth the gelled ink slightly while the garment is still on the press.

HEAT TRANSFER ON SPECIALTY INK A typical puff ink was used as an underprint, and a halftone blend was then printed on top of the puff after flashing. The fabric in this example had a high polyester content, so a low-bleed white ink was printed under the puff to prevent dye migration. The finished design was then lightly heat-sealed with a dull transfer paper for just a few seconds to smooth the top surface of the print slightly. This effect is much different from a solid area of highly lofted puff. This technique adds some luster and depth to the graphic without being overly simplistic and gives it a different look.

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simulated embroidery Puff was used as an underprint, but in this case as a small portion of a much larger design to simulate embroidery on top of a print. It kept the shirt much softer than authentic embroidery could. This fairly subtle treatment didn’t overpower the graphic. This technique was not used for the novelty of the effect, but rather because it worked well with the particular graphic and reduced the cost of production compared to embroidery.

printing for hand You can produce soft-hand and no-hand prints in any number of ways, but consider the possibilities of using soft-hand prints as parts of larger designs or as background color components of more complex special-effect prints. A design can use many different levels of hand in the same print for different effects. In this photo, water-based inks of varying viscosity were used to produce an accurate representation of the details of a sketched illustration. Heavy-bodied ink was used where multiple layers of cross hatching overlap and in the richer colors of the illustration. Much thinner, water-based inks were used where the line work and shading in the design fade into the garment. The varying levels of hand in the print contribute to the rich look of the design. The water-based inks used in the graphic lend themselves to softhand printing extremely well.

water-based effects Distressed techniques and washed simulations are popular special-effects variations of soft-hand printing. In this photo, extremely soft, water-based ink was used to simulate a heavily washed and worn print. Screens with high mesh counts, very thin ink, and very hard squeegees were used to limit the total amount of ink laid down on the garment.

discharge printing Discharge formulations facilitate the production of distressed graphics on dark fabrics. Dye migration makes soft-hand techniques with thin inks a challenge on polyester and polyester-cotton blends. No very soft-hand inks can prevent dye migration with any reliability. Discharge fluids are not commonly used on polyester fabrics because the solutions do not remove the dye very well from the polyester fabric. This limitation is an additional challenge to any type of very soft-hand printing on some of the fabrics popular right now.

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dye-interactive inks Some inks are formulated to resist the dyeing process; others are designed to attract additional dye to the areas on which they are printed. You can use these water-based inks to satisfy customer requirements for PVC-free product. In these photos, two strengths of dye-resist inks and two strengths of dye-gain inks were printed in halftones using screens with high mesh counts. A soft-hand, almost distressed print becomes visible after the dyeing process.

pvc-free plastisols These prints were made with some of the newer PVC-free plastisols currently making their way into the marketplace. These inks are a response from the major ink manufacturers to customer demand for inks that do not contain polyvinylchloride or phthalates. Additionally, the inability of water-based inks to provide everything needed by every printer has helped lead to the development of these new acrylic alternatives. These inks, depending on how they are used, print much like standard plastisol ink with a few minor production limitations. Few alternatives are available that prevent dye migration on polyester fabrics, though solutions are in development and testing.

printing with silicone Silicone inks are among the newest products on the market. They’re designed to meet customer demand for PVC-free ink and are in testing and development for a number of different uses. Some production difficulties exist, especially with regard to highspeed, automatic production. However, the ability of silicone inks to impart a very desirable look keeps the pace of product development high. These inks also represent some very attractive performance characteristics, especially on polyester and performance fabrics. Dye-migration resistance and elongation are excellent. In this example, silicone inks were printed through coarse screens with thick stencils. The semitransparent inks used in the print give the graphic a look and feel similar to traditional gel ink.

high-density designs Polyester and polyester/cotton blends bring many new challenges to any specialty garment print. The dyes in the fabric can migrate through the printed ink, thereby changing the color of the ink. Dye migration can take place—or worsen—over time. The cure temperatures of most inks also contribute to the effect because dye migration is often a heat-related issue. High-density inks can help prevent dye migration on some fabrics because of their high solids content and thick ink film. In this example, a high-density ink was printed in multiple layers on a 60/40 polyester/cotton blend through coarse screens coated with thick stencils. If you’re in doubt about dye migration, then consider using a low-bleed underprint. Also note that you must configure your dryer to cure the high-density ink formulation completely. 24

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high-solids inks Some high-solids or opaque water-based inks can work well on some polyester and most polyester/cotton blends. The potential for dye migration is minimized because these inks do not contain a true plasticizer and because the dryer temperatures can usually be a little lower than what would be required for a standard plastisol. However, you must test on a case-by-case basis before proceeding with production quantities. The graphic pictured here was printed with a high-quality, high-solids, water-based ink on a polyester T-shirt. The inks prevented dye migration issues on this particular fabric quite well, and the print’s quality and integrity have held up over time.

discharging on blends Surprisingly, discharge fluids will occasionally work on polyester/ cotton blends. These formulations can yield very unpredictable results, but they are proven in production in a noteworthy number of instances. Discharge fluids are not recommended for this specific use, so you’ll need to test carefully. This example shows an opaque or highly pigmented white discharge water-based ink printed on a 60/40 polyester/cotton fabric. It was flashed and then printed a second time. The discharge removed enough of the dye in the cotton portion of the fabric that the white pigment in the ink was able to block the remaining dye in the polyester portion of the fabric.

pvc-free hd You can make these PVC-free inks into high-density inks without much difficulty. These examples show multiple layers of PVCfree, high-density inks printed through coarse mesh (250-micron stencil thickness).

Effecting change If you’re looking to cash in on the renewed interest in special-effects printing, keep in mind that customer demands for PVC-free inks and the increasing prevalence of polyester fabrics can limit the possibilities. New inks designed to meet these requirements also place the burden on printers to test and document their results and adjust to the corresponding changes in techniques and fabrics. As with any new challenge, this can make for an exciting opportunity to come up with innovative, new solutions, new printing methods, and product development.

semi-gloss style In this example, two layers of a clear, thickened, PVC-free plastisol were printed over a standard, PVC-free graphic to simulate a thick, semi-gloss patch. Low mesh counts and thick stencils were used for both clear screens.

Michael Beckman is president of MB Screen Printing Inc., which has been providing a variety of technical services, seminars, workshops, and speaking engagements for the textile printing industry for many years. Michael is responsible for the design and development of many new screen-printing products and techniques. MB Screen Printing Inc. has recently been involved in a number of long-term projects establishing and managing factories throughout the world. He can be contacted at mb.screenprint@gmail.com

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An Overview of Automatic Garment Presses Use this guide to automatic garment presses to find out about important features and functions and learn about some of the models on the market. Ben P. Rosenfield

A

utomatic garment presses are designed to deliver printproduction speed and accuracy, access to more colors and effects, and higher levels of consistency and output quality. Many models are available to accommodate new shops or facilities without much floor space to spare, growing businesses that need greater capacity than manual presses can offer, and large-scale operations that print garments in the millions. Before we look at a cross-section of what’s on the market, let’s review some of the basics you’ll need to consider when shopping for an automatic garment press.

Configurations The carousel configuration is the most common type of automatic garment press and is the focus of this article. Its operation is similar to that of the manual press—that is, it indexes in a circular pattern. Oval presses are still available, though the number of domestic manufacturers that offer this type of machine has decreased significantly over the years. As its name implies, the oval press is longer than it is wide. It typically is modular in design and indexes shirts along a track on the perimeter of the press. Carousel presses require unobstructed areas that are larger than their total circumference, otherwise known as footprint, to give operators access to all print stations and press controls. Shop floors that are peppered with ceilingsupport pillars or other structural components can limit the maximum allowable press size. An oval press may be a good solution in places where broad, open areas are unavailable.

Colors and stations Automatic garment presses are available with as few as four colors/six stations to more than 18 colors/20 stations. Automatics typically feature two more stations than colors to provide for garment loading and unloading. Some configurations are designed specially for single-operator use and are equipped with only one extra station dedicated to loading and unloading. Be sure to take into account the flash-curing positions you’ll need—as well as positions dedicated to underbases, specialty inks, and more—when deciding how many stations you want.

Drive systems and press movement Pneumatic, electromechanical, and servomechanical drives are the most common types used in the operation of automatic garment presses. Some machines use one type of drive; others combine them. Pneumatic systems use pressurized air to index printing platens and/or to power squeegee/floodbar assemblies. Electronic valves control speed and distance of motion. Presses with strictly pneumatic drive systems are often less expensive than models that use electromechanical or servomechanical drives. Electromechanical drives typically have electric motors and analog controls that are used to index the press and/or power the printheads. AC and DC drive motors may be incorporated into the printheads for greater movement control.

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Servomechanical drives are often regarded as the most precise in terms of accurate press movement. Digitally controlled servomotors provide continuous feedback to the press’s control system to ensure exact position. Automatic garment presses may be completely servo driven or equipped with a servo indexer and pneumatic or electromechanical printheads. Press movement refers to the press’s actions after indexing. Some automatics raise the platen to the screen for the print stroke. These are referred to as platen-lift presses. Others lower the screen from a raised position before the print stroke. These are called screen-lift presses. Each has its supporters, so it’s best to see a variety of presses at work before making a selection.

Clamping, frame size, and image area Most automatic presses are equipped with pneumatic frame clamps. They may grip the frames along one edge or multiple edges. Generally speaking, the more sides of a frame that are clamped, the greater the stability and registration accuracy of that frame during printing. Note that several manufacturers offer pin-registration systems designed to speed up screen alignment on press. Frame size determines the frame format the press will accept. If the automatic press you like won’t support the frames you currently use, you’ll have to switch to new frames. Image area refers to the largest image size you’ll be able to print. Make sure the press you’re checking out will permit you to print garment graphics at acceptable sizes. Note that some press models feature optional attachments that allow you to switch between standard-sized prints and large-format or all-over prints.

Cycle speed Cycle speed is, perhaps, the greatest draw for automatic presses. The maximum cycle speed refers to the number of prints a press can produce with one or two operators in an hour. Some presses support the decoration of several hundred garments per hour; others can produce more than a thousand in that time. Realistically, actual cycle speed depends on how many colors you print, how many flash sequences are in the workflow, the types of inks you print, and other job-specific factors.

Anatol Equipment Manufacturing Co. www.anatol.com Anatol’s Vindicator is available in 10-, 12-, 14-, 16-, 18-, and 20-color models with a maximum image area of 20 x 28 in. (508 x 711 mm) and maximum platen size of 18 x 28 in. (457 x 711 mm). All models feature a steel frame and servo-driven indexers (platen-position tolerance of ±0.001 in., 0.025 mm), lift and lower, and printheads. According to Anatol, these servo-driven components ensure consistency, impeccable registration, and smooth production cycles. The press comes standard with air screen clamps, touchscreen control panel, digital central off-contact adjustment, clockwise or counter-clockwise operation, adjustable side screen holders, quick-release platen changeover, rubber-coatedaluminum platens, a full set of squeegees with blades, a full set of floodbars, skip-shirt button on the control panel and at loading and unloading stations, and printhead/main-panel stop buttons. The touchscreen control system features a Microsoft Windows-based interface and allows access to real-time production data and an on-board self-diagnostics system to locate problems for minimal print interruption. All operating parameters are accessible at the control panel, and operators can save, restore, or automatically update print parameters to reduce setup time. Individual printhead controls include print speed, flood speed, stroke length, screen clamping, and squeegee pressure. Options for the Vindicator include Accu-Temp and Rapid Wave Medium quartz flashes, a variety of platen sizes and styles, foot pedal for manual-mode control, individual station laser and bar protection, and front and rear screen holders.

Controls Control systems range from analog dials and switches to microprocessor-based systems with touchscreens. Digitally controlled presses typically feature a master control system and independent controls on each printhead for fine tuning. Some models allow operators to store and recall job settings, which can reduce setup time significantly on repeat orders. Some presses also feature connectivity solutions that permit manufacturers to access control systems and troubleshoot problems remotely.

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Brown Manufacturing Group www.brownmfg.net The ElectraPrint Stealth Series from Brown Manufacturing Group is available in five configurations, from a six-color/sixstation unit to a nine-color/ten-station system. Brown says electrical operation makes these presses quieter to run, easier to maintain, and less expensive to operate. Electrical features include a control panel, auto start and shut down, independent squeegee-speed control, independent head multi-stroke, manual print mode on each head, on-board self-diagnostic system, flash ports on each head, shirt-skip detector, iPod

A.W.T. World Trade Inc. www.awt-gpi.com A.W.T. says its American M&M Centurian supports output of up to 900 garments/hr and combines the latest electronic technology into the finest high-speed textile printer available today. It features a central programming station (PLC and touchscreen interface) that offers operation control, production-data feedback, and troubleshooting; electromechanical indexer and carriage drives; lock-in heads and platen-tip supports; carriage-locking mechanism and a pneumatic locking fork designed to maintain ±0.001-in. (0.025-mm) registration repeatability; and more. A production/set-up mode permits indexer operation from any print station, and freewheeling mode allows manual indexer rotation. Each printhead is equipped with an 18-in. (457-mm) high-lift for screen cleaning. The Centurian also features the Squeegelizer, a pneumatic system that’s designed to control and maintain uniform print pressure along the entire squeegee blade. The press also includes a Remote Diagnostics System that links to A.W.T.’s computers. Options and accessories include a perimeter all-over platen system that is designed to enable full printing of one complete side of a T-shirt, including the sleeves, in one pass; sleeve and pant-leg platens; Q-Flash cure units; and more.

Hirsch/MHM www.hirschinternational.com The Synchroprint S-Type AC is available in eight, ten, 12, and 14-color models, and Hirsch says it’s fully loaded with an array of standard features simply not found elsewhere. It runs on single-phase power and comes standard with AC drive printheads with linear guidance, fully enclosed drive belts for protection from inks and chemicals, individual front and rear off-contact adjustment on all stations with click-type calibrated dials, control keypads on every station with all main operator functions, lifting printheads to provide an unobstructed view of the image during setup and ink refill, adjustable screen holders for front or side screen loading, front and rear microregistration with visual guides, tool-free front and rear stroke-length adjustment, independent flood/print-speed controls, squeegee-pressure regulator on every station, and more. Each model in the product line is designed to produce up to 1400 pieces/hr, and each supports a maximum image area of 17.5 x 21.5 in. (444.5 x 546 mm). Features include a full-color touchscreen display with commands for all main operator functions, including individual printhead controls 28

screenprinting

mounting system with speaker, shirt counter, audible alerts, batch-mode flash operation, and more. The press requires 110-volt, 10-amp electrical power and no air. Other standard features include direct drive microregistration system, independent floodbar and squeegee pressure, winged floodbars, quick-release floodbar and squeegee (tool-free), quick-release rubber-topped-aluminum platens, full machine off-contact adjustment, independent head off-contact adjustment, front screen loading, side clamp screen holders, print-stroke adjustment from 10-24 in. (254-610 mm), and more. The presses are constructed of steel and can accommodate production speeds of up to 700 pieces/hr.

with multiple print-stroke capability, plastisol/water-based print modes, sequential print start/finish, sample/test print facility, dwell timer, remote flash-cure-unit programming (including platen warm-up), real-time production data, and picture-driven self-diagnostics. A built-in USB port facilitates online support and software upgrades. An optional multiplier program operates individual printheads in programmed sequence, allowing flash curing in multiples without losing a printing station. Other options include flash-cure units, a filmpositioning unit, aluminum honeycomb platens, pre-registration system, flocking modules at any station, and more.


Lawson Screen & Digital Products Inc. www.lawsonsp.com Lawson’s Mini Trooper is a four-color/six-station press that’s designed to accommodate shops that have limited floor space. It features a modular configuration, flex-head design (user-defined printhead placement), 14-in. (356-mm) maximum print stroke, double stroke on the first printhead, front and rear microregistration, auto-balance squeegees, adjustable print stroke and individual printhead control, adjustable print and flood speeds and angles, adjustable off-contact and platen height, 16 x 18-in. (406 x 457-mm) platens, and more. The press supports a maximum image area of 14 x 16 in. (356 x 406 mm) and maximum frame size of 21 x 28 in. (533 x 711 mm). The Lawson Equalizer feature allows for the addition of an extra print head without the loss of the load/unload station. The system enables users to have a six-color/six-station Mini-Trooper. A PC option equips the press with a touchscreen control system mounted on boom arm that rotates around the carousel. Other options include the XL Package (automatic carousel indexing, foot pedal start, shuttle flash integration, integrated flash ports, and PLC diagnostics), additional printheads, double stroke on multiple heads, air compressor, pre-wiring for modular heads, rubber platen

pads, additional dual-action squeegees, air clamps for frames, youth and sleeve platens, jacket holddowns, and more. The Mini-Trooper is also designed to accommodate Lawson’s QZE-Shuttle Flash Unit without taking up the space occupied by a printhead. The Shuttle Flash automatically positions itself over the printed garment, flashes based on operator-determined temperatures and dwell times, and then returns to its resting/home position during the next print cycle.

M&R www.mrprint.com The Challenger III is available in models that offer 10-18 colors and 12-20 stations and maximum image areas of 19 x 22 in. to 36 x 43 in. (483 x 556 mm to 914 x 1092 mm). Printheads are driven by electric-drive motors and include tool-free front and rear print-stroke adjustment and tool-free, click-stop, four-corner off-contact settings for screen leveling. Challenger III’s indexer enables double indexing in one uninterrupted motion. Pneumatic screen clamps come standard, as do squeegee-pressure regulators, independent squeegee- and floodbar-speed adjustments, independently set angle and calibrated squeegee- and floodbar-pressure adjustments, adjustable rear screen holders, and M&R’s Revolver Print Program. According to M&R, Challenger III’s front and rear screen holders allow for easy placement of extra-wide screens for oversize and all-over printing. Each printhead features print, reset, and print/flood-speed controls, as well as a socket to accommodate a flash-cure unit at any station. The press’s carousel/indexer allows for clockwise or counterclockwise rotation. A touchscreen control panel with icon-based labeling can display information and commands in a range of languages. It gives operators access to an independent printstart/print-finish setting, jog-left/jog-right controls, multiple print-stroke capability (up to nine), onboard self-diagnostics, production-speed monitor and real-time production data, a test-print setting that turns individual printheads on/off during the test-print cycle, and more. Other press features include tool-free, quick-release platen locks; rubber-coatedaluminum platens; front microregistration adjustments with visual guides; rear micro-registration; adjustable rear screen holders; flip-up front screen holders speed setup; compatibility with M&R Tri-Loc, M&R Double Tri-Loc, and Newman Pin-Lock registration systems, and more. Options include fold-down printhead supports, foot-pedal control, optical noshirt detector, and pneumatic squeegee/floodbar locks with tool-free angle adjustment.

JUNE/JULY 2011

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Workhorse Products/TUF/Progressive

TAS Int’l www.tasinternational.com.au TAS says its Hawk and Hawk Compact ranges represent a new breed of machine and says they incorporate the latest stateof-the-art engineering and cost-saving technologies. Features include electrically driven printheads; quick-release platens; skip-shirt and pause pedal; pneumatic screen clamps (optional on Hawk Compact presses); central and individual off-contact; hardened, ground-aluminum platens; front, center, and rear microregistration; touch-panel controller with Roto Multi-Flash Print Program; and more. Standard Hawk models come in sixcolor/eight-station to 14-color/16-station versions and support a standard print area of 18 x 25 in. (457 x 635 mm) and a maximum print area of 20 x 28 in. (508 x 711 mm). Standard platen size 18.5 x 30 in. (470 x 762 mm) for Hawk presses. Hawk Compact presses come in six-color/eight-station to 12-color/14station versions and support a standard print area of 18 x 20 in. (457 x 508 mm) and a maximum print area of 20 x 23 in. (508 x 584 mm). Standard platen size is 18.5 x 24 in. (457 x 610 mm) for all Hawk Compact presses. All Hawk and Hawk Compact systems come with 18-in. (457-mm) floodbars and 65-durometer squeegees. All operate on 220-v, single-phase power.

www.workhorseproducts.com Workhorse Products bills its Progressive Falcon M as a highvolume production machine with an entry-level price tag. Standard features include servo indexing, AC heads, pneumatic screen clamps, pneumatic squeegee/flood clamps, and central off-contact. The press comes in four configurations, from a six-color/eight-station model to a 12-color/14-station unit. Each supports a maximum image area of 18 x 18 in. (457 x 457 mm). All models come standard with Plug ‘N’ Go Flash technology, which is designed to permit an operator to hook up a flash to any printhead, after which the machine senses it and automatically shuts off that printhead. Other features include availability of real-time production data, on-screen diagnostics, built-in operational timers, digital control of indexer function and positioning, automatic home function, screen holders configured for the Newman pin-registration system, tool-free printhead adjustments, adjustable front and rear screen holders, integrated flash curing, rodless cylinders, linear guide rails, and more.

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DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF AN ORIGINAL THINKER?

VISIONARY INNOVATOR: Find a Use for This Battery Contest presented by:

Read the upcoming article in the July/August issue of Industrial + Specialty Printing to find out what you need to know about the 1.5v printed battery. Then, tell us what new and exciting applications you have devised for the battery. All submissions will be read by a panel of independent judges. The winner will receive a $200 cash prize courtesy of NorTech and a one-page, full-color article published in the November/ December issue of iSP.

To request a battery and get more information, please visit:

industrial-printing.net/bluespark

CONTEST GUIDELINES: • Cost of submissions: FREE • Who can submit: An individual or a group of individual readers of iSP may submit their best idea. No one related in any way to iSP, Blue Spark, Nortech, or ST Media Group may participate. • Submissions must be original. • Proper credit to all companies, designers, printers, or assistants who contributed to the idea must be listed in the submission. • A project review of 800 words detailing how the battery could be used is required.

WILL YOU BE RECOGNIZED AS A VISIONARY INNOVATOR?


What’s New in Direct-to-Garment Printers? The demand for customized T-shirts is on the rise. Find out how direct-to-garment inkjet printers can help you capitalize on this trend. Gail Flower

WHO WE TALKED TO: Paul Green Applications manager, Anajet, Inc. Vlatko Goljevacki Sales and marketing manager, Azon Matt Rhome National accounts manager, Brother Int’l Don Copeland Digital products manager, ColDesi, Inc./DTG Digital Garment Printers Paul Borucki VP, N. American operations, Kornit Digital David Landesman Co-president, Lawson Screen & Digital Products, Inc. Geoff Baxter Director, Digital Products Div., M&R Justin Schierkolk Marketing manager, Melco Victor Peña President, OmniPrint Int’l

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D

irect-to-garment (DTG) printers represent a special segment of the garment industry. Here, inkjet printheads take the place of squeegees and there are no stencils or screens. About the only things DTG printers have in common with screen printing is the use of inks and platens. Changes abound in the DTG market. To get a good look at what has happened over the years, review the articles in some of the back issues of Screen Printing (Garment Printing Joins the Jet Set, Sept. 2005, p. 66; Direct-to-Garment Deluge, Apr. 2009, p. 20; A Guide to Garment Inkjet Printers, Feb./Mar. 2010, p. 24). In many instances, companies have dropped out of the industry, even since our article on the subject last year. Some are now in the process of phasing out their DTG products. Meanwhile, others are becoming more visible. Growth in direct-to-garment printing is attributable mostly to screen printers who implement the technology to handle the low-volume work that

would be unprofitable to produce on their automatic presses and to specialty decorators who use the digital printers to produce one-off apparel, including personalized products on demand. The following roundtable discussion introduces the latest equipment from some DTG manufacturers and examines market trends. WHAT’S YOUR LATEST DTG EQUIPMENT AND HOW HAS IT BEEN UPGRADED?

Green: Our latest DTG printer is the SPRINT. In comparison with our previous model, the FP125, it has several enhanced capabilities—key among them are speed and lower maintenance requirements. It can print a T-shirt in 60 seconds or less. Goljevacki: The TexPro uses the A2+ print format with low ink consumption and comes bundled with professional, easy-to-use RIP software. Our printers use magnetic, interchangeable tables,


so many different types of garments can be printed on them. We also use only one type of ink for all garments. Rhome: Brother currently offers two DTG printers—the GT-541 and the GT-782. The Brother GT-541 allows the user to print directly from their computer or from a flash card. It’s as simple to operate as a desktop printer and consistently delivers high-resolution print quality. This machine is for small- to medium-sized shops or those who just want to dip a toe into digital garment printing. The G-782 is for highvolume shops. Production is increased as a result of reduced cycle times and its ability to print multiples simultaneously. It has extra-large dual platens, both CMYK and white ink capability, and eight inkjet heads. Copeland: The DTG Viper is our latest. It offers a large print area (16.5 x 29 in.) and a belt-feed system that allows for an efficient workflow in large-volume operations. It also incorporates the White Ink Management System (WIMS), which minimizes the settling of white ink, thereby eliminating many clogging issues.

prints only on light and pastel garments, using a dual CMYK ink supply for faster print speeds. Both offer an improved, user-friendly operator interface. Schierkolk: The G2 Direct to Garment Printer is the latest solution distributed by Melco. This is a new machine, not an upgrade. Importantly, G2 is not a MelcoJet. The G2 stands on its own. It can print on both light and dark garments at speeds that help businesses maintain profit margins. Victor Peña: The FreeJet 330TX is now in its sixth series and is equipped with our WetCap maintenance system designed to maintain and preserve the printhead. It shields the printhead from the elements and safeguards it against clogging. It creates an air-tight protective enclosure for the printhead. It also comes with an interchangeable platen system for printing a variety of soft goods. The FreeJet 330TX has a four-lift system to automatically raise and lower the print bed, keeping it level. It has an upgraded bed size of 13 x 22.7 in. It has an upgraded print engine, new firmware, and technical upgrades for faster printing speeds.

Borucki: The Avalanche 951 is the newest machine. It has a twin Y axis compared to a single Y axis on the Storm 931. This gives it two independent printhead arrays, one white and one CMYK. This allows the white ink to be printed independently of the CMYK while being in action simultaneously. Print times can be cut in half because the white print array can print on one platen while the CMYK prints on the opposite platen. We doubled the number of CMYK printheads on the Avalanche to further increase its speed.

Will most garment screen printers switch to DTG?

Landesman: The Lawson Express-Jet T2020 now has a larger print area (20 x 20 in.) and has interchangeable platens to suit specific printing needs. It is designed to be a robust, industrial-floormodel machine.

Goljevacki: The market has a place for DTG printers, but also for screen printing and other methods. Today, however, there is a noticeable shift toward smaller and customized print runs, where DTG printers are the best option.

Baxter: The most recent additions are the i-Dot 4100, which prints on both light and dark garments with equal ease of operation, and the i-Dot 2100, which

Rhome: Without question, that is the direction we’re going. DTG is faster and less expensive to operate than traditional screen printing machines because

Green: No. Most garment printers who are running significant production levels will add a digital garment printer or two. If it’s a short run, digital garment printers are cheaper to run by orders of magnitude. Garment decorators who seek to innovate and watch out for threats will add a digital apparel printer to their business. The pie isn’t shrinking; it’s the most adaptable businesses that will thrive.

Anajet’s SPRINT

Azon’s TexPro

Belquette’s modone

Brother’s GT-782

DTG Digital Garment Printers’ DTG Viper distributed by Col Dessi, Inc.

june/july 2011

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Lawson’s Express-Jet T-Series

there is minimal set up, tear-down, clean-up, screens, squeegees, or platen adhesive. DTG printing allows for small runs, which is a huge benefit for custom shirt operations ad smaller shops. Copeland: I don’t know that I would use the word switch. I would definitely use the word add. More garment printers are recognizing that DTG printing is simply another decoration tool. It’s not going to replace traditional screen printing for the majority of jobs, and it can actually be used to complement screen printing by offering an inexpensive option for reorders, samples, and add-ons.

M&R’s i-Dot 2100

Borucki: Because the printers can now achieve digital output of up to 300 prints per hour, this will make it financially attractive to a larger share of traditional screen printers. Melco’s G2

Landesman: Our estimates are that within 10 years, the industry will be 50% DTG. Screen printing is not going away. There will remain a strong need for screen printing as certain materials are not easy to inkjet; furthermore, specialty inks like glitters, foils, glowin-the-dark inks, are not jettable at this time. Baxter: While screen printing will always have an important role in the garment-embellishment process, DTG printing will have an ever-increasing place.

KoRnit digital’s avalanche 951 digital

OmniPrint’s FreeJet 32TX

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Schierkolk: DTG printers are an enhancement to a printing business. This printing technology enables any apparel-decoration or promotionalproduct business to enjoy profits never before possible. Screen printers can make a decent profit on a one-off shirt that was out of range in years past. Peña: DTG equipment is a great supplement to traditional garment-decorating methods, such as screen printing and embroidery. We’re witnessing an increased combination of DTG and traditional printing in most production lines, and we anticipate a steady growth in this trend. With the ability to print full-color graphics instantly with fast

turnaround and no setup, we definitely foresee most garment printers using DTG technology in their shops. How large is the direct-togarment business in the U.S.?

Green: It was $370 million in 2006, or just 1% of the apparel-decoration market’s share at that time. Lacking an independent market analyst in this space makes it difficult to estimate. It could be in the $500 million to $1 billion range by now. Copeland: I would estimate the DTG market to be roughly $40-$50 million annually for equipment sales in the U.S. This excludes residual sales for heat presses and consumables sales, which altogether could double the market size. Baxter: It’s difficult to say, but DTG printing remains a small percentage of all garments printed in the U.S. Schierkolk: Decorated apparel is a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. Peña: DTG is ever expanding, for certain. What types of ink does your equipment use for direct-togarment T-shirt printing?

Green: Our printer uses two general types of water-based pigment inks— one that works best on organic fabric, AnaBright, and another for synthetics called PolyBright. Our white ink looks fantastic on dark fabrics. We have a closed-loop ink-delivery process that enables precise application while reducing the evaporative process that leads to ink clogging. Goljevacki: One set of CMYK and one set of White cartridges. The ink is a water-based pigmented formulation. Rhome: It is a water-based ink developed especially by our firm for printing on garments. We have done extensive wash testing and have found that the ink is durable.


Copeland: It uses aqueous pigmented textile inks with binders offered in five colors—cyan, magenta, yellow, black, and white. Borucki: We are a vertical company that develops and manufactures our own digital CMYK and White inks for our line of equipment. Our ink is a pigmented water-based ink that is the greenest ink in the DTG market today, being phthalate- and formaldehyde-free. Landesman: We have our own pigmented water-based ink. Baxter: The i-Dot uses our own i-Pak water-based ink system, either in cartridges or bulk feed. These inks are PBC- and phthalate-free, making them environmentally friendly. Schierkolk: One type of ink is used for optimal quality and durability—MelcoInk. This specialty textile ink is engineered to work smoothly with our DTG printer and MelcoRIP printing software. These inks are water-based, environmentally friendly, clean, and easy to apply. The ink comes in 220-ml sealed cartridges that keep air out and ink in. Peña: The FreeJet DTG printers use an advanced, water-based pigmented ink formulated by DuPont for optimum output. What’s the future for direct-togarment printing?

Green: We see the future of this market expanding at an exponential rate. The key gap that separates the greater garment-decoration market from adopting digital garment technology is converting them from perceiving it as a threat to embracing it as a new weapon in a power arsenal of product offerings. What DTG printing will do is expand the possibilities for creativity and agility for the larger companies, while making rapid-turnaround, shortrun, and million-color print orders even more profitable. Goljevacki: As technology continues to develop, DTG printers will continue

to evolve and get easier to use. The market will expand as DTG printers become more enticing. Rhome: Increased productivity and quality. Future machines will print a better product faster. Copeland: The short-term future is probably more of the same as we have now, though we will see smaller players falling by the wayside as it becomes harder to re-purpose the Epson printers that the majority of DTG printers are based on. It has been more difficult for non-Epson-authorized developers to get parts for their machines (most notably printheads). Currently Impressions Technology and Mastermind are the developers in the marketplace with contracts with Epson to purchase their print engines for re-purposing into the DTG marketplace. Long-term, we will begin to see the larger DTG manufacturers releasing printers that are not re-purposed Epsons, and instead have units developed on the Ricoh heads or modifications of existing large-format printers, much like those used by the sign industry. We have only really started to scratch the surface of DTG potential. Borucki: The best way to describe the future for DTG is with a single word: unlimited. We are always developing new equipment. As technology advances with printheads capable of unbelievable firing rates, coupled with the mechanical accuracy of the linear drives available today, you will see an unprecedented surge in technology soon. Landesman: The future is tremendous. As inkjet printers become faster and more agile, as systems improve, we will continue to see dramatic growth in this emerging market. Consumers are more demanding and want their products faster. Baxter: We feel that the many advantages of DTG printing will promote continued growth and allow DTG printers to take an increasingly significant role in the industry.

Manufacturers of Direct-to-Garment Inkjet Printers AnaJet Inc. www.anajet.com Arakis www.arakisinkjet.com Azon Printer www.azonprinter.com BelQuette Inc. www.belquette.com Brother Int’l www.brother-usa.com ColDessi Inc./DTG Digital Garment Printers www.swfeast.com www.dtgdigital.com Durafos www.durafos.com Kornit Digital www.kornit-digital.com Lawson Screen & Digital Products, Inc. www.lawsonsp.com M&R www.mrprint.com Makki USA www.makkiusa.com Melco www.melco.com OmniPrint Int’l www.omniprintonline.com Schierkolk: DTG printing will continue to grow as consumer demand for personalized and custom products increases. With no minimum quantity requirements and photo-quality print capabilities, profit potential for businesses of any size remains strong. Peña: We’re looking forward to largeformat DTG models, smaller-sized tabletop units, as well as ink-technology advancements. We are witnessing a DTG shift from an emerging to an established technology, widely used and coupled with traditional forms of garment decorating. With the on-demand customer base expanding, the personalization and mass-customization market multiplying, and traditional printers recognizing the countless benefits of DTG technology, we anticipate a continued rise in DTG demand. june/july 2011

35


industry update IMI Holds Digital Conference

Phin

Sission

Gerlandl

Bertz, Gellatly

ColorGATE, Hanover, Germany, has added Yan Wei Phin to sales team as regional sales manager for Southeast Asia. FUJIFILM North America, Graphic Systems Division, Valhalla, NY, appointed Matt Sisson marketing manager for the commercial printing market. THIEME GmbH & Co. KG recruited Armin Gerland as the new manager of technology and sales for the printing systems division of the company. Xaar appointed Bob Bertz as general manager, Asia Pacific, and Duncan Gellatly as ink sales manager.

MACtac and Nazdar Announce Warranty Agreement MACtac and Nazdar recently made a warranty available that features MACtac’s REBEL media and Nazdar’s 3500 series screen inks. The warranty is part of MACtac’s Open-Image Warranty program, which covers certain combinations of approved printers, inks, and laminates or clear coats used with the company’s graphics media. The joint warranty agreement was initiated to give screen printers and end users complete assurance that finished graphics manufactured by MACtac and printed with Nazdar 3500 series screen inks will perform as intended and meet requirements for durability and color definition.

Independent Trading Donates to Japanese Relief Independent Trading Co., manufacturer of basic fashion fleece, is donating all profits from online sweatshirt purchases to three organizations that are providing relief to the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. This offer is for a limited time, however; the company aims to raise $20,000 for this cause.The Japanese government says the cost of the earthquake and tsunami may reach $309 billion, making it the most costly natural disaster to date. Independent Trading Co. offers fleece styles for men, juniors, and youth, available for retail sale at. At the time of purchase from www.independanttrading.com, the buyer enters a provided promo code, which dictates which charity the purchase will benefit. Choices include: Habitat for Humanity— HABITAT, Global Giving— GLOBAL, and International Medical Corp.—MEDCORP.

CAMS Names ColDesi Distributor In March, YoungName Engineering appointed ColDesi, Inc. as the exclusive distributor of its product lines, including the CAMS automated rhinestone-setting systems. ColDesi will appoint regional distributors, cover North American support and parts for all existing CAMS machine owners, and honor existing warranties.

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screenprinting

Information Management Institute (IMI) holds its first Digital Manufacturing Rebirth Conference, June 22-24, 2011 in Hollywood, FL. IMI says that in the U.S., more than 95% of the nation’s 300,000 manufacturers are small and medium sized, and they are lagging behind the large manufacturers in implementation of the digital manufacturing infrastructure required to provide simulation-based R&D, design, and manufacturing. The conference will explore digital manufacturing’s potential as it enters a new era—transitioning from prototyping to full-scale production applications. Key presentations including Additive Manufacturing 101 by Stratasys, Building Manufacturing Processes and Products Drop by Drop by Xennia Technology, Utilization of Ink Jet in Manufacturing Applications by VTT Information Technology, Membrane Keypad Manufacturing Using Only Ink Jet Technology, and more. For more information, visit www.imiconf.com.

Report Covers Color Gamut and Resolution A report from Digital Dots, UV-Curable Large-Format Printers Technology Test & Guide, explains the importance of color gamut and resolution and how they influence output quality and consistency across different wide-format UV printers and materials. Researched and written by Michael Walker and Paul Lindström, UV-Curable Large-Format Printers Technology Test & Guide provides an in-depth insight into how UV-curable wide-format machines and inks have developed. Manufacturers EFI VUTEk, HP Scitex, Inca, Polytype, Océ, and Mimaki provided test submissions of UV-curable output on selected media. As these companies have solutions that cover different areas of the wide-format production market, test results are intended to cover most of the scenarios likely to be encountered by print service providers. The resulting research provides information for those involved in the wide-format-inkjet sector, whether printer and ink manufacturers or the end users or buyers of the machines.

Global Imaging Partners with Klieverik Louisville, CO-based Global Imaging has expanded into more areas of wide- and grand-format printing systems and supplies through its recent partnership with Klieverik. Kleiverik manufactures heat-transfer calenders for dye sublimation. Because dye sublimation demands precise temperature control, Global says that they will only carry the Kleiverik line of heat-transfer calenders. “Dye-sublimation printing is going to emerge as a growing market in the U.S. as it has proven to be over the past several years in Europe,” says Global Imaging CEO Greg Lamb. “By partnering with Klieverik, Global Imaging is positioning itself to help our customers enter this market with the best products and therefore the best output possible.”


U.S. Distributor & Dealer Directory Equipment / Materials / Services For Directory Rates or Information, please contact Victoria Wells E: Victoria.wells@stmediagroup.com P: (800) 925-1110 ext. 393 F: (513) 744-6993 An advertising service for local or regional screen printing distributors/dealers and national companies with branches and/or distributors. The Products & Services (P&S) Codes and the Business Classification Codes in each listing are defined as follows: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Art, Photography, Cad Graphics Curing & Drying Equipment Finishing Equipment Printing Equipment & Accessories Screen and Stencil Making Equip. & Supplies Inks, Coatings & Chemicals Board & Paper, Foam Center board, Block Out Board. Garments & Piece goods

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Glass & Containers Nameplates, Dials & Sheetmetal Plastics, Rigid & Flexible Pressure Sensitive Materials Misc. Substrates: Magnetic, Binders, Banners, etc. Testing & Instrumentation Computers, Color matching/Business, Hardware & Software Embroidery Equipment & Supplies

A B C

Distributor Dealer Branch of National Manufacturer

› ARIZONA

› COLORADO

› MINNESOTA

› NEW JERSEY

Phoenix

Denver

St. Paul

Crown Roll Leaf Inc.

Advanced Screen Technologies, Inc.

Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co.

Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co.

5301 Peoria St., Unit F, 80239-2319. (800) 332-3819. (303) 373-9800. Fax: (800) 332-3820. Fax: (303) 373-9700. E-mail: midwest@midwestsign. com. Contact: Al Menzie, RAMON FONTANES, Aaron Remsburg. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,11,12,13.

45 E. Maryland Ave., 55117. (651) 489-9999. (800) 328-6592. Fax: (651) 489-0202/ Fax: 800-328-6599. E-mail: midwest@midwestsign.com. Contact: Jason Knapp, Dan Fleming, Pete Weinberg, Ryan Warner, John Hermes, Kevin Wood. Business Class: A. Product Codes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,11,12,13.

91 Illinois Ave. 07503. (201) 742-4000. (800) 631-3831. Fax: (201) 742-0219. Contact: James R. Waitts. Marketing area served: National. Product Codes: 12.

619 S. Hacienda Dr. #5, Tempe, AZ 85281. (480) 858-9804, (877) 509-7600 Website: www.advancedscreen.com. Contact; Tom Bays. Business Class: A,B. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,14.

› CALIFORNIA SaatiPrint 15905 S. Broadway, Gardena, CA 90248. (800) 992-3676. (310) 5233676. Fax: (310) 523-3610. E-mail: info.US@saatiprint.com. Website: www.saatiamer icas.com. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 2,4,5,6,14.

Westix Inc. / WestixOnline.com 1309 D Simpson Way, Escondido, CA 92029 (760) 489-1448. (800) 7413887. Fax: (760) 489-7669. E-mail: info@westixonline.com. Website: www.westixonline.com. Business Class: A,B. Marketing area served: National. Product Codes: 2,3,4,5,6,15. Los Angeles

NuSign Supply, Inc. 1365 Darius Ct., City of Industry, CA 91745. (626) 961-7688. Toll Free: (877) 6NU-SIGN. Fax: (626) 961-7225. Contact: Tony Le. Business Class: A,B. Marketing Area served: Local, Regional, National, International. Product Codes; 4,6,12,13. San Francisco

› ILLINOIS SaatiPrint 2050 Hammond Dr., Schaumburg, IL 60173 (800) 368-3243. (847) 296-5090. Fax: (847) 296-7408. E-mail: info.US@ saatiprint. com. Website: www.saatiamericas.com. Contact: Jan Bill. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 2,4,5,6,14.

› INDIANA Atlas Screenprinting Equipment & Parts, Inc. 31 N. Davis St., Dublin, IN 47335. (765) 478-9481. (800) 533-4173. Fax: (765) 478-9462. E-mail: atlasckg@skyenet. net. Website: www.atlasckg.com.Marketing area served: National. Product Codes: 2,4,5.

› LOUISIANA Reece Supply Co. of Louisiana, Inc. 1017 Dealers Ave., Harahan, LA 70123. (504) 733-7799. Contact: Ronnie Garic. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 1,2,4,5, 6,7,10,11,12,13,14.

Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co.

› MASSACHUSETTS

21054 Alexander Court, Hayward, CA, 94545-1234. (510) 732-5800. (800) 824-2468. Fax: (510) 732-7624. Fax: (800) 824-2474. E-mail: midwest@ midwestsign.com. Contact: Marilee Fox-Cichon, Paul Louie, Kevin Todd, Steve Michel. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,11,12,13.

8 Parkridge Rd., Haverhill, MA 01835. (800) 328-7775. Fax: (978) 374-9777. Contact: Dean Garston. Business Class: A,B. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, 10,11,12,13,14.

Garston Screen Printing Supplies, Inc.

Rhinotech 2415 Pilot Knob Rd., Mendota Hts., MN, 55120. (651) 686-5027. (888) 717-4466. Fax: (651) 686-9745. E-mail: rhinotech@isd.net. Website: www. rhinotechinc.com. Contact: Todd Michaels. Business Class: A,B,C. Marketing area served: National. Product Codes: 2,4,5,6.

› MISSOURI Kansas City

Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co. 1806 Vernon St., Kansas City, MO 64116.. (816) 333-5224. (800) 2333770. Fax: (800) 233-3771. Fax: (816) 333-5446. E-mail: midwest@midwestsign.com. Contact: Junior Costigan, Patti Fairchild. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,11,12,13. St. Louis

Lawson Screen Products Inc. 5110 Penrose St. 63115. (314) 3829300. (800) 325-8317. Fax: (314) 382-3012. Contact: David Landesman. Business Class: A,B. Marketing area served: National. Product Codes: 1,2,4,5,6.

› NEBRASKA Omaha

Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co. 9313 “J” St., 68127. (402) 592-7555. (800) 228-3839. Fax: (402) 592-5267. Fax: (800) 228-3886. E-mail: midwest@ midwestsign.com. Contact: Trish Nelson, John Schnackenberg, Dan Thomas. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 1-2-4,5,6,7,11,12,13.

› NEW YORK SaatiPrint 247 Route 100, Somers, NY 10589.. (800) 431-2200. (914) 232-7781. Fax: (800) 829-9939. E-mail: info.US@saatiprint.com. Website: www.saatiamericas.com. Contact: Paul Cylenica. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 2,4,5,6,14. New Hartford

Reich Supply Co., Inc. 2 Campion Rd., New Hartford, NY 13413. (315) 732-6126. (800) 3383322. Fax: (315) 732-7841. E-mail: sales@reichsupply.com. Website: www.reichsupply.com. Contact: Neil Reich. Business Class: A,B. Marketing area served: National. Product Codes: 1,2,4,5,6,7,11,12,13,14.

› OREGON Portland

Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co. 5035 N.W. Front Ave. 97210-1105. (503) 224-1400. Fax: (503) 224-6400. 800-228-0596. Fax: 800-278-0596. E-mail: midwest@midwestsign.com. Contact: Karen Walker, Pat McNamara. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,11,12,13.

› TEXAS Dallas

Reece Supply Co. of Dallas, Inc. 3308 Royalty Row, Irving, TX 75062. (972) 785-0212. (800) 938-8330. Fax: (972) 785-0512. Contact: Kelly Leonard. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 1,2,4,5,6,7,10,11,12,13,14.

JUNE/JULY 2011

37


Canadian Distributor & Dealer Directory El Paso

› UTAH

Vancouver

› ONTARIO

Reece Supply Co.

Salt Lake City

Ryonet Corporation

1530 Goodyear Dr., Suite J, 79936. (915) 592-9600. (877) 776-0128. Fax: (915) 592-9050. Contact: Aaron Wieberg. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 1,2,4,5,6,7,10,11,12,13,14.

Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co.

11800 NE 60th Way., Vancouver, WA, 98682. (360) 576-7188. (800) 3146390. Fax: (360) 546-1454. E-mail: sales@ryonet.com. Web Site: www. silkscreeningsupplies.com. Contacts: Jeff Held. Ryan Moor. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: National, International. Product Codes: 2,4,5,6,8 ,11,12,13,14,15.

Cosmex Graphics Inc.

Houston

Reece Supply Co. of Houston, Inc. 2602 Bell St., 77003-1753. (713) 228-9496. (800) 776-0113. Fax: (713) 228-9499. Contact Labon Tatum. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes:1,2,4,5,6,7,10 ,11,12,13,14. San Antonio

Reece Supply Co. of San Antonio, Inc. 4960 Eisenhauer Rd. Ste 110 (78218). (210) 662-6898. Fax: (210) 662-6945. (800) 776-0224. Contact: Ricky Brown. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Pro-duct Codes: 1,2,4,5,6,7,10,11, 12,13,14.

1160 So. Pioneer Rd., Ste. 2, 84104. (801) 974-9449. (800) 497-6690. Fax: (801) 974-9442. Fax: (800) 497-6691. E-mail: midwest@midwestsign. com. Contact: Sean Hession. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,11,12,13.

› WASHINGTON Seattle

Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co. 401 Evans Black Dr., 98188-2912. (206) 433-8080. (800) 426-4938. Fax: (206) 433-8021. Fax: (800) 426-4950. E-mail: midwest@midwestsign.com. Contacts: Jeff Macey, Todd Colvin. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,11,12,13.

› WISCONSIN Milwaukee

Midwest Sign & Screen Printing Supply Co.

390 Deslauriers St., St. Laurent, Quebec, H4N 1V2, (514) 745-3446. Fax: (514) 7453449. Contact: Enzo Di Gneo. Business Class: A,B. Marketing area served: National. Product Codes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,12,14.

Ecoscreen, Inc. 300 Commerce St., Vars, Ontario, K0A3H0. (613) 443-1999. (888) 265-3556. Fax: s(613) 443-1909. E-mail: sales@ecoscreen.ca. Website: www.ecoscreen.ca. Contact: Mike Brugger. Business Class: C. Marketing area served: National. Product Codes: 5,6.

SaatiPrint

16405 W. Lincoln Avenue, New Berlin, WI 53132. (262) 641-8550. (800) 2427430. Fax: (262) 641-8555. Fax: (800) 242-7439. E-mail: midwest@midwestsign.com. Contacts: Tom Robinson, Craig Gray, Marty Campell, Fred Horn. Business Class: A. Product Codes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,11,12,13.

1680 Courtney Park Dr. E., Units 1 & 2, Mississauga, Ontario L5T 1R4, (905) 564-5388. (800) 567-0086. Fax: (905) 5645391. Contact: Alfred Guinness. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: Regional. Product Codes: 2,4,5,6,14. Markham

Sias Canada Ltd. 3400-14th Ave., Units 37 & 38, L3R OH7, (905) 305-1500. Fax: (905) 305-1501. Contact: Karl Bakker. Business Class: A. Marketing area served: National. Product Codes: 2,4.

Used Equipment Mart & Opportunity Exchange Used, Trade-in & Demo equipment, Help Wanted, and Business for sale.

Rates and Information E: victoria.wells@stmediagroup.com P: (800) 925-1110 ext. 393 F: (513) 744-6993

We are buyers of your preowned flat bed graphic presses, cylinder presses, 4-post presses, longstroke presses, uv dryers, cutters, die-cutters, sheeters, slitters & all equipment & items related to the screen printing industry. Top dollar Paid. 305-551-0311 800-383-2649 www.ezscreenprinting.com

Roller Frames - Used 100s in stock, many very large. Ask for quote & list before buying new. Save $100s A.W.T. World Trade at 773-777-7100 or sales@awt-gpi.com

UV Dryer Replacement Capacitors More than 75 different capacitor sizes available - most in stock for immediate delivery. 773-725-4900 or sales@gpiparts.com

Rubber Blankets For All Exposing Units Manufacturing all sizes and types for any brand - non-porous, UV-inhibited. 773-725-4900 or sales@gpiparts.com

Aluminum Frames Overstocked! Extruded and selftensioning; 1000s to choose from huge discounts! All clean of inks. 773-777-7100 or sales@awt-gpi.com

Huge Stock Of Screen Printing Machine Parts •Screen print equipment •Domestic & foreign •Most parts in stock 773-725-4900 or sales@gpiparts.com

Resurface Vacuum Table Remove all dents, scratches. Completely resurface vacuum table to new condition. Costs much less than a new table! 773-725-4900 or sales@gpiparts.com

THIEME squeegees/floodbars now available at GPI. Immediate Delivery. Manufactured in the USA. Call Graphic Parts (773)725-4900 - Ask for service.

WANTED Speedboards model SSC150 Will pay $150 each working, $75 not working. Mike Green (773)725-4900 x117

M&R* 1-1/2-inch, 2-piece squeegee holder. Now available for M&R machines for easy squeegee rubber removal. Immediate delivery. 773-725-4900 or sales@gpiparts.com

Screen Mesh Overstock All name brands at wholesale prices. White, yellow, red, orange, Swiss, Japanese, Italian. Changing inventory. 773-777-7100 or sales@awt-gpi.com

GENERAL Squeegees/ floodbars now available at GPI. Immediate Delivery. Manufactured in the USA. Call Graphic Parts (773)725-4900 - Ask for service.

M&R Patriot 4668 Press with take-off. Fully rebuilt w/ warranty $29,500+crating A.W.T: (773)777-7100 sales@awt-gpi.com

38

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EDITORIAL INSIGHTS SPRING GREEN: INVESTING IN LEDS

H

ave you noticed the invasion of LEDs everywhere? They’re popping up faster than green in springtime. If you were to invest in LED-producing companies right now, it might make for a secure growth area, though I share this from my own experience rather than trying to fashion your personal investment decision-making. With me it started with the ice storm of 2008 in New Hampshire. Survival was difficult with all electricity down due to trees falling on wires throughout our area. For one week, we thought like a community under attack. I could cook on a gas stove and sleep in my down sleeping bag in front of the gas fireplace, and shower until the remaining supply of hot water ran out. I could always get to work, because plows and sand trucks were used to ice on the roads; it was New Hampshire, after all. The one thing that I couldn’t do well was read after working hours, a necessity when the sun goes down early in winter. I stopped at L.L.Bean’s store in Nashua, one of the few that had an independent generator, and told them about the problem. Reading like Abe Lincoln in front of an oil lamp wasn’t working so well. “Here’s the answer, lady—a small LED headlamp with lights so bright that you can read, even for a long time, since it requires so little battery power. You can use it for walking at night or reading after dark or even touring caves, should you go spelunking.” No fear of that. Then, later during the year, I bought an LED flashlight, a car with LED headlights, and many more devices. Though this segment of electronics was slow to develop, it is now ready to be used in a variety of ways. LEDs don’t wear out quickly. Many of the LEDs made in the 1970s are still in service, though typical lifetimes range from 25,000-100,000 hours with heat and current settings extending or quelling the time. But why should you care? Apparently some manufacturers have picked up on the capabilities of LED. For example, Roland DGA Corp. introduced the 64-in. LEJ-640 UV-LED inkjet printer at this year’s ISA as an addition to its VersaUV line. The LEJ-640 prints CMYK+W and clear gloss on a variety of flexible and rigid media signage, displays, window graphics, packaging prototypes, interior décor, and more.

“Innovative UV-LED lamps cure UV inks instantly, allowing users to finish graphics immediately without the delays associated with drying time,” says Tetsunori Niyama, Roland’s product manager. And then there’s EFI’s VUTEk GS3250LX, a printer that was introduced at Connect, EFI’s 12th annual users’ conference, which was held at the Wynn during ISA. The VUTEk GS3250LX incorporates LED curing technology featuring instant on/off and, as EFI reports, less maintenance for increased uptime to produce more profitable jobs. UK-based Integration Technology says its LEDZero Solidcure, a UV-LED curing system introduced just this May, has a compact footprint, is lightweight, and can be used for applications in a range of markets. Standard wavelengths include 385 and 395 nm; alternatives include 365, 375, and 405 nm by special order. Standard array length is 80 mm, and the array can be scaled in 7-mm increments to a maximum length of more than 1000 mm to suit individual applications. According to Integration Technology, high output power is maintained by the use of precise liquid cooling. UV LED curing is not the largest use for LEDs. TV applications are forecast to dominate LED through 2013, accounting for nearly 50% of the total LED backlight market demand. According to DisplaySearch’s Quarterly LED Supply/Demand Market Forecast Report, LED lighting will capture the lead by 2014, just as demand for LEDs in LCD TV backlights falls. “The Market for LED backlights continues to grow as manufacturers leverage the technology for large display applications like notebooks, monitors, and TVs,” says Leo Liu, senior analyst at DisplaySearch. “In addition, there are a growing number of emerging applications for LEDs, such as lighting, signal, and automotive applications.”

Editor gail.flower@stmediagroup.com 40

SCREENPRINTING


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Screen Printing - June / July 2011