March '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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8 0 | PRINTWEAR M A RC H 20 1 5 RIP RIP software is another consideration when shopping for a CTS solution. A RIP is a software application that is used to convert the information contained in your image to the format required by the print engine in the printer. RIPs provide the necessary fea- tures and controls in order to achieve opti- mum results. Most manufacturers of CTS solutions provide the RIP. FILM Film is certainly the most quantifiable consumable one can measure when con- sidering CTS. It sounds straight forward, but multiple people spend countless hours handling film. Aside from printing or locating film positives, we tape films onto carrier sheets and then onto the screen, load them on the exposure unit, draw down the vacuum, expose, remove the film, file the film, and develop the screen. With CTS, you load the screen, pick the file, print, expose, and develop. A CTS system also eliminates the need for film storage. What used to take up space to archive films can now be done on a hard drive. Also, there's no need for cleaning or re- pairing scratched or damaged films or car- rier sheets that cause pinholes and expo- sure issues. Of course, the film cost savings helps pay for a CTS system. At about $1 or more per sheet for film, the savings add up. Eliminating film also makes a printer more environmentally responsible as there is no need to discard it. Some printers gen- erate thousands of yards of nonrecyclable film on an annual basis, and all of that film goes into the trash. With CTS technology, the positive is created with a water-soluble substance for an eco-conscious savings. DIGITAL DIRECT EXPOSURE SYSTEMS: THE GAME CHANGER The next link in the chain of screen making is exposure. With no film, you don't need the glass or vacuum blanket for good con- tact between film and screen. There's also no equipment upkeep, and you can expose several screens at once. Without the glass or film, exposures are cut to almost half. A digital direct exposure system can re- duce overhead and consumable costs. These systems have no consumable usage and in- stead work by directly exposing a coated screen with light. Once exposed, the screen can be developed as normal. To eliminate even more prepress steps, use a CTS system that exposes while im- CTS SYSTEMS With a CTS system, time spent handling film is cut, and waste is reduced.

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