November '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 5 N O V E M B E R P R I N T W E A R || 25 would strongly suggest a new cord set to ensure a good electrical ground. Most electrical codes require machines to be grounded. From your perspec- tive, a ground fault can be fatal. • Take a look at the nomenclature plate on your machine to determine the machine rating. The amperage, together with voltage, should be listed. If amperage is not listed you can divide the watts by the voltage to get the amperage. Make sure your electrical circuit is properly sized, a sure indicator that your machine is on the right circuit in the plug. If any of the flat prongs are bent to accommodate the wall receptacle, there is a good chance of a code violation. In addition to being inefficient, it is dangerous. Be sure to also check the core of your press—the heat. Without it, nothing happens. Too much and you scorch the garment or ruin the transfer. Too little and your transfer is either light in the case of sublimation, or peels off prema- turely in the wash. Your heat must be even over the entire surface of the heated platen. Spend a little time making sure it is up to specification. Heat should be uniform over the entire surface of the heated platen. The most economical way to test heat is with temperature strips or Ther- molabels. These single-use strips have eight incremental temperature sensitive elements. To use, place an individual strip on all four corners and in the center of the lower platen of the machine. There is a white to black color change at the actual temperature. Look for the actual temperature and the consistency between the five strips to get an accurate reading. The other method for testing heat is a non-contact infrared (IR) thermom- eter. This instrument uses a lens to focus the IR energy on the detector which converts the energy to an electrical signal that displays in temperature units. IR thermometers are quick response devices and are useful in daily quality control. Handheld IR guns are available at most home improvement stores and are well worth the investment. There are also thermocouples that can be used with your Volt-Ohm Meter (VOM). These instruments will adequately do the job, but are harder to find and have a much slower response time. Pressure of the press, although pre-programmed at the factory, can degrade over time so it needs to tested every once in a while as well. The way the upper platen is engineered is the key to good pressure. A well-engineered machine will have a central pressure adjustment, typically found in the center of the upper platen. Either the upper or lower platen will float a bit to ensure that the heads can accommodate thicker material, as well. Although there are several newer machines that give a pressure indication, you will more than likely have to use alternative means to determine pressure. One way to test the pressure of a ma- chine is the dollar bill test. Simply put a dollar bill at all four corners of the lower platen and close it with medium pressure. Pull out each bill noting how much pressure is required to completely pull them out. If one comes out easier, it is possible that you have warp in the head. If the two bills at the front or mouth of the machine pull out easily and the back cannot be removed, it's possible the platens are out of alignment. M-Link X is the NE T Generation of Direct-to-Garment Textile Printers Join the M-Link X-perience at SGIA Atlanta! Bring a USB flash drive with any raster- based PNG or PSD image file with transparent background to booth number 3445 — and let us show you what the incomparable M-Link X can do. Direct-to-Garment Textile Printers M&R SALES AND SERVICE, INC. 800-736-6431 · 630-858-6101 • Black shirt print time: less than 60 seconds • White shirt print time: 30-45 seconds • One-third the price of comparable DTG printers For more information, go to MRPRINT.COM / X perience The

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