December '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 59 of 134

W hile 2016 had an emphasis on the durability and de- pendability of machinery and programs decorators use every day, many throughout the in- dustry anticipate that 2017 will focus on further improving systems that are already in place. Many decoration methods can expect to see progress toward system effi- ciency or sustainability. SCREEN PRINTING Screen printing, like many other meth- ods, has seen a push toward reducing production time. For example, Ryan Moor, Ryonet, says that there has been an increase in use of direct-to-screen sys- tems during the job-setup process. He says that by going direct-to-screen, both the consumable film and an equipment operator are removed from the situation while eliminating the margin of error that comes with placing carrier sheets and film, sheet movement in the expo- sure unit, and how the platen could move once it's on the press. Another improvement that manufactur- ers are adding to their equipment is better exposure units. While LED exposure units have gotten faster and improved in qual- ity in recent years, Tyler Dummett, Work- horse Products, says that exposure units could expand beyond LED light sources in the near future. Other new screen-printing features to watch out for in 2017 include technology that could eliminate the need to re-level machines—a time-consuming and some- what costly process. There has also been an effort through- out the industry to make screen printing eco-friendlier than in the past to answer requests for better sustainability. Screen cleaning, typically the dirtiest part of any screen-printing job, uses a lot of chemicals Cloudy with a Chance of Improvement The 2017 Technology Forecast B Y S A N D R A S E P A N I A K LED exposure units continue to be the top choice, though decorators are always searching for a single-source solution to exposing screens. (Image courtesy Vastex) 2 0 1 6 D E C E M B E R P R I N T W E A R || 55

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