December '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 69 of 134

2 0 1 6 D E C E M B E R P R I N T W E A R || 65 With an automated screen-cleaning ma- chine, the process looks like this: 1. At the start of the shift, or the close of the previous shift, the operator makes any necessary adjustments to the ma- chine's chemical balance. 2. The operator scrapes off bulk ink and removes any tape from the screens be- fore loading the screen(s) on the in-feed rack. Then, the operator initiates the cleaning process. At this point, the op- erator can continue removing bulk ink and tape from other screens or leave to perform other duties. 3. The machine sprays a solvent/water mixture under low pressure. Then, it allocates time for the mixture to soak in and the remaining ink and chemical so- lution to drip into the catch basin from which it can be periodically removed. Now, most of the ink will be gone. 4. Next is the application of clean water through opposing high-pressure noz- zles. Duration varies according to emul- sion type. The pressure removes the softened emulsion without stretching the screens as is the case when scrub- Screen cleaning and reclaiming is a crucial step in achieving quality prints. (All images courtesy M&R)

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