December '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 71 of 134

2 0 1 6 D E C E M B E R P R I N T W E A R || 67 2 0 1 6 D E C E M B E R P R I N T W E A R that have proven to be effective with the maker's screen-cleaning system. Although there may be some trial and error involved in fine-tuning the chemical/water ratio and cleaning time to suit the needs of any given shop, operators shouldn't have to sort through all the available solvents to find one that produces excellent results under a vari- ety of conditions. The manufacturer should be able to pro- vide per-screen water consumption and chemical costs, as well as the average num- ber of screens that can be processed in an eight-hour shift. It also pays to look for a manufacturer with a reputation for providing a high level of customer support—and for standing be- hind its equipment. In fact, there's an argu- ment to be made that this should be the first thing to look for in any piece of equipment. Finally, the decision to invest in an auto- mated screen-cleaning system is one that has to be made by each operation based on available funds and its vision for the future. However, three things are clear: labor costs are not going down, customers are not go- ing to start demanding lower quality, and automation will continue to be one of the best ways to succeed in a highly competi- tive world. The screen ink and emulsion have been removed, and the mesh is dehazed, degreased, and ready for re-coating.

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