Manual printers, listen up! You all have terrible printing habits.

I bet you’re thinking, “What does this have to do with picking out the right press configuration for your automatic?” But the question I’m getting at is: How many of you flash between every color?

It’s fairly common and there is nothing wrong with going down that road on a manual, but printing on an automatic is an entirely different game. Automated equipment will typically include one or two onboard flashes, plus the addition of a cool-down space in the next print position.

And, no, you can’t skip the cool-down space.

Manual printers have more time in-between the flash cycles. Automatic presses do not! Have you ever printed a shirt and forgot to wait for the shirt to cool? It was too hot, stuck to the back of the screen, and ended up curing the ink on the next screen. Am I right? The exact same thing will occur on an automatic press without a cool-down station. My point here is to make sure that you calculate these stations into your decision when you select an automatic machine. One that will work for the style of prints that you do currently but allows for growth for new applications that may fall your way in the future! and they will, trust me.

Choosing the Right Press Configuration

ROQ can make any press configuration that is needed. Traditional press configurations, like the 6 color 8 station and 8 color 10 stations, have been very popular for startups, but spot printers the lack of cool-down stations will become apparent fairly quickly for both of these choices. Adding flash units will reduce the usable print stations.

A 6×8 with one flash/cool is now a 4 color 8 station, and an 8×10 with one flash/cool is now a 6×10. Adding more flashes will reduce further usable print stations x2. I have gotten away with 2 flashes and cutting a cool down space but for only short runs or by slowing down the print cycle. This is something to keep in mind when choosing an auto, so don’t cut yourself short.

Of course, having a larger press configuration is always desirable, plus it allows you more flexibility when setting up multiple jobs at once and achieving more control with the flash stations.


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