Let’s assume your ROQ automatic press is installed, and you’re itching to start printing. Before you ever touch ink to your brand new squeegees, you have a bit more work ahead of you than just setting up your ROQ press.
Have ever bought a new computer and kept the default settings? I bet not. Typically, some time is spent removing bloatware, personalizing files, folders, or downloading favorite programs to make your new device more user-friendly. The same should be done with a new automatic press.
So, here’s some expert advice for setting up your ROQ press automatic printing success:
Set up your off-contact.
Ensure you have the correct amount of distance between the screens and the pallet. I recommend setting your #1 print station slightly higher than the rest of the print stations, to use for white base printing. Static pre-stretched screens will also need to be set slightly higher in order to achieve a good snap off of the shirt, to eliminate sticking. If you’re using high tension screens, those will require less distance.
Set the air pressure for each print head.
Set it to 4 MBA. I recommend keeping the same pressure dialed for all print heads, though white may be the exception due to thicker white inks.
Set the angles for your squeegees and flood bars.
Try 15 degrees for both squeegee and floods, to start. This seems to be the sweet spot.
Re-zero your micros prior to aligning the screens.
This is the most important factor when using a pre-registration unit.
Adjust your manual squeegee pressure.
Manual squeegee pressure can be adjusted to add more downforce; the squeegee blade should have a slight bend as it passed the ink.
Set your manual flood pressure.
Manual flood pressure should be approached with caution, too much pressure could damage or break the screen. Flood heights should barely touch the bottom of the ink, not the screen.
Set your print speeds.
Best practice is to start out with slow speeds and then dial speeds up as the ink and pallets warm up. There is no optimum setting that will work for everyone. Speeds are determined by the size of your print, pressure and squeegee durometer selection and of course surrounding environments, warm vs. hot conditions.
Adjust your flash units.
Flashes have their own set of rules. Simply rolling them into position and expecting results can be a dangerous road. Adjustments will be needed to fine-tune your flash units for their purpose. Consider the height. What is the distance from the pallet to the bulbs? This will all be determined by the kind of print you are creating. For regular cotton: The larger the print, the lower the distance. Tri Blends may require another set of rules: setting the flash distance higher and reducing the time may have better results. With a little patience and R&D it is possible to yield great results.
Clean the machine.
This is very important to keep your machine running smoothly now and in the future. Make time to regularly wipe down the machine to remove ink, built up lint and dust. If you use an aerosol spray, the excess glue will trap lint in these areas of the machine. Don’t forget to clean your step pedal build up, flash unit and air flow inlets. Take good measures to clean beneath the pallet too, otherwise the bracket will gum up and the pallet will not lock in causing the pallet to float left to right.
Hopefully these simple steps will increase productivity and reduce down times.