Screen printing is a mechanical process and the screen is one of the keystones to the entire operation. You want a solid foundation for printing with an eye out for good tension and proper emulsion coating. If your screen room staff are clean, neat, organised and methodical in their approach to ensuring your screens are perfectly ready for printing, you have just solved half of the most common problems in printing. I can’t emphasise this enough.

Want to make the lives of your employees better? Automate as many of these steps as possible. If you are doing any sort of volume, this pays dividends in lower costs, happier employees, better quality screens, and problems solved.

Pay particular attention to tension: measure and keep track. At a minimum, use somewhere between 20 and 25 Newtons as your baseline. Lower tensioned screens mean you need to place more pressure on the squeegee to get the ink to clear, and this can affect your deposit, which ultimately can affect the ink hue in the image.

Also, make sure your screen coating is standardised as much as possible to get consistent emulsion over mesh (EOM). If you can afford it, get an auto-coater to ensure every screen is made exactly the same.

Marshall Atkinson | Atkinson Consulting

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