When automating your print shop, the choice of screens is important for achieving efficient and high quality production. We mentioned the different size requirement earlier, but other screen factors include tensions, types of frames, and image size. With automation, the size of your screen has much more impact in relation to the size of your print. For example, a 23”x31” screen will yield a 16”x18” print area, while an image with a 20” print area will need a 25”x36” screen.
Along with size considerations, tension is also a consideration. Auto machines often require screens with higher tension, which helps ensure precise registration. The higher tension can result in higher quality prints too. When it comes to screen types, there are static tension frames and retensionable screen frames. Static means you cannot retighten or stretch the mesh, but retensionable is just that – you can tighten the tension repeatedly as needed. Each option offers pros and cons, and both are good to consider when automating.
The addition of your automatic press should, at the very least, reduce the time you need to complete jobs, thereby allowing you to complete more jobs in a day. This increase in output may put a strain on your screen room capabilities, which is an important consideration as well. Adding more screens to your inventory may become necessary, along with expanding the area of your screen or dark room. By investing in this expansion, you can take full advantage of what the auto press provides.