Screen printing is one of the easiest printing methods. Operating a screen printing machine requires minimum technical but some practical knowledge. Sometimes, the printing quality may vary for many reasons. In fact, every piece of screen printing machine has a considerable impact on the printing quality. So, any problem in any part of the printing materials means a serious impact on the job’s outcome. For all these reasons, if any problem, even it is a minor one arises, fixing it as early as possible is very important. If you have screen print machines or a screen printing business it is important to have sufficient knowledge of troubleshooting the printing equipment.
Adjusting the Screen Tension
The performance of a screen printing machine deteriorates with loose screens. If the screens of your screen printing equipment get loose to make them tighten with the help of an efficient person. Screens in tighten condition perform well. It is important to ensure that all the screens, performing for a particular print is in functioning at the same tension. The dissimilarity of screen tension causes the problem of registration.
So, check again and again to resolve this issue. If any discrepancy is found, adjust the screen tension to maintain an equal tension level. It ensures better output without any major fluctuation of the quality.
Penetration of Ink into the Shirt
This generally happens due to excess pressure applied to the screen. The ink may be too thin, the squeegee may be too hard or the fabric’s weave is excessively open and this penetration happens. The pressure of squeegee should be checked before every action and it is advised to set it at a minimum level. For more assurance, run some trial operations to observe the condition of ink at the garment’s underside.
Solving the Problem of Over-Flashing
Due to this problem ink dries in the screen. For this problem, the screen mesh’s open parts get clogged. Due to excessive heat during the printing process, this problem happens. This problem of overheating can be solved by using proper off-contact. It ensures that after the passing of squeegee over the garment the screen peels away from the print and thus maintains a minimum contact with the heated print.
It is the incidence of turning the white print into a color one. Usually, it happens on polyester or garments containing polyester-blend. Polyester garment’s dye gets released at a high curing temperature of the screen printer’s ink. Dye migration may happen in this way- white ink turns into pink on red fabric and grays on black fabric. So, try to avoid garments like camouflage fabrics which are excessively prone to dye migration. Ink selection is also important to avoid dye migration. Low-bleed, low-cure under-base inks should be used. If you have no option of changing the garment prone to bleed it is wise to use special gray or black blocking ink designed to absorb the dye.
Sudden Movement of the Garment During Screen Printing
If you start printing with a screen printing press and the garment on which you are printing starts moving in the midway of printing then the entire operation is affected seriously. It is really disturbing. To solve this issue, it is advised to use special types of industrial adhesives that resist such kind of unwanted movement of the garment. There are some types of adhesives and water-based type are very suitable for use. They are less affected by the heat of the printing unit than other types.
Solving the Ink Deposition Issue
This issue hampers the quality of printing greatly. For manual screen printing, it is advised to flood the screen before each printing as it pushes the ink into the area to be printed. Automatic screen printers do the flooding of the screen prior to each printing. If screens are not flooded, it will require to apply excess pressure on the print stroke. This may cause the penetration of ink into the fabric. So, loss of money, ink and time will be the ultimate result.
Another trick of avoiding the ink deposition is maintaining a sharp squeegee edge. It ensures a smooth release. Irregular edge of the squeegee affects its performance seriously. Use soft or squeegees whenever required depending upon your requirement. You can save the ink by adjusting the angle of the squeegee. Maintain a consistent pressure to make the troubleshooting during a running printing operation easier.
Problem with Emulsion
Emulsion quality ensuring is another crucial issue of screen printing. Notice that whether the bottom of the screen’s shirt side contains a thicker deposit of emulsion. If not, ensure it. Extra emulsion holds back the ink during the pressure acting as a gasket and resists the movement of ink. If ink moves unwantedly, then uneven edges may originate. The emulsion of thick type ensures an increased amount of opacity. In absence of enough emulsion on the bottom of the screen during printing fine details, distortion of the dots may happen. So, it is obviously important to ensure the quality and proper thickness of the emulsion to bring the desired quality by the screen printing machine.
What to do with the under cured Prints?
Curing the ink is very important. Poor or improper curing may result in the disturbing quality of printing. The entire layer of ink needed to be cured at the prescribed temperature for a sufficient period of time. Without maintaining time properly, it is not possible to ensure a fine curing. It is wise to run the screen for one minute through a dryer at an appropriate temperature may ease the issue greatly.
So, we may draw a conclusion that the problems with a screen printing machine are not very complicated. To solve the problems, special or costly mechanisms are not required. Some little consciousness or tricks may solve the entire problem without any spending of money. But, it is important to know the problems and locating the sources of a problem.