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Five Trends in Screen Printing Process

August 25, 2013 3 comments

Trend No. 1: Fast changing image of screen printing:

Image

The very mobile or high end smart phones or iPods, tablets that you are holding in your hands have the imprints of screen printing. The helmets you wear, the bike you ride have designer decals on both sides; the car you drive has the speedometers and dashboards – all screen printed. If you are a cricket fan, notice that almost every bat has multiple designer stickers screen printed, and t-shirts, helmets, PVC cheer sticks, balloons, or flags that the cricket fans are holding in the stadium – all screen printed. And do not forget, we are living in high technology electronic age. Every electronic product that you use has a PCB (printed circuit board) inside, screen printed of course.

A high level team of printing company engaged in automobile and aeronautic decals printing and high end graphics, walked into Grafica’s stall at Gulf Print & Pack’13 in Dubai. During the discussion, the gentlemen did not mind sharing with our team that they have as many as 30 semi – automatic and fully automatic screen printing machines! This is the quick glimpse of fast changing trend in screen printing.

So, screen printing is more than what people may tend to think about printing visiting cards, letterheads, invitation by using out dated and tedious method what we call “manual screen printing”. Screen printing is an artistic as well as technology oriented process. From its age-old method, ‘silk’ screen printing has transformed into an advanced technology.

Its distinct advantages: It has its own distinct advantages: versatility, suppleness, wide range of applications, brightness and solidity of colours of outdoor applications, possibilities of special effects in graphic and textile; and wide range of presses available for different applications – Multi – colours press very large size for graphic applications; Multi-colours rotary screens to print textile in roll; possibility of combination with other imaging or printing process (offset, digital, etc.).

The visual impact that screen printing process can create is simply incredible. The durability of the inks, the vibrancy of the colours, especially considering the harsh outdoor weather conditions for outdoor applications such as automobile decals, helmet stickers, indoor/outdoor advertising display boards, etc, (it withstands sunlight, rain, snow, wind, etc).

Applications, unbound: Screen printing has wider applications in commercial graphics (packaging included), industrial (almost every industrial segment needs the imprint of screen printing process), garment decoration and textile printing as summarised below. (It is virtually impossible to list out total number of applications of screen printing process).

Commercial Applications:
• Posters
• Billboards
• POP/POS
• Displays
• Stickers/Labels
• Signs
• Flags
• Packaging
• Value addition on offset printed commercial and packaging.

Daily necessaries:
• Toys
• Stationery
• Sports goods
• Art (Serigraphy)
• Cosmetic containers
• Toiletry containers
• Wooden products
• Glass & ceramics
• Plastic Cards, Credit Cards
• Foot wear

Textile:
• Sportswear
• T-shirts
• Ladies/Mens/Kids wear printing (full fabric printing)
• Textile printing
• Heat transfers/Tag-less labels
• Caps
• Jute bags
• Cloth bags
• Garment tags, stickers
• Packaging for Garments/Saree/clothing

Industrial applications:
• Automotive decals
• Automobile meters
• CDs
• Parts of electric appliances
• Membrane switches
• Liquid crystal display
• Automatic vendors
• Metal name plates
• Print Circuit Boards (PCBs)
• Hybrid Circuits
• Solar Cells
• Mobile keypads, iPod, iPads
• Medical patches and many more…

Trend No. 2. Advancement in screen printing technology comes of age:

Image

“Necessity is the mother of all invention.” And that applies to screen printing as well.

So, now there are:

1. Screen printing machine (semi-automatic or fully automatic – alas NOT MANUAL tables anymore!)

2. Screen making set up thatincludes: polyester yellow mesh or fabric (alas NOT nylon mesh anymore); fabric stretching unit with tension meter; aluminium frames (alas NOT WOODEN FRAME anymore), emulsion coating equipment; screen exposing machine; screen drying unit, and other accessories.

3. The screen that is the imagecarrier (considered the ‘heart of screen printing’)

4. Squeegee (the ‘heart of thescreen printing machine’) supported by a ink coater

5. The substrate on which youprint which depends on the job. (Screen printing process can be used to print on numerous paper and non- paper substrates – both semi- rigid and rigid – pvc, wood, glass, tile, ceramics, fabric, metal, etc).

6. UV Inks, varnishes, UVspecial effects (and emulsion and chemicals needed for screen making) (to be forbidden solvent ink wherever possible since it is hazardous)

7. Drying system to print,depending on the ink used (UV curing, IR/Jet Air/Wicket Dryers as against racking system which requires huge space.

8. QC tools (like tension meter, UV thickness meter, spectrometer, etc)

Trend No.3 : Emergence of Multi-process printing solution & fast spreading value addition concept:

ImageIt is believed that screen, offset and digital printing will co-exist for different types of jobs. These days, many offset printers are ‘falling in love’ with screen printing as witnessed by us during various printing exhibitions. In the last couple of years we received more visitors from offset, packaging and digital than screen printing.
Perspective

1. Digital-screen combination: This is yet another good sign. There are many digital printers who have also screen-printing units to meet the market demand for ‘total print solution’.
2. Offset-screen combination for VALUE ADDITION:
3. Digital, offset, screen combination.

There has been a growing trend of many offset printers and packaging printers embracing screen printing process for carrying out print finishing in house instead of depending on outsourcing.

Why value addition?
Sharjah based Silver Point Printing Press has recently bought one more Swing Cylinder Press with inline UV from Grafica to meet the non-stop and growing demand for value addition which is offered with the application of various decorative UV to give touch and feel effect over duly commercial and packaging jobs.

In today’s highly competitive business environment, print buyers are certainly looking for something different which really differentiates them from their rivals. Ultimately, the packaging in a shelf carries its look, its power of attraction for the consumers, and eventually the feeling of touch, or we can rightly say, today packaging is all about sensation – look, touch, feel, smell. Same principle applies to all commercial jobs other than packaging – value addition is a must.

The most promising is the use of a wide range of ‘special effects’ thanks to the think tanks in the screen printing industry driven by FESPA, an international association of various national printing associations including India.

UV Special effects currently used in the market are:
• Commonly used UV Matt and Gloss
• Pearl
• Metallics
• Fluorescent (glow in the dark)
• Scents / Rub and sniff
• Emboss
• Glitter (silver and gold)
• Sand
• Sensation
• Abrasive
• 3D reflective
• Crystal
• Rough finish
• many more…

Trend No. 4: Focus on Quality, productivity & Standardisation:

ImageToday, with automatic precision machines, it is possible to get a result that years ago would have been a pipe dream. For example, by manual screen printing reproducing photorealistic images on t-shirts was next to impossible, but now with automatic direct to garment textile screen printing machines, garment printers are able to print what the customers want with speed and accuracy.

In India, many of the large screen printing units are matching to international standards, and beyond, in a competitive marketplace because of use of high-level equipment and high – priced consumable supplies.

The industry (customers) allows minimum tolerances for the rejection besides mandating for Just in Time production and deliveries. Today, there exist different systems designed to help the screen printers to achieve better result. But it revolves around the simple concept or standardisation of the entire screen printing process.

Also, Screen printing industry is now waking up to the reality of UV-age. More and more screen printers are now adopting UV and dumping the foul smelling solvent which many feel a curse to the screen printing. Yes in some areas such as decals and industrial printing UV has not made successful inroads and still they have to use only solvent inks.

Shift from manual to automation: In the last decade, there has been steep increase in the number of screen printing machines and UV curing system (also screen making set up) sold in the last couple of years than it was five to ten years ago. There has been a big shift from manual to semi-automatic and now fully automatic system. More and more printers are now adopting automation and using quality raw materials, process standardisation, documentation of parameters for each job since in screen printing every job is a new job involving unique process parameters, use of materials (inks, chemicals, mesh, etc) with different specifications.

Over 50 companies engaged in garment manufacturing as well as garment printers (job workers), and also jute bag manufacturers, have installed our automatic direct to garment screen printing machine along with complete screen making system who had huge manual long tables.

Trend No.5: Growing urge for Education and training:

ImageScreen printing is now quicker, cheaper, produces better quality images and offers a number of special applications. Having advanced machines in place is not sufficient to run a profitable screen printing business. Being able to truly master printing high quality images, using the screen printing process, also takes much longer, because there are a number of variables involved.

Since we started workshops (always houseful with average 50 participants) in our DMI institute in 2006, till today over 2000 printing professionals (owners and staff) from India, USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, etc, (screen, offset, packaging, flexo, textile printing segments) attended our 3-day workshops. They were of the opinion that without proper knowledge, screen printing technology cannot be used in a profitable manner.

Conclusion:
I would conclude by saying that while technology is the lock, education is the key to unlock the numerous opportunities in screen printing. I leave the screen printers to decide whether to take both (technology and education) or anyone! Those who grab both will stand winners in the market.

Key to success is technology adoption and knowledge up gradation!

Image“Two years ago, when I saw some wonderful creative samples at DMI institute, I realised the potential of screen printing process … I strongly believe, in screen printing every step is a ‘science’. So without learning this ‘science’ nothing can be printed qualitatively. By learning new techniques we can assimilate it in our daily practice. Mr. Narendra Paruchuri,
Managing Director, Pragati Press, Hyderabad

Image“You simply redefined the “Screen Printing Industry” of India to a different dimension. In the last six years your institution and activities have grown to multiple folds and you created significant mark in the chosen field. Nobody in India has approached screen printing so seriously and you created an international bench mark for the Indian screen printing industry..” Prof. Dr. Rajendrakumar Anayath, The Technological Institute of Textile & Sciences, Bhiwani, Haryana

Enjoy this cool Sunday…

Bhargav Mistry

Nano-Premier League (NPL) Road Shows at Nagpur & Indore

October 14, 2010 2 comments

After my six successful NANO-PREMIER LEAGUE (NPL) Road Shows which I believe this is the World’s first of its kind campaign on advanced screen printing process & technology” which I started from June 2010 onwards.

I had two more wonderful experiences last week. Let me share with you.

Two new NPL Road Shows first at Indore on 30th September 2010 and second at Nagpur on 2nd October 2010, on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, we also remember him as a Father of the Nation.

The first show was arranged on 30th September 2010 in Hotel Fortune Landmark, Indore, Madhya Pradesh with a houseful participation even on the curfew day, the day when the country was under tremendous pressure due to Ayodhya Verdict.

 

NPL Road Show @ Hotel Fortune Landmark, Indore, MP

NPL Road Show @ Hotel Fortune Landmark, Indore, MP

 

Since Grafica’s road shows are always very thrilling to printers especially when they get to see lot of new creativity during our shows because we always go with varieties and creative samples. So by any chance printers hardly avoid to miss our road show.

So far, Grafica sold over 275 NANO-PRINT and 25 NANO-PREMIER LEAGUE as the despatch of NPL just began few weeks ago. The orders of NPL will cross over a century very soon. Hence it’s but obvious to have customers all over the country.

 

Ravi Patidar, Naturo Graphics, Indore

Ravi Patidar, Naturo Graphics, Indore

 

So in Indore we had Ravi Patidar of Naturo Graphics who produces textile transfers and was quite honest to share his experience about NANO-PRINT in front of all the participants. There were couple of participants who had attended my previous workshops at DMI. They too were kind enough to share their experiences about DMI Institute and our workshop programs.

 

Mukund Karia, Mukund Enterprises, Indore

Mukund Karia, Mukund Enterprises, Indore

 

One of the veteran dealer in Indore selling screen printing materials, Mukund Karia was very helpful to my team in making the Indore event a success even on the day of curfew.

Being a supplier of screen printing consumables Mukund Karia also felt the need to extend his support to promote Grafica’s NANO-PREMIER LEAGUE as there is rampant manual screen printing culture in and around Indore.

At the end incognito I salute for the sheer enthusiasm of printers in Indore who made it a point to attend my presentation and live demo despite all odds.

From Indore, I travelled down to Nagpur, which is also known as “The Orange City” on 1st October 2010. Since my second program was in Nagpur was on 2nd October I had plenty of time to write new articles and update them on our blog which I hope you must have read by now. If not then check out our Technical Articles

This second houseful show in Nagpur was arranged in Hotel Pride International. Very close to the airport.

 

NPL Road Show @ Hotel Pride International, Nagpur, MH

NPL Road Show @ Hotel Pride International, Nagpur, MH

 

By the way I was not new to these cities since I had earlier organized screening of my educative film  “Screen on Screen” A film of advance screen printing process two years ago and some of the participants were already familiar with us and knew that if its Grafica it must be something interesting and serious. The response we received from the printers of Nagpur was overwhelming.

During my presentation, I invited many Grafica customer’s who were present during this show to share their valuable experience with Grafica. In-fact I was touched by the great feelings expressed by all of them who not only shared their experience about Grafica’s machines but also showered good wishes and praises about my institute DMI. Since some of them had attended my workshops in the past hence were kind enough to share honestly in front of the audience.

Frankly speaking all our NPL Road Shows are quite expensive first of all to organize in a good and decent hotels, take the entire team of 15 people to organize this show in a short span of time, arranging hotel rooms for everyone, transport the machines for demo, unload it and install, thereafter decorate for few hour, again dismantle, load and transport back to factory or move ahead to the next destination, over an above transport cost of the machine and travel cost of the entire team.

But I am not hesitated over the expense because I am sure the day is not far that all our effort will bring fruits to the entire screen printing industry in India and my dream to convert all manual screen printers towards automation will never only remain a dream.

I am thankful all our customers and participants for giving us their valuable time and to make this a memorable event.

To see complete photo gallery of our NPL Road Show click any name of the city mentioned below

INDORENAGPUR

Finally, I highly appreciate my team for their hard work and dedication in making all NPL Road Shows a grand success.

 

Team Grafica

Team Grafica

 

14 point to become successful in printing

August 29, 2010 6 comments

Hi folks,

Received a nice SMS from one of my friend which had a good management lesson so I thought to share with you because most of the time we loose our temper for no reason. But now you got the solution.

A profound and breakthrough thought:
“If U can’t change the ‘Person’
Then
‘Change’ the person..!!

Also few important points to share with all my students because I am noticing this as a regular problem with all the new comers. So kindly read them carefully because these points may help you to be a successful person in life.

1. Take up printing as your profession only if you love it. It’s a grueling life and only one’s passion to become printer can overcome that. Remember that initially you may need to sacrifice quite a bit, especially your personal life.

2. Printing is nothing but fine art according to me. Printers, on other hand, is that much more. It is a way of life. You need to constantly look for new techniques, ideas and innovations.

3. A successful printer always prints for himself and for his satisfaction.

4. You need to maintain and sustain the efforts and results; and this requires years to resolve, dedication and hard work not just in printing but in every profession.

5. Talent does not matter much, yes frankly I believe that talent is overrated concept. You can cultivate your skills. Anyway, talent is not much use without the other ingredients – hard work, keeping oneself focused and staying motivated.

6. There are talented printers, there are hardworking printers, there are smart printer and there are printers who are great in getting access. However, it’s rare to find someone who possesses all these qualities.

7. Concentrate in quality rather getting quantity. Keep patience because that’s the key towards success.

8. Never get tired of failures, keep experimenting and develop new ideas.

9. Competition is healthy:
Once I was waking on a beach early morning all alone. I was assuming my waking speed was very fast unless someone overtook me.

Competition in business or amongst students is the same because it make you realize what you are and where you currently stand, competition alway strives you to deliver your best.

10. Academics are important:
Education helps you understand the basic of social behavior and also teaches how to write and talk, which is very important to launch a new career.

11. Experience is the best teacher
Read a lot. Develop a systematic reading habit in your life. But remember that experience is your best teacher, especially when it come to printing. You need to carve your own space in the organization, which happens only with time.

12. One should alway have some hobby in life. All successful person in life has one.

13. Adopt a GURU
It’s unfortunate that India does not have a history of printing education. To overcome this problem, I recommend you should assist someone. Your GURU will not only guide you and help you develop your skills, but also let you access high-end equipment.

14. If you respect your colleagues, seniors and customers, you will be respected by them.

So, relax and enjoy this beautiful rainy Sunday.

Good news and ideas are on the way so keep in touch.

Bhargav

Screen Printing @2500 to 4000 sq-ft per hour

Hi Folks,

When I came back from FESPA Munich show I had sent an email to Michel that lot of Indian printers think that Digital is taking over Screen business and that’s not true. Now let’s here from our GURU what he has to say about this myth.

———————————————————————————————-

I deny and I cannot follow you totally in your pessimistic approach of the screen printing market : first of all, what is true in Europe and USA, is quite different in Asia, South and Central Americas and India of course, but remember once again : what we see in all our “mostly Visual Communication” Shows, as FESPA, SGIA, etc. “graphic, POP, sign” – represent in the world only 20% of screen printing applications ! 35% are in textile and 45% in industrial such as electronic, glass and ceramic, automotive, containers, etc. = 80% of screen applications quite alive and developing.

But only a few shows concern textile (FESPA Textile included) and almost none, except very specialized segments, concern industrial applications. Those applications are most of time in hand of powerful and secret industrial groups using screen as a part of their manufacturing process. And, as I know as consultant, quite often relatively secret.

These parts of screen extend and develop every day new application (cf. solar cells, RFID or nanotechnologies) but for the above reason, despite we try a lot, FESPA or even SGIA cannot reach directly this segments for their exhibitions. As a result, the visitors – printers or services provided – “SEE” Visual communication – now pretty much digital – and have the feeling that screen is disappearing.

The manufacturers in screen, at the noticeable exception of GRAFICA in India (you know that company?) cannot innovate all the time in graphic technology and ink manufacturers work for both digital and screen (graphic, textile, industrial). This, plus the demand of the market explains that ! But, there are adjacent and often perverse effects:

* The Western countries are widely in over capacities of production for a graphic print market not so extensible and even reducing – crisis oblige – those last two years.

* After a few years and often only months, many purely digital companies, big or small, goes to bankruptcy in Europe and USA.

* As 50% of wide format digital is, from the beginning 1994/95, in the hand of companies of which the core business was or still is screen printing, many of them start to re-use their screen press and often buy new screen equipments, multicolor and big size, because financially more profitable than digital.

* The market of digitally printed items, as it concerns smaller quantities, often customized, needs a ver strong sales force simply because you need several times more staff and more numerous customers, with often the necessity to react very fast with extremely short delivery times.

* If we take DOG (direct on garment), my 45 audits proved me that the “big producers” are totally uninterested in all the companies and countries I audited: too slow – 10 to 20 times slower than screen carrousels or even long tables !

* Here my position is that DOG is a very different market to sale differently to specific and different customers by the net for example.

For the graphic market, my position did not changed since 15 years : I do believe that screen and digital are complementary and help us to offer a more complete service to the customer and end-user. It is up to us to choose the best technique (and most cost effective) to serve the customer needs : he is only interested in the efficiency of images of POP and sign items to sell his products… not in the manner it is produced or printed !

Lot of special loves to all my Indian friends and fans.

Michel Caza

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So to all my industry friends who had asked me this question about Screen vs Digital I hope you must be satisfied to certain extend about the power of screen printing.

To be honest my company Grafica sold screen printing machines to more than 10 hardcore digital printers since 2009 Jan. Why I am specifically mentioning them because they were purely digital printer and started their business from digital machines and have entered into screen printing, think it over WHY they required to go for screen after you feel digital is taking over screen?. In fact here it says that screen is taking over digital…

I also see many customers approaching us for screen printing machines for signage business. That means signage business in India is growing in screen printing due to higher quantity, faster speed, good outdoor life of ink, better durability, lower cost of print and many more other advantages.

Can you imagine with an investment of approx. less than Rs. 75 lakhs (or less than approx. 160,000 USD) in screen printing setup you can print 2500 to 4000 sq. ft. per hour. which presently no digital machines can offer considering with this investment cost.

So be smarter and have a meaningful week.

Bhargav

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