Size: 1,060 square feet
Technology is rapidly changing the screen room. Computer-to-screen systems, LED exposure units and automatic screen coaters and washers have turned one of the more labor-intensive facets of the craft into a machine-driven operation. Nevertheless, more-than-adequate space and organization are crucial for efficient production.
Screen Room: (See the digital infographic here) http://www.wearables-digital.com/publication/?i=273487&p=42
1-CT: “I like big screen rooms. I like to make room for potential growth. You need to have about three days’ worth of screens. As you get busier, you have to add screens to that. Jamming things into a screen room is just ridiculous.”
2-CT: “There’s always a wet and dry room, which I don’t think enough shops actually separate, but they should. If you don’t have an automatic washer, ideally you’d like to put in two sinks – one for reclaiming and ink degradement, the other one for developing and degreasing.”
3-CT: “If you have a floor drain, that’s great. Some shops actually cut through the cement to create a floor drain so as things spill out, which they will, they can just squeegee them into the floor drain.”
4-The most advanced computer-to-screen systems expose screens too, which might make a standalone exposure unit redundant. But if your CTS is off line or needs fixing, an LED exposure unit will keep the presses humming.
5-Maintaining humidity in a screen room is crucial, particularly during those hot, sweaty months. Run a dehumidifier to keep the moisture under control – 30% is a good target.
6-CT: “I like heated drying cabinets. Whether you buy them or build your own is not an issue to me. The thing with heated drying cabinets is you can force dry your screens very quickly, both after you coat them and after you wash them out.”
7-CT: “I would keep my metal halide lamp as a backup, but I would spend my money for an LED system right off the bat because it will pay for itself.”
8-DZ: “For shops that do a significant number of screens in a day – 50-100 – a computer-to-screen system is a no-brainer. It would be difficult to justify doing it the old way when you see the potential savings doing it this way.”
9-CT: “I like to have curtains between my rooms instead of doors cause you can just push right through the curtains. They should be like the curtains you see at a loading dock.”
10-Why the extra square footage? Large automatic machines (particularly the industrial-sized autowasher) take up a lot of space. In addition, extra space enables plenty of storage, and the ability to stage jobs for the day.