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Old June 20th, 2009, 02:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
Eric Eric is offline
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Unhappy Need some advice ...

Hey all ...

So I bought a screen printing setup, seeing as overkill is my middle name, I bought a Vastex 8 color 8 station AHD press package, loaded, with the micro pin registration, laser alignment, an inferno flash unit, and a JetForce 180 gas dryer. Fast Rip Pro, and an Epson 7880 printer, and whatever else goodies the sales rep said I should have.

My press was delivered and setup in February, well, its now June, (almost July) and I've used it probably 5 or 6 times. I can never get things the way I want, and I'm getting frustrated, I do all the recommended stuff, use the right mesh, and I still get crap. I always get globs of ink in the designs, or it smears, for some reason we keep tearing the screens.

According to Vastex, with that setup, I should be able to cruise. Like 400 an hour, I don't think we even come close to half that.

Embroidery is my main business and I own a DTG, I do a lot of custom very small runs, usually less than 10 shirts. I've always subbed out my big jobs, Well the guy I normally sub to, closed his shop and retired. So thats when I decided to buy a setup of my own.

Well, now, I have a customer come to me with a print job, a pretty big one too, so I tried to sub it out, cause it was a little bigger than I was comfortable tackling, but the guy I subbed it to gave me a hard time about price, so I want your opinion. The shirt was a regular (black) stock Gildan G2000 nothing special Ultra cotton T. It was white ink on black T. A design aprox 5"x7" on the front, and a full back of text, it was setup like a concert tour shirt. They wanted 3,500 copies. What in your mind is a "fair" price for that qty and just white on black.

My Sub guy quoted $8.25 a shirt, I thought that was A LOT. His justification was that the run was so big, he would have to use his Automatic press, so it was more expensive. I would think Automatic would make it cheaper, no???? I do understand that white ink on a black t has to be done twice, print, flash, yada yada yada I get that part. I still thought $8.25 was a lot given the quantity.

I don't want to do 3,500 copes on my DTG, cause its a pure white design, and might end up costing me $7,500 in ink and dopant. Plus I can only do about 75 - 100 pieces an hour on darks.

Anyway, I'm probably going to end up attempting the job myself. After all I do have a nice setup I suppose I should actually USE.

I guess it was rather a hasty decision on my part, I just don't have the time to learn it and get good at it. Plus, I never really thought it would take more than one person to run efficiently, I guess I thought it was an embroidery machine, where one person should be able to run 15-20 heads without much issue.

I know everything has a learning curve, I can't tell you the things I destroyed when I first started embroidering.

I will freely admit, patience is NOT one of my virtues... I want Rome ... Built this afternoon ... Boxed, gift wrapped in tiffany paper ... And Delivered by morning.

Whats your take on this?
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Old June 20th, 2009, 02:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
directioneast directioneast is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice ...

Wow, with a setup like you have, you should be getting top notch results. I have the vastex 8/8. Your problems can stem from a number of things. I would suggest going to a seminar. Even if you learn basic one and two color work, that isn't very hard. Your screens should not be ripping. Are they old or new? You may have too much off contact. Make sure that you keep it at about 1/8 of an inch if your screens are good. Do you have a good emulsion and stencil to start? Try thinning back your ink a bit and make sure your left and right pitch are even because that can lead to ink blotching on one side or another. Look at your image when you print and see if you are getting all the ink pushed through, that will tell you what is wrong usually. If they set the press up, everything should be pretty much level. But double check by making sure all your plattens are level, side to side and front to back.

As for your large production run. I'll sub contract that if you want. 8.25 is too high for sure.
reach me at [email address] if you are interested.

where is your shop? I may know of some distributors near by, they usually give good advise as well.
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Old June 20th, 2009, 01:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
directioneast directioneast is offline
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p.s make sure you have enough sticky on your shirt boards. I use a waterbased glue, most people use spray (which is crap and a waste of money) but your shirts could possibly be moving on you as well.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 01:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
dangig dangig is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice ...

ERIC u must teach me the world of silk screen i have so many requests just no clue how to do it and i need rome built in like 30 minutes lol.. i have no patience thats why i have so many embroidery heads. why do 48 pc order on a 6 head when u can do it on 4 12 heads lol.. get it done in 5 minutes..
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 01:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice ...

I've done a 25pc order on a 30 Head ....

I know what you mean!
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 10:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
mudturtle mudturtle is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice ...

There are so many variables as to what is going on in your shop. My advise is to find someone to come in and possibly consult for you. Go over your shop from dept. to dept. and find some cost cutting areas and things that just need to be done different. How experienced are your printers? Do you have any printing experience or just the embroidery side. Check with your local supplier for ideas, Im in Ohio but im always willing to take a trip and spend a couple days to help get your guys on the right track.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 06:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice ...

We run VERY lean, I have a good crew for embroidery, and DTG, none of us have tried and true screen printing experience though. I'm considering some options right now.

I will keep you posted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudturtle
There are so many variables as to what is going on in your shop. My advise is to find someone to come in and possibly consult for you. Go over your shop from dept. to dept. and find some cost cutting areas and things that just need to be done different. How experienced are your printers? Do you have any printing experience or just the embroidery side. Check with your local supplier for ideas, Im in Ohio but im always willing to take a trip and spend a couple days to help get your guys on the right track.
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