Upgrading from a manual to an automatic press brings the potential for lots of productivity and efficiency, but the investment also buys a lot of variables that you must control in order to see quality at the unloading station. Learning how to navigate the settings and features of some automatics in order to manage those variables often means that shops don’t get maximum productivity from their new presses until long after the equipment is installed.
Lawson Screen and Digital Products developed its Trooper-PC automatic garment press to be user friendly and productive right from the start. According to David Landesman, co-president of the company, the Trooper-PC is a full-featured automatic press that is easy to operate yet sophisticated enough to handle the kind of volumes busy screen printers expect.
The Trooper-PC allows for the use of frames garment printers already have—including those used on their old manual presses—up to 23 x 31 in (584 x 787 mm). It comes standard with front and rear micro-registration, the latter of which Lawson says is essential for critical registration and fast setup. The press features eight-point roller-bearing registration with a seven-year warranty, and it supports an 18-in. (457-mm) print stroke.
Part of the machine’s ease of use stems from its auto-balance squeegee system, which is designed to balance squeegee pressure from side-to-side and front-to-back. The squeegee also will instantly adjust itself to variations in garment thickness and platen heights. The Trooper-PC uses a dual-action aluminum squeegee holder, and the press allows users to simulate manual printing on any printhead where they desire a double print stroke. Squeegee and flood speeds may be controlled independently, and squeegee pressure is self-leveling. Users can change out squeegees with one knob.
The microprocessor-controlled Trooper-PC incorporates Lawson's Flex-Head technology, which allows operators to choose the placement of the printheads. For example, you could move printhead number one to station number eight to print up to six colors and incorporate a flash unit—all without losing the use of the printhead.
Operators manage the Trooper-PC via touch-screen control. A 360-degree rotating boom control box is designed to keep the control screen within easy view and reach of the operator.
Lawson's Quartz Shuttle Flash is designed specifically for use in conjunction with the automatic Lawson Trooper series of screen printing presses. The Trooper-PC comes with two plugs with which users can integrate the flash units. Lawson says the Shuttle Flash moves straight in on rails and slides under the screen, thereby eliminating the need to sacrifice a printhead in order to flash. Operators can activate the flash via Lawson's Auto-Trigger device or by a manually actuated foot pedal.
The Trooper-PC comes standard in four-color/eight-station, six-color/eight-station, and eight-color/ten-station configurations, but it's also compatible with the optional Lawson Equalizer, a system that allows garment printers to add an extra printhead without losing the loading/unloading station. For example, the system allows for a press configuration of six colors/six stations, eight colors/eight stations, or ten colors/ten stations. Lawson says the Equalizer is a clamshell design that pivots up and down automatically, in sync with the print cycle of the press. When not in use, the head stays in the up position. This option must be added at time of original purchase.
Other options include additional printheads, multiple-head double stroke, air compressor, I.R. Hot Shot flash, pre-wiring for modular head configuration, additional dual-action squeegees, frame air clamps, youth and sleeve platens, rubber platen pads, jacket hold-downs, speed-platen system, on-site training, export electric setup, and more. For additional information, contact Lawson Screen and Digital Products, 5110 Penrose St., Saint Louis, MO 63115, 314-382-9300, 800-325-8317, fax: 314-382-3012, e-mail: email@example.com, Web: www.lawsonsp.com.
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