Garment screen printers who use automatic presses do so because the units are able to handle high-volume jobs and produce steady, repeatable output. The machines are designed to save time by automatically carrying out user-defined operating parameters, such as off-contact, squeegee pressure and stroke length, and more. Automatic garment presses offer a way to streamline the production workflow, but additional efficiencies are possible.
M&R designed its new Z-Series line of automatic garment presses with sophisticated controls to further reduce the time needed to set up a job run and components that can increase productivity, print speeds, and quality. M&R says the Z-Series Challenger and Gauntlet automatic presses also feature significant advances in user-friendly operation.
Challenger Z is available in 12-, 14-, 16-, and 18-color models with a 20 x 28-in. (508 x 711-mm) maximum image area. Gauntlet Z is available in 12- and 14-color models with a 16 x 22-in. (406 x 559-mm) maximum image area. Challenger II, Challenger II OS, and Gauntlet II automatic textile presses also remain available.
A touchscreen monitor uses direct digital control to operate features such as off-contact, stroke length, flood and squeegee speed, and flash curing. Z-Series presses come standard with servo-driven indexers, electric printheads, digitally controlled stroke length, pneumatic and mechanical squeegee-pressure control, tool-free calibrated angle adjustments, and compatibility with prepress registration systems like M&R's Tri-Loc and Double Tri-Loc.
Z-Series presses also feature touchscreen-controlled, servo-driven central off-contact and independent mechanical head off-contact, which increases individual head off-contact adjustment by a total of 5/16 in. (8.0 mm) in increments of 1/64 in. (0.40 mm). M&R says individual head off-contact is invaluable when printing thick inks or specialty inks like gels and high-density formulations.
Job recall is another feature that can improve print consistency and simplify job setup and changeover. It allows storage and retrieval of various functions and settings, such as print and flood speeds, front and rear carriage-stop positions, and more. Direct digital control allows these and other print parameters to be used as an overall default or to be shared with other printheads at the touch of a button. The operator can assign an alphanumeric name to that group of settings as soon as all job parameters have been entered and then store the settings in the press's memory. The next time a similar job goes to press, the operator can simply call up that job name and let the press automatically handle the rest. If a new job is similar to a stored job, but different in one or more aspects, the operator can modify some settings and store the new job's settings under another name.
M&R's Automatic Pallet Pre-Heat mode with built-in platen-temperature sensor allows operators to bring platens to the desired temperature and track those temperatures throughout the production run. And M&R's new Z-Series flash-cure units allow operators to make adjustments on-the-fly from the main control panel. Z-Series presses are also pre-wired for M&R's Mega-Stamp foil-appliqué system and Midas foil loader.
Other standard features include front and rear microregistration, tool-free adjustable rear screen holders, print start/print finish mode, a countdown program that indicates when the operator-set index count has been reached, an independent print-start/print-finish setting that automatically activates and stops printheads at the beginning and end of production runs, multi-print in the up position, and multiple-print-stroke capability (up to nine strokes). All Z-Series presses also come with M&R's Tru-Blu Ultra-Flat platens.
M&R also has added functions to address some of the issues on press that operators may overlook during production. M&R's Optical No-Shirt Detector is designed to automatically prevent the press from printing on empty platens, reduce misprints, and minimize press stoppage because of improperly loaded shirts. The company's Revolver Print Program automatically operates individual printheads in programmed sequence and allows multiple flashing without losing a printing position. Finally, the Ink Dip System allows the operator to pick up ink that has run past the flood bar by setting the squeegee to periodically move beyond the set stroke length. The operator can set the number of print cycles between each Ink Dip procedure. For more information, contact M&R Sales & Service, Inc., 1 N. 372 Main St., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137, 630-858-6101, 800-736-6431, fax: 630-858-6134, Web: www.mrprint.com.
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