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First big order for our MP5

4926 Views 25 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Karl T
We should complete our first large order on our MP5, or at least what I consider large, tomorrow.

220 Light Grey t-shirts, 2 sided, Delta Ringspun Brand Shirts, no white or pretreat required. So this means 440 prints (220 per side).

So far here is what I discovered...

Shirt run times are 50 sec for the front, and about 1:05 for the back. I ran all the fronts first, and now the back.

We are getting anywhere from 25 - 30 prints per hour, and I figure we will have about 12-14 hours into the total job. Based on the weight of the ink cartridges, between print batches I figured the front print was costing around 8.5 cents per shirt.

I am printing in batches of 25, and watching for any banding that may start to form. About every 25-40 prints I run a quick nozzle check, and if needed a level 1 clean. Keep the maintenance station clean, this helps a good bit too.

My main issue, that might come up is air in the lines, which can cause the banding, but the lines and ink levels have been going fine, but I keep an eye on it.

We have been getting really good print results, and I like the Delta Ringspun shirts, they seem to print really well.

200 shirts, two-sides takes longer than you think, but it is possible to turn it around quickly and give a quality product.

I just wanted to post our experience with our first big run, if anyone has any questions I will try to answer them.

Attached a few picks of the design, they are not the best, but gives you an idea of the print.



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I just did 300 shirts front and back over the weekend, so I know what you mean by 2 sides take longer than you think. It wasn't an Anajet, but it was with a dtg printer. What helped me was I would do them in batches according to size, then print the opposite side. I knew for sure that size was done. I did a count at the same time. Print xx amount, after that was up, I should have been out of that size. Then did it again with the second side to confirm. Overall it went really smooth, but I was ready to sleep after that one!

Congrats! I enjoy seeing people not afraid to take on larger orders with dtg.
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Thanks for the reply, just out of curiosity, what are the print times for the DTG you are using, in shirts per hour?


Did you heat press or tunnel dry? As i find if i do a double sided print with heat press back and front can stick together? Or is it just me?
Nice work so crisp and clean on print.
We should complete our first large order on our MP5, or at least what I consider large, tomorrow.
Thanks for the informative post Chad! Good to see a post about a successful profitable order rather than all these problems :) Out of interest, what were the rip settings you used for the back of the shirts? Looked like some quite small text on some of those logos.

Good work and heres to many more profitable MP5 jobs :)
Thanks for the reply, just out of curiosity, what are the print times for the DTG you are using, in shirts per hour?

There were three sized graphics. The first was 8.5"x14.5" and it was 55 seconds. The second was 12"x5" and was 25 seconds. The third was a left chest design but I bumped it up one step in resolution and it was about 20 seconds. With cycle times, loading and unloading, etc., it ended up being about 10 hours for the entire job, so approximately 60 shirts an hour on average.
That's awesome!
Do you mind if I ask how much you charged per shirt for an order that size with prints on the front and back?

Congratulations on a successful job!
Thanks for the replies.

The settings I used in the rip were the default, normal, medium, I didn't adjust any color settings.

We finished the remaining shirts last night. I have probably 16 hours in the job.

The customer supplied the shirts. So based on that,I charged them
7.00 per shirt, x 220 shirts, so at that I figured it comes out to around
96.00 per hour rate.

Had they not supplied the shirt I probably would have charged 10.00 per shirt.
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congrats on getting that price, no one around me would pay that for 220 shirts even if dtg.

said your only getting 25-30 an hour i guess that from the machine being down when you unload and than have to reload the next shirt and hit print. Do you really have to do a clean after everyhour. i thought the mp did like 50 an hour. I just got done with a 600 piece front and back and was pushing 50 an hour including folding and boxign up.
We are still figuring pricing and making adjustments, we know we cant compete with screeners for 1-2 colors on price and we dont really care to, we know we have something that is or can be a better solution for the extra cost.

I didnt clean every 25 shirts it was probably more every 50-60, and it wasnt a major cleaning, it mas more just doing nozzle checks making sure they were not banding, and checking the lines. I was probably overly paranoid for this first order.

The max I think we did in an our was probably 40-45, we figured every, 1:50 or so we had a completed shirt (1 side) :50 or so to print
:45 or so heat press time. So while one was being pressed the next was loaded and printing, it worked well. This is an MP5 so I think we are close to the expected volume.
Congrats and thanks for the info CHAD! Im frigin jealous!

I'll actually be spitting out a smaller job today of about 48 shirts. I'll post my results as well. This is usefull information. Did you do anything unqiue or different to the instructions as far as heat pressing treating the shirt prior to printing? I've experimented on 4 shirts all white. one white shirts had light garment pretreat I had leftover from our previous DTG printer. I was gentle with the amount I sprayed on with a had held spray bottle. I let it sit for a few minutes while I treated the next shirt or two. then I heat pressed it and printed it right away. one pass of black in the default medium settings. RESULTS: perfect black. After washign and drying? perfect black. (I heat pressed at 335 on my Geo Knight for 90 sec. with pretty good pressure). Next shirt I treated with a gentle amount of dark garment pretreat I sprayed on with a had held spray bottle. single pass with default settings. RESULT: same as the first shirt. Then I printed a shirt with light garment pretreat just as the first shirt and this time did one pass using the SPEED setting....then ran a second pass using the default medium setting. RESULT: PERFECT! the last shirt I did the same as the third shirt except I tried dark garment pretreat and did a single pass in the SPEED setting adn the second pass in the default Medium setting. RESULT: PERFECT! I lastly did one for good measure with no pretreat single pass in default MEDIUM. RESULT: not what I expect to sell at car shows and demand 17 -20 bucks a shirt for.

In my humble opinion to get good results: 1. the quality of the garment your printing on will need to be considered 2. Using some form of pretreat to open up those fibers will be something I willl do. Keep in mind its a light sprayo fo treatment not like you would do with dark garments. 3. make sure you heat press with plenty of pressure. Not doing so will not allow the inks to get into those fibers and marry them. Hope it helps.

Thanks again for the info CHAD! I'm a have one for you this evening.
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Looks like you need a second heat press. With your print time and counting loading/unloading you could probably up your output by a third. Nice report.
Looks like you need a second heat press. With your print time and counting loading/unloading you could probably up your output by a third. Nice report.
I agree, I wouldn't want to try a large order without 2 heat presses.
For this order An extra press would not have helped, unless it was used to Pre-press the shirts. The print time and press were so close it was about perfect timing. Now if these were white ink, yes the printer would have overrun the press probably.
You mentioned a print time of under 1:05. With a cure time of 1:30(on a single press) I would think that with a little experience you'll be able to load and unload and set your production goal a little higher. My issue with the FP-125 is that it's tough to load XX and XX and get them strait, but I can still get 20 per hour with an average print size. With your larger board and possibly a quick crease, you should be able to beat that. Think about it.... in a farely busy shop an extra 10 shirts per hour will go a long way to pay for another machine and multiple presses, or if you prefer, give you more time to sell at a better volume price. Do you have aprofit goal per hour that you base your prices on?
Actually.. the shirt print time was about 50 - 60 seconds, and the press was set at 350 for 45 seconds, so there was not a lot of time the press was empty, but it worked out just right.

If I can reach 75.00+ per hour running the machine that is good for me, we are a small shop, so we handle it for now, if the volume increases we would hire a full time person, then I would probably want to make sure the runs are a little more profitable.
do some wash tests, but based on the DuPont inks for the FP-125 & Sprint (more carrier in the ink) i've found that a cure of 90 seconds at 330 degrees does better...even though AnaJet says you can also cure for 36 seconds at 360 degrees. it's not that they are wrong, but i've had better wash results with the longer cure time.

now, if i'm doing a left chest print AND a back, i may cure the fronts at the quicker time since i know that curing the backs at the longer time will also add some cure time to the fronts.

with 2 heat presses, you're never waiting to load a shirt. and when you get to dark shirts, you can pretreat with one press and cure with the other. otherwise, why pay all that extra money for a faster printer if you are held up at the heat press. these are suggestions, not criticisms.
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I completely understand and appreciate your comments.

We are definitely in the learning process, we started this with no DTG experience, we have plenty of web / graphic design and traditional screen design experience but none with DTG.

So all this is put out there for learning and experience.
Awesome Job, We just got our MP5 and cant wait to get an order like that.
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