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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

We are a small family owned printing business. We are currently doing some manual screen printing and looking into getting our first auto press.

We will be on vacation in Hilton Head Island from 7/3 to 7/10. I am hoping to find a shop in the Savannah/Hilton Head area that might be willing to let us check out their auto and pick their brains about it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. You can reach me at (478)335-1668 or [email protected]

Thank You
 

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I'm not in the area, but just some questions to ask: What kind of printing are you doing (Target market)? What's your volume like? What capabilities do you need and/or will you need in the future? What's your budget?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi,

Right now we are getting churches, schools and small local companies that are wanting 100-500 shirts normally one or two colors. I think we would be running a lot more of those numbers than say 2000 shirt orders. Easy set up would be a plus but would like something that can handle longer runs if we need to.

We are looking for a fairly low budget machine. We have space but we have only been in the screen printing side of the business for about 8 months so I really don't know what we need. We are early in the research process but we feel like we are in a good location to make it work.

Any advice will be appreciated.
 

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There are some really nice entry level presses on the market today. Most of them can be setup fairly quickly, especially if you're using some kind of preregistration system. I would say take a look at Anatol automatics(Anatol Equipment Manufacturing Company). Specifically the Anatol Horizon or the new Titan. The M&R Diamondback is also a nice entry level machine. I'd say go with at least a 7-8 color machine. I understand that most your work is 1-2 colors but its nice to have the extra colors for cool down stations, flash stations, and so you have more capabilities. You'll also need an air compressor and chiller large enough to power the press. Larger screen frames are usually needed also. Best of luck with everything.
 

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I would recommend looking at the RPM Revolution from Real Performance Machinery. It's not an entry level machine but it is much less than other presses with comparative features so you get much more for less money. And this is an investment, don't just buy the only thing you can afford, look at the next 10-15 years. You don't really want to spend 30K on a press only to have to turn around and buy a new one in 2 years because you've outgrown your first press. Just food for thought, not saying you shouldn't buy an entry level machine, just giving you a different perspective to look at before such a huge purchase.
 

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I guess it all depends on the amount of work you can generate and our company's financial strength. I went with an entry level machine but added all the options I could. I am right at the limit of what I can do with it in terms of colors/heads, but definently not speed.
Even though I went entry level, the cost is extremely high for my generated revenue, especially with the up and down and slow economy. My first year with the press- 08- we did very well and the press easily paid for itself and everything else I needed.
'09 the economy went south, and had just purchased more equipment in Dec 08/ Jen '09. The decision almost put me out of business.
I had to sell everything I bought in '09 except for the auto- my only real revenue generator.
Bottom line is, that little extra 200-250/month plus the extras for the extra- could be enough to sink you. And we're talking about years of financing, not months, unless you pay cash.
If you have 50k cash stashed under your mattress, then it doesn't matter what you buy, you're strong enough to make it work- imho.
 
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