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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am shopping for a pretreatment machine and would like to hear from Lawson Express or Lawson Select owners if they would be willing to share.

1. In practice, how large of a usable area can you spray? The GT-782 will print edge to edge 16 x 18, will the Lawson units cover that space with no feathered edges for good prints? What about the 14 x 16 sized prints?

2. How is the quality and density of the pretreatment coverage? Does it need to be touched up with a roller/brush/second pass spray?

3. What does your shop and machine look like after treating 25-50 shirts in a row? Is there significant overspray that exits the machine either through the edges of the machine where fluid may build up or through waste tank exits?

4. How is the maintenance on the machine? What is the average rate of clogging for the nozzles and is there a filter that needs to be maintained? How difficult is nozzle maintenance?

5. How reliable is your machine? Do you find it needs to be babied or is it a workhorse and never needs extra care? What is the longest run you have pushed through the machine in one session?

6. Do you dress the platen or do your lay your shirts on the platen? How hard do you find it to treat sleeves of t-shirts?

We currently own an Equipment Zone SpeedTreater which worked well for us the last two years but it feels like we have outgrown the unit with the larger print sizes available to us. Hence we are looking at the ViperXPT and the Lawson Select as possible replacements in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You should also request Viper XPT owner feedback as well.

Good idea to talk to owners and not "salesman" that may be completely biased in who's PT machine they recommend you buy.
To make things easier for others who want the same information I split the posts. One covers the Viper XPT and the other the Lawson Select/Express products.

My intention was that instead of owners comparing the products, they would post their responses pertaining to just the machine in the thread.
 

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We have been using the Lawson Pre-Treat machine since early April. The only challenge that we have experienced is the pre-treat build up on the spray nozzle. I will say that Lawson has been very helpful in all aspects of helping us out and providing us guidance to minimize the issue. They also have just started selling their own brand of pre-treat that is working very well for us (and it is less expensive than the pre-treat we were buying). Other than purging the lines at the end of the day and cleaning the nozzle periodically, we have had no issues. There is a small filter in the cannister that contains the pre-treat solution but we have never HAD to change it, we simply rinse it off and it is fine. I suspect that we will change it after 6 months if we have not needed to do so prior to that. We have not had a coverage issue. When we have a large print to make where we want to be absolutely sure that everything is covered, we simply rotate the shirt 90 degrees and pre-treat it twice. First pass is near the top of the shirt, then press, then second pass mid shirt to bottom, then press. We place directly on the platen to treat and it wipes clean very easily. We have had very little issues with the overspray and seldom need to clean the inside of the machine (usually the only time we need to do this is if the spray nozzle clogs a bit and streams the pre-treat to the side).
 

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... but I would suspect the one spray head would give you feathered edges at ultra wide widths anyway...
+1 on that. It will feather.
 

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See my thoughts below:



2. How is the quality and density of the pretreatment coverage? Does it need to be touched up with a roller/brush/second pass spray?

Coverage is pretty good. I think we any one head machine like the lawson you get more spray in the middle and less on the sides. I use a spray bottle to touch up, especially if the imprint is very wide.

3. What does your shop and machine look like after treating 25-50 shirts in a row? Is there significant overspray that exits the machine either through the edges of the machine where fluid may build up or through waste tank exits?

Not too bad. There is alot of overspray (waste and it costs you money) but its not going to be all over the shop.

4. How is the maintenance on the machine? What is the average rate of clogging for the nozzles and is there a filter that needs to be maintained? How difficult is nozzle maintenance?

Not much maintenance. Once a week for filters and nozzles is more than enough.

5. How reliable is your machine? Do you find it needs to be babied or is it a workhorse and never needs extra care? What is the longest run you have pushed through the machine in one session?

Done hundreds in a day. I think the thing is a workhorse. Does it spray a 14 x 16 area perfectly uniform? No. But I'm not sure what is better on the market. Most of these companies are new to it. If a company in the car or furniture business (where spray finishes need to be flawless) got into this I think they could do well. But somebody like Lawson and all the others out there have been making screen printing stuff for the last 100years.

6. Do you dress the platen or do your lay your shirts on the platen? How hard do you find it to treat sleeves of t-shirts?

Just lay it on. I treat sleeves with a spray bottle.
 
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