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The more screens one has does not make them more efficient or profitable. In fact, the extra screens you have sitting around may as well be $20 bills littering your shop.

One could argue anyone who has more screens than it takes to simultaneously print jobs while the previous job's screen are being readied for the job after is wasting money, and space. For example, for me a 5 color press = 10 screens. I see a shop with 100 screens stored and i see $1,000 of assets wasting away.

And this notion of storing a customers screen for a year in case of reorders is ridiculous. Why would I want to take up all that space and $10-20 in assets when I can burn then another screen for less than a $1?
 

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I have a six color manual, probably about 35 screens now...with about 6-8 of them crappy wooden ones that I originally started with years ago that I probably am going to be throwing out this weekend when I am cleaning up.

I agree with splathead to an extent that too many screens is a waste of money, and it does kind of make me lazy in delaying me from cleaning and reclaiming them.

I think you need more than 2 sets though (at least for me) because of different mesh. I have a 6-pack of 305's for 4-color process printing, a bunch of 230s for printing thinned ink as well as over flashed base coats, 110s & 156s for thicker deposits, and a handfull of very open meshes for specialty inks.

All mine are static though, so maybe you need less if you use retensionable? I'm going to try some Newman roller frames out very soon, so maybe that will cut back on how many are needed.

-Nick
 

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I have 6 roller frames for my 6 color vastex. Plenty for me, because I dont store frames. However I have probably around 25 mesh panels for my roller frames.


GREAT question!

Also, I have a 6 color vastex, 4 color "blue" press, and 1 color "blue" press.
Long story, but the 1 color "blue" press makes me more money then anything and runs at 99.9% gross margin...crazy. Wish everything was like that!
 

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How much are mesh panels, roughly. Do you clean your screens after each use, or just toss?
They are $15 to $20 depending on the mesh that I use.

Yeah I clean them up after I know the job is 100% done and reuse. Still have the very first one that I bought 6-12 months ago. They seem to get better with use, because now when I tighten down the older ones they hardly lose any tension from start to finish.

Sometimes if I am in a bind I will pull of a panel and put a clean one on, so that I can process another job. Have even pulled one off and put it back on to reuse. Dont think that you could do a multi color job that touches color, but single color jobs have no problem re-tensioning.

Lastly, I have zero future plans to buy more mesh panels. I plan on these working for many, many jobs...unless I somehow manage to damage one.

Thanks for the question.
 

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You ever wonder why the mesh alone costs as much as a complete standard screen?
I have never prices plain mesh, but I am sure that it is less then mesh panels. I just did not have time to learn that whole process and the panels are a breeze.

Also you might spend twice as much on a roller frame/mesh panel compared to just a static frame...but knowing that I will always be able to tighten tension as well as what it has done to my whites, it was well worth the purchase.
 

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The more screens one has does not make them more efficient or profitable. In fact, the extra screens you have sitting around may as well be $20 bills littering your shop.

One could argue anyone who has more screens than it takes to simultaneously print jobs while the previous job's screen are being readied for the job after is wasting money, and space. For example, for me a 5 color press = 10 screens. I see a shop with 100 screens stored and i see $1,000 of assets wasting away.

And this notion of storing a customers screen for a year in case of reorders is ridiculous. Why would I want to take up all that space and $10-20 in assets when I can burn then another screen for less than a $1?


There is no way to effectively run a production-minded shop with only 2x the amount of screens that your press can hold. I have 1 auto and 1 manual. I've have close to 200 screens. Every job calls for different meshes, and different numbers of screens. In my shop we burn the next days screens the day before, as do most shops, going through between 15-40 screens per day. The bottom line is you make money when your press is running, and if you are waiting on screens that are in reclaim/coat/dry stages, your press isnt making money. The down time costs you 100 times what the screens and storage cost in the long run. Now if you are a hobbyist, then I can see having less screens....but even at that, I don't think I could get by with only 2x the screens, just based on needing different mesh counts alone.
 

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I agree with you. You can't look at a screen sitting in a corner as a $20 bill laying around. It's not wasted. It's revenue potential, not cost. Yes there is a point at which having too many screens becomes a waste, but you have to look at printing volumes and printing types.

Thanks for an eloquent presentation of the considerations.
There is no way to effectively run a production-minded shop with only 2x the amount of screens that your press can hold. I have 1 auto and 1 manual. I've have close to 200 screens. Every job calls for different meshes, and different numbers of screens. In my shop we burn the next days screens the day before, as do most shops, going through between 15-40 screens per day. The bottom line is you make money when your press is running, and if you are waiting on screens that are in reclaim/coat/dry stages, your press isnt making money. The down time costs you 100 times what the screens and storage cost in the long run. Now if you are a hobbyist, then I can see having less screens....but even at that, I don't think I could get by with only 2x the screens, just based on needing different mesh counts alone.
 

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I have over 400 screens in rotation. we reclaim 60 to 100 per day. I am constantly restretching screens (average of 15 per week) when i let the rotation fall to a point of 200, screens start wearing out faster making it very hard to keep up with stretching. I think any shop should have enough screens to get through several days of production without having to reclaim. In this building we have 3 autos and 1 manual.
 

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There is no way to effectively run a production-minded shop with only 2x the amount of screens that your press can hold. I have 1 auto and 1 manual. I've have close to 200 screens. Every job calls for different meshes, and different numbers of screens. In my shop we burn the next days screens the day before, as do most shops, going through between 15-40 screens per day. The bottom line is you make money when your press is running, and if you are waiting on screens that are in reclaim/coat/dry stages, your press isnt making money. The down time costs you 100 times what the screens and storage cost in the long run. Now if you are a hobbyist, then I can see having less screens....but even at that, I don't think I could get by with only 2x the screens, just based on needing different mesh counts alone.
I can understand both sides, but someone could easily argue that you cannot effectively run a shop with multiple process running at the same time. The larger the operation the larger room for waste (mainly time and motion).

I feel like I effectively run my operation with 6 screens and you feel the same about your 200.

When it comes down to it the same amount of time is spent preping, printing, and cleaning (per screen). The main difference is that you are batching a lot of operations and overlapping when I am processing with a "one piece flow" method.

I am not in anyway saying your method is incorrect, but rather different then my process. That is the great thing about it...I will make mine work, just like you will make yours!
 

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I can understand both sides, but someone could easily argue that you cannot effectively run a shop with multiple process running at the same time. The larger the operation the larger room for waste (mainly time and motion).

I feel like I effectively run my operation with 6 screens and you feel the same about your 200.

When it comes down to it the same amount of time is spent preping, printing, and cleaning (per screen). The main difference is that you are batching a lot of operations and overlapping when I am processing with a "one piece flow" method.

I am not in anyway saying your method is incorrect, but rather different then my process. That is the great thing about it...I will make mine work, just like you will make yours!

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by overlapping processes at the same time. I think if you spent much time in a well-run large shop, you would know there is very little waste. They can't afford to have wastes, their margins per shirt are much lower than the small shops.

In my original statement I was referring to production-minded shops, where there are volume orders going out the door everyday. I have absolutely no clue how to effectively run a hobbyist setup, nor would I know how to make it profitable. But my guess is, if a production manager for a large shop showed up at most mom and pop operations, he could easily cut their costs by 20-40% or more. He knows how to be profitable because his job requires him to be much more efficient than the average printer because his margins are so much lower.

Having 6 screens may work for some small shops and hobbyists, but if you think about it, in the time it took you to repanel your mesh, recoat your screen, wait for the screen to dry, shoot the screen, and finally set up the screen, I just printed 2K shirts, and you have let a couple of hours go by with nothing to do and your electric meter was running the whole time....add up all that electricity at the emd of the year and figure up how many used Newman M-3's you could have bought. Just something to think about.
 

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How much are mesh panels, roughly. Do you clean your screens after each use, or just toss?

Correct, 15-20 bucks per panels, some panels for even cheaper. I know of a few venors who are blowing them out in random sizes.

Also keep in mind if you have mesh sitting around, you can send it into the vendor and have the add the plastic stripping.

Keep in mind that most distributors are doing their best to keep inventories lean, so often if inventory items sit for more than a few months, they begin to blow them out at great prices.

I advise when buying panels, through a distributor always ask if they have any deals on older inventory.

Note: new to the forums so i am not sure if i can tell you the vendors, bare with me until i get the hang
 
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