Earth Day Week Day 2 – Press & Utilities
Today is day 2 of 5 in which we discuss ways to mitigate your environmental impact in a screen shop, in observance of Earth Day 2018.
Yesterday we discussed how basic purchasing decisions can affect your environmental impact. Today we will talk about how to buying the right machine the first time will improve your footprint, as well as pointers on lowering your utility bill.
The product that you have the most control over is the press you are operating. When first purchasing a machine, buy the best one you can afford. While you can get inexpensive presses, you’ll probably quickly learn that you wish you’d have gotten a better one. Cheap presses don’t hold onto their value very well, so you might end up tossing it instead of selling at a huge loss. Meanwhile, a good quality manual press will make your jobs easier and hold value incredibly well over many years. What you’re looking to do is future-proof your setup – look for a press with as many colors and stations as you can afford, with micro-registration and as many tool-free adjustments as possible. The Workhorse Mach has tool-free off-contact, tilt, and micro-registration adjustment. You can purchase pallet brackets separately so you can make your own specialty pallets if you’d like.
When properly maintained, good quality screen presses can last decades and still create quality finished products. Be sure to read your equipment manual and see what regular maintenance needs to be performed, and do it. If you are running an automatic press, have a technician come and tune up the machine as needed to keep it running as well as it can.
How much electricity and gas are you running, and more importantly, how much are you wasting? Do you turn on your dryer right when you show up, and have it running at full bore even before your press is set up? Turn your dryer on so it’s ready right on time – depending on the type of dryer you have it might take 5 minutes or it might take 20 to get to temperature. Only have your flash unit on when you’re doing a job that requires a flash. When you’re done for the day, turn your compressor and press off completely. You don’t need the air pressure when you’re not running the machine.