screen printing

Best Practices for Screen Printers and Machine Operators

Aaron is a screen printer, educator, and regional sales representative for T&J Printing Supply. Aaron uses his 10 plus years of experience in the industry as a printer and production manager to help his clients accelerate their companies growth by working with them to understand new products and best practices. His goal is to help them become the most efficient and quality-focused decorators they can be. Connect with Aaron at AaronH@tandjprintingsupply.com

1. Thou Shall Read The Work Order….Then Read It Again

A good work order should leave a press operator with no questions about the job they are going to tackle next. Quantities, print locations, ink colors, size of the design, etc. should be easy to identify to an operator. Printers racing all over the shop with half filled out work orders to ask questions that should be right in front of them has to be one of the biggest time killers in our industry. Take the time to create an informative and thorough work order and take the time to read and fully understand the next job before diving in.  

2. Thou Shall Keep A Clean and Organized Work Space

Screen printing can be a dirty business. A busy production floor can very quickly turn into an ink-covered war zone over the course of a day. Don’t add to the chaos. Take the time to organize your workstation and restage it after every job. Keep food and beverages away from customer garments. Replacing a stack of garments soaked in the morning latte that was supposed to carry you through the day is no fun for anyone. Keep your tools well stocked. Scissors, rags, tape, tack, etc. should all be checked and restocked before the next run.

3. Thou Shall Take Care Of Your Equipment

A relationship between a press and an operator can be a complicated thing. No matter how you feel about your current gear, taking the time to do routine maintenance will only result in a more positive work experience for yourself. Take an hour and clean ink, replace filters, grease bearings, and level platens. These machines are our vehicles to generate business. If they’re not spinning the business isn’t making money. Preventative maintenance will pay huge dividends in way of time saved fixing emergency press fixes. Take a look at your press before starting your next job. Is it in need of a tune-up? Presses need love too!