How to Approach Repairs on a Screen-Printing Press

Read this advice on dealing with major repairs and service options for screen printing presses.

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If your screen-printing press breaks down, it’s important to know what your options are. Fixing it yourself, even if you or someone in your shop is knowledgeable on repairs, can often void your warranty, which can cause much bigger problems down the road if there are other repairs out of your grasp. Knowing the ins and outs of your machine’s warranty, and any included technician-related services are just as important as knowing how to use the machine.

The warranty you receive on your equipment is an extension of the warranty your equipment manufacturer received from its vendors. If a part on your machine fails under warranty, you may be asked to return that part to the factory to receive credit for the new part. This is critical. If you do not return the old part, you will be charged for the new one. The manufacturer needs to turn that part back into its vendor to receive a credit back from them. If the manufacturer has to pay because you didn’t return the bad part, then odds are you will have to pay as well. Always ask the manufacturer if you need to return a part. If so, they will provide you with a Return Authorization Number (RMA). When you ship the bad part back, write the RMA number on the bill of lading or label so you get appropriate credit.

As for authorized technicians, the best thing you can do is to contact your equipment’s manufacturer when you have a problem. They will let you know if they will cover the repair under warranty and who is authorized to complete the repair. There are some very good, independent technicians in the field, but the rules are clear: If a factory is going to warrant against failures, the technician who performs the work must be authorized by the factory. In today’s advanced electronics, one misplaced wire could result in a very costly repair. Don’t take chances; always call the factory before allowing anyone to work on your new machine.

Tim Dunham

Tim Dunham is a founding partner of Water Base Ink USA, a water-based ink distributor for the screen-printing industry located in Pittsburgh. The company specializes in all things water-based, from inks and supplies to training and education. For more information, visit 

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