Screen-Printing Press Maintenance

Make sure your screen-printing press is a well-oiled machine with these quick tips on maintenance. 

You can find a lot of tips online regarding screen printing, but something that seems to be a little bit of an anomaly is how to care for your screen-printing press. Sometimes we get so excited about screen printing that we lose the care manual, or maybe we think it doesn’t really need to be cleaned. Either way, we will get down to the absolute necessities (not specifics of each machine), and give you some ideas of how to maintain your press and keep it in optimal condition.

Location. Location. Location.

You want to make sure that your press is in as much of a temperature controlled environment you can manage. The main point of this is to protect the screens from drying out. You also want to protect it from the heat and humidity, which over time can strain your press performance.

Keep it Clean

Think of your press as a new addition to your home. Regularly dust the equipment and keep the area around it free of clutter. Each time you use it, you want to remove (and save) the leftover ink and then wipe it down. Ink and other chemicals will build up on your machine which could strain performance.

On a regular basis make sure to check the filters, conveyors, feeders, belts, and squeegees. Clean them when they need it and replace them when it’s time. Don’t cut corners on your equipment. If something needs fixing or replacing you don’t want to hesitate on a fix, then your production suffers.

For platen longevity, be sure to use platen tape. It is also recommended that you use water-based adhesives. Over time the aerosol chemicals will build up on your press.

Keep it Lubricated

Check the performance of your platen heads and arms occasionally. If they have been stationary for a long period of time, they could become stiff and un-operational. Oiling may be necessary for certain parts of your machine. This part will take a little bit of research. Figure out what machine you have and what lubrication will be compatible. You will also need to figure out how often you should oil your particular machine. Over or under oiling can become a problem.

And as always with screen printing-try doing a few test prints to make sure the machine is fully operational and does not need further attention in a particular area.

Find more tips and trends about screen printing here


Mary McEntire

Mary McEntire has four years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in content related to marketing and SEO for small businesses. More of her work can be found at her website, and she can be reached via email.

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