Screen Making Room Deep Dive


Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast. The screen making room is often where screen printers send employees who are not doing their job well, and this can cause big problems. We brought in Alan Howe from SAATICHEM to give us the rundown on why the screen making room should be one of the most important parts of your screen printing production facility. He will give us insight on what problem you can fix, just by making some minor changes to your screen making room.

Sponsored by: | 2017 SGIA Expo in New Orleans – Oct 10-12

Our regular listeners know this, but 2 Regular Guys are all about garment decorating, a bit of fun, and no rants or lectures or selling. We are not doing this for our employers, but rather for our industry. Since February 2013, The 2 Regular Guys have been the first and the most listened to garment decorating industry podcast on this planet! We are humbled by all of you tuning in each week. We work hard to bring you information that will make your business better, and our industry better. Take a look at our incredible weekly guest list and you’ll understand where this industry goes for news, interviews and the heartbeat of garment decorating. Thanks for listening!

Screen Making Room

What do you think Are the biggest challenge screen printers face on a daily basis in their screen making room? A basic understanding of fundamentals of Screenprinting and how they affect their bottom line. Fundamentals: proper tension, coating, exposing/developing, curing, proper use if flood bar/squeegee.

What are some areas that some screen printers miss in their screen making room? It starts with screens… it’s most overlooked. Screens are equipment, not a commodity.

Standardizing – To do that you have to have a process set up
-how we coat on each mesh count
-why we do it
-check and control it
-start with screens

What are the tensions? Are you holding them? What is your tap-out? get them restretched, retensioned or replaced

When tension is controlled a lot of other print issues go away.

Should the worst employees be is in the screen room? It all starts with screens, it should be the best employee. They make the printers look good.

Poor tension causes print problems
-bad underbases
-halo, blurred images
-registration issues

Talk about what tools every shop should have for their screen room.
-Exposure calculator / 21 step
Tension meter
Laser Temperature Guns

And know how to use them, have a process for them to be used. It goes to repeatability, consistency and profit.

Humidity has an impact in technologies such as DTG, but does it impact screen printing? Controlling humidity is major and first. By not you are fighting a battle all the time. Keep it below 32% humidity in your screen room. Solid content. 40% solids = 60% water in the air, per screen.

Heater …. Create a tropical rain forest

Fan ….. breeze in the rain forest

(soon there will be vines and toucans)

Dehumidifier… knowing the relative humidity tells you how big or how many dehumidifiers you need. How often they need to be emptied ( if no drain in the floor)?

Screen guy – “they feel dry”. Reality is. Guessing “dry like a tomato. It feels dry on the outside, but in reality, it is not”  Richard Greaves

Talk to us about EOM – Emulsion over mesh. Most printers do not have enough EOM. This costs quality, ink yield also more consistent on proper tensioned mesh. It’s all about profits when you have proper EOM. It means better coverage,  detail, resolution plus, you use less ink by being able to use lower mesh counts (with proper tension.) All about profit.

Give us your final thoughts on improving your screen making room. Screen printing is a manufacturing process. Set up your process each step of the way then write it down plainly and detailed so your employees can understand it and run with it.

Alan Howe is a native of Detroit Michigan with 30 years of industry experience. He entered the industry in 1987 with an equipment manufacturer and has since held technical-sales and management positions with well-known companies including Jay Products and Easiway Systems. Alan resides in Columbiaville Michigan and is a Technical Sales Representative for SAATICHEM. division of SAATI Americas. As a seminar speaker and with many articles published he is a familiar face at trade shows and industry events. Alan has also traveled the world as a short-term missionary and still is involved in humanitarian efforts locally, domestically and worldwide.


Other Events

  • Getting Smart with Some Simple Marketing Strategies – ISS Ft. Worth Seminar – Sept 24
  • How to Make Money with Digital Decorating – Mind’s Eye Graphics in Northeast Indiana – Oct 6-7Digital Decorating Class
  • SGIA Seminars – Getting Smart with Some Simple Marketing Strategies and Demystifying Wide Format Sublimation and Cut and Sew Production – October 12
  • Complete Screen Printing Business Course –Workhorse Products – Nov 4-5
  • Complete Screen Printing Business Course – Atlas Screen in Chicago – Nov 11-12

Trade Shows

  • ISS Ft. Worth – Sep 22 – 24
  • SGIA (Specialty Graphic Imaging Association) – Oct 10 – 12
  • NBM Charlotte – Oct 26 – 28
  • ThreadX powered by SGIA – Palm Springs, CA – Feb 25-27, 2018

Terry’s Books

Screen Printing: A Practical Guide to Starting Your Own T-Shirt Business Just $4.95 as an e-book.

Direct to Garment: A Practical Guide to Starting Your Own T-Shirt Business Just $4.95 as an e-book.

Scheduling and Estimating Production Time for Garment Screen Printing Just $2.99 as an e-book

Aaron’s New Company

Sublimation just got easier with the launch of, the new US distributor for Best Sublimation. Our mission is to help our partners grow with a different way of doing business compared to all the “Me too” distributors in the United States. We will do this by:
  • Offering products as a single item instead of forcing cases on you.
  • Changing shipping standards.
  • Offering unique products from limited manufacturing partners

This show is brought to you for a full hour by:

Specialty Graphics Imaging Association – SGIA will continually strive to be the foremost resource for information and education within the specialty imaging industry. SGIA supports the digital and screen printing community in the USA and Canada by providing services and activities specific to their interests. While the majority of SGIA services and activities are specific to US and Canada, SGIA will continue to partner with national and regional associations around the globe to continually develop the international community. The SGIA National Affiliation Program brings together a multinational community to enhance awareness and encourage the exchange of information. Supporting the Leaders of the Digital and Screen Printing Community

Equipment Zone, with 20 years experience selling garment printing equipment nationwide. Equipment Zone offers the new Epson F2000 SureColor direct-to-garment printer, their own VelociJet-XL DTG printer, and the all new SpeedTreater-TX automatic pretreat machine with a full 16”x24” pretreat area. Equipment Zone also carries a full line of DTG inks and supplies. Go to

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