Digitisation puts traditional silk screen printing in the frame
Long shelves of film for frame production are about to become history at Mekoprint Industrial Graphics. With leading investment in digital frame production, the process has been digitised so that diagrams with new designs can be sent directly from the designer to the silk screen printer’s iPad on the shop floor. Traditional silk screen printing has 12 process steps which this investment reduces by as many as five steps.
Technology makes production faster and more robust at a higher quality level to benefit Mekoprint’s customers. The new machine is capable of producing ten silk screen frames at a time in an automated flow that includes laser technology and 100 percent precision.
Laser replaces ruler
The benefits of laser technology can be seen, for example, in work on items that require several different colours. Traditionally, a range of colours requires manual positioning per colour with the use of a ruler and keen eye – something that has now been replaced by a single digital manufacturing process.
Direct exposure enables an even higher level of detailing and thinner lines which are used in e.g. registration marks and logos.
By removing film and other manual steps in the process, not only is a faster turnaround time ensured. The route from design phase to prototype has also become shorter to ensure that the required end product is achieved faster. As the quality system has also been digitised, the errors and delays involved in alterations are avoided. Finally, start-up costs are lower as film is no longer required.
Environmental improvements and employee responsibility
The new machine is really made up of two machines. One produces the frames and then automatically moves them over to the other machine for washing and drying.
Film and older machinery from traditional processes have been replaced by a more energy-efficient machine in which even the water is reused.
These optimisations mean that employees from engineers to silk screen printers are now able to dedicate even more time to advising customers and suggesting more solutions. For silk screen printer Michael Dahl Gregersen, who is a daily user of the newly commissioned machine, digitisation also means far less physical lifting.
VIDEO: View the film about digital frame production here.