Images Magazine Digital Edition July 2018

TIPS & TECHNIQUES 22 images JULY 2018 Heiner Rupperath Y ou’ve invested in a quality DTG printing machine, you’ve spent a lot of money on setting up the full production process and now you can’t wait to start printing. Before you do, please pause for a moment and consider how you are going to maintain the correct environmental conditions for optimum production. The printing environment for digital printing machines is of great importance, especially if you want to avoid headaches in terms of print quality. Most DTG machines need a humidity level of between 35-85% and a reasonable temperature range to operate correctly. What’s the problem? So, what will happen if you don’t meet these requirements? You could find your machine’s print heads overheating, or the inks changing their consistency; both of which could cause damage to the print heads through clogging of the As the heat of the summer starts to hit print shops, Heiner Rupperath, sales and product manager for industrial printing machines at Brother, provides some timely tips on how to ensure your DTG printer keeps operating at its optimum level nozzles or power outage etc. It’s likely you’ll also notice a major impact on the quality of the printed output. Here’s a summary of the most common ways in which environmental factors can adversely affect your DTG printing operation: High temperatures and low humidity lead to faster drying of the inks, which can result in faster nozzle-clogging High temperatures will reduce the viscosity of the ink, which can lead to poor quality print results, and the print head might even end up firing the drops in the wrong way When ink has been frozen and then becomes liquid again, the molecular dynamic energy of the pigments could be changed, which can decrease the quality of the ink and printed results Ink deterioration – any polymer can change its properties (tensile strength, colour, shape etc) because of unmanaged environmental factors, such as heat, light or chemicals These are only some of the adverse side effects; making sure the environmental conditions are perfect for your machine is highly recommended if you want the best quality results and for your printer to keep working for many years. Helpfully, some makes of DTG machines give a warning message on the display if the temperature falls too low or rises too high. Some printers, such as the Brother GTX, will even stop running or slow down the printing speed to ensure that the machine does not suffer damage. Those printers that do not have these built-in measurement systems require especially close monitoring to avoid the risk of damage to the print heads. The easiest way to avoid problems is to meet the recommended environmental conditions for your particular printer: these will differ from brand to brand. Ancillary equipment A low cost, simple humidity monitor is all that is needed to keep an eye on the humidity levels; place it as close as possible to the DTG machine. 1 2 3 4