Have you ever purchased a product that stated on the label: 1 U.S. Gallon, but when opened it wasn't quite full? Sure you have - it happens all the time. But, the real question is, "Did you get what you paid for?" Or were you...

Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the worldwide unemployment rate was the lowest since the late 1960s. With so many businesses unable to financially weather the pandemic, that low unemployment rate is now history. Much of the world is on lockdown, and employees have lost their...

Every screenprint business owner knows that the success of the organization depends on employees and customers to keep it functioning well. Don't let the pandemic lockdown control your future. by Bill Hood, ASDPT 19 Mar 2020 - Governments around the world have issued a Stay-At-Home policy. As...

What happens to your revenue when you make a small change in production? You might be surprised to find that a very small change can make a huge difference at the end of the year. Let's take a look at Time-Based Revenue Opportunity. by Bill Hood,...

As the Pandemic continues to affect the world, we must come face-to-face with the reality of survival.  By Bill Hood, ASDPT Fellow As we all know, many screenprinting businesses are affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. It will reach all segments of the screenprinting technologies, due to event...

A Shore Hardness Gauge (often erroneously referred to as a Durometer) measures a material’s resistance to permanent indentation. It’s normally used to measure plastic and rubber, which have some resistance to permanent change. Shore Hardness Gauges compare relative results only, and this quantity has no units....

You Can Increase the Amount of Detail with Some Knowledge I receive a great number of questions, some of which need a more thorough explanation. This is one of those questions. If you need a question answered, there is a link at the bottom of this...

Don't Put Off These Inexpensive Safety Measures Safety should always a priority in any business to protect personnel and equipment. And, safety sleeve spring covers may be one of the least expensive solutions, but often overlooked until a spring breakage sends a staff member to the...

The Durometer is Not What You Think! In almost every class I have taught, or seminar I have given about screenprinting, someone will ask a question regarding squeegee hardness and ask if they need to invest in a durometer. And, as an avid researcher, I often...

There are many misunderstandings about why plastisol ink fails. The injudicious passing along of widely held but false beliefs and ideas, misrepresentation of the truth, and exaggerated or idealized conceptions of ill-conceived thoughts of plastisol inks on social media are among the most rampant of...

Are you currently offering no art charges, no setup fees, and free shipping and thinking that the public actually believes you? If so, you could actually lower your prices, build trust, and increase your sales and revenue. Today, as I begin my research for this article,...

What You Need to Know About Curing Plastisol Ink The myths of the screenprinting technologies continue to be spread as individuals keep repeating what they read without thinking the process through. While I have written extensively on curing plastisol ink in dozens of articles and in one...

Why You Need a Coating Thickness Gauge The Coating Thickness gauge is a measurement tool that no screenmaker should be without. It is well-known that the thickness of the ink deposit is in direct relation to the thickness of the stencil, i.e. the thicker the stencil...

Best Practices for Reducing Spoilage Cost One of the easiest ways a screenprinting company can improve their bottom line is by reducing waste. However, waste cannot be completely eradicated, as there will always be some spoilage. If you think one percent is excellent, how about 18...

For decades screenprinters have used a 5 to 10 power folding loupe for inspecting and analyzing their prints, the quality of the stencil, the edge definition of the print, the surface of the ink deposit, registration and other details that need magnification. The loupe was...

What You Need to Know About LED Exposure Lamps If you are like most screenprinters, you are always interested in speed. And the faster you can accomplish a task, the better. However, before you make changes you need to properly understand the consequences of your actions....

Your geographical marketing area is full of many ponds, some big and some small, and while every pond may have fish in them, you need to know where your best prospects are congregating, or you may find yourself fishing in the wrong pond. Each pond in...

Thoughts on the Click Eco Frame Don't be fooled by marketing claims. There have been many products rushed to market, claiming the impossible. I was recently asked about the Click Eco Frame by a client. The client was concerned about several points with this frame system. For...

The Coating Thickness gauge is a measurement tool that no screenmaker should be without. There are many types of electronic thickness gauges. I have a few, but the Defelsko 6000 is my favorite and thus I used it for the photo illustration. Electronic thickness gauges can...

Never Abbreviate Quantities or Money When writing about numbers, it is always better to avoid abbreviating the words; a thousand, a million, a billion, etc. Some people will abbreviate these words, but it can lead to confusion. Thus, it is better to spell it out, especially...

An IR temperature device used in the heating and air conditioning industry measures the ambient air in front of the gun - not the object itself. It also does this in an ever-increasing circle from the tip of the device. The reading is inversely proportional...

Stop Buying Pressure Washers When What You Need is a Better Pump Let’s face it, it seems that most pressure washers only last so long. The reason is that most screenprinters buy non-industrial type pressure washers at the local hardware store. These pressure washers are not...

I am often asked about the true purpose of degreasing and if it will really eliminate pinholes. It seems that there are a number of individuals who, perhaps, on a budget-minded philosophy have eliminated degreasing entirely from their screenmaking process. Their thinking is that the...

Apparently lots of people think that starting a business is easy. In the U.S. alone, some 800,000 individuals start a new business each year, and 80-percent fail within a year. The ratio of failures in the screenprinting technologies is even higher, perhaps due to the...

Price is one of the "Four P's" - along with product, place (i.e., distribution), and promotion - of the market mix. And as with each of its siblings, getting the price right contributes mightily to business success or failure. Too high a price reduces unit...

Some screenprinting companies are experiencing good growth and margins, while others are struggling to keep the doors open. The question is what are the successful firms doing that those who are struggling are not doing. After some research, we have arrived at the following conclusions,...

Local zoning ordinances and regulations are important considerations when choosing your screenprinting business location. Zoning laws impact several critical business decisions such as purchasing property or making improvements to your existing property, so it is important to understand the laws before you commit to anything,...

This low-budget hobbyist shop requires a minimal investment. It is basically a one-person shop for those with little money, seeking a part-time venture. It will require a lot of work to turn this into a full-time business, as it will be difficult to move up...

This set-up relies on less homemade equipment and more professionally manufactured items. It also offers the capability of handling baseball caps and nylon jackets along with multicolor prints on shirts. The quality of the prints will be better with professional equipment because it is manufactured to...

You should never open a business without having insurance! If you are confused about which types of insurance you need, here are some that you shouldn't overlook. Running any business comes with risks. So it's important that you protect both your business and your personal assets....

Over the years, I have noted many inconsistencies in the various pricing matrices that are in use in the screenprinting technologies, especially in the textile segment. It is standard business practice to set a margin that will meet the costs and produce an amount of...

We frequently stress the critical importance of being able to compare your key financial ratios/percentages against other similar size firms. However, in order to do that it is necessary that everyone be on the same page when comparing percentages for categories such as cost of...

Pros and Cons of Pulling Versus Pushing In the end, it really should be about what is most efficient, effective and economically viable. Recently there was a question asked on the forum as to pulling versus pushing the squeegee when printing manually. Among the many answers from...

The purpose of any training is to assure that the trainee has a thorough understanding of a task. Upon completion of the training, the trainee should know how to accomplish a given task, but more importantly why they should perform the task in a particular...

There are many reasons why businesses don’t make it. Having started and sold many businesses in my lifetime I have found that the most common reason is a lack of profitable clients. Yes, this sounds obvious, but unfortunately, many people do not consider this factor...

Simple, Easy, and Free Project Management Do you ever feel like simply taking the phone off the hook, so you can get some work done? Are you spending more time on the phone updating customers about their job, or answering questions about how the job is...

Emergencies, by their nature, are unpredictable. When they happen, they can derail your financial stability. A sudden illness or accident, unexpected job loss, or even a surprise home or car repair can devastate your family’s day-to-day cash flow if you aren’t prepared. Learn how much...

How many times have you had to make two or more strokes to achieve opacity? How many times have you exposed a stencil only to realize that the squeegee side was slimy and had that sinking feeling that the screen was underexposed and would probably...

Quite often, we find items with a thickness that looks like high-density screenprinting, but with extremely fine detail that belies the process of high-density printing. We can find this process used on clothing, shoes, caps, phone cases, purses, and thousands of other mass-produced items. Look...

Registration can be one of the most nerve wreaking tasks in the screenprinting technologies for anyone who has to print multiple colors or produce a print that must register on the substrate perfectly with each print. You may be surprised that the downtime you experience...

The gears turn and indeed those of the screenprinting technologies turn as we solve the problems of our clients. Yes, as screenprinters, we are in the problem-solving business. And, just like the gears on a fine Patek Philippe watch must turn exquisitely, so must the gears...

Surveys confirm what our guts already know: We are enduring a “time famine”unknown to previous generations. Faced with urgent work, urgent errands, urgent texts, urgent emails, and a slew of other supposedly urgent tasks, we’re increasingly squandering our finite lives on the urgent at the...

Everywhere you look in your search for those diamonds of information about the screenprinting technologies; you seemingly have two choices; free and cost-based information. Stop for a moment and consider the truth of that statement. Imagine for a moment a glass of water, a commodity that...

Facilities that have comprehensive safety programs in place and that self-audit those programs regularly are typically well-prepared for a surprise government inspection. While there is no guarantee that inspectors won’t find something, it’s far less likely that the inspectors will find multiple problems during their...

What is an Entrepreneur? It is different things to different people. The Entrepreneur’s Journey was a collaborative film project produced by BIZNIK. The project began on May 6, 2009 when 12 video crews and over 400 entrepreneurs gathered in Seattle’s largest film production studio to...

Management By Objectives (MBO), also known as Management By Results (MBR), is a performance management approach in which a balance is sought between the objectives of employees and the objectives of an organization. The essence of Peter Drucker ’s basic principle: Management By Objectives is to...

With the New Year approaching, most of us start thinking about setting goals. While I won't disagree that setting goals are important, it is more important that you set goals that achievable and that won't be lost in the first few months of the year....

Business managers are responsible for setting a company's mission and goals and creating a strategic plan to guide the company to achieve its goals. Managers use a variety of tools and methods to inform decisions during the planning process including SWOT analysis and TOWS analysis,...

Payroll and project time-keeping paperwork is arguably the least favorite task for most owners and managers. Yet, if you don't keep up with it daily, the paperwork simply piles up and becomes an even bigger chore. The reality, however, is employees sometimes forget to clock in...

The gears of industry and indeed those of the screenprinting industry turn as we solve the problems of our clients. Yes, as screenprinters, we are in the problem solving business. But, many are not very good at solving their own problems of how to gain...

Have you ever attended a seminar on business where the talk turned to accounting practices and realized that you have no ideas of what most of the terms being used actually mean? You probably spent most of your time smiling and trying to fake your...

A few years ago, a screenprinter in the textile segment of the screenprinting technologies asked me if he could achieve semi-automatic press quality on a manual press. My answer to him was; The simple answer is no, due to the human factor when printing on a...

Boldly facing each day with a passion-packed purpose is the shield that stands between you and the negative chants “it can’t be done,” or “what makes you think you can start your own business.” It’s your weapon against the daily grind. A clearly defined purpose...

It should come as no surprise that your online business existence is being controlled to a huge extent by others; the myriad review services, your clients with their ability to post poor reviews, the search engines, your internet hosting service, and now the U.S.A. government....

Who hasn't been faced with a client standing at the front desk with a 1-inch high, 72-pixel per inch inch and asking them to enlarge it to 12-inches? Of course, they don't understand art, pixels, enlarging and the subsequent loss of data that will produce...

Definition Our Weekend Retreat is a meeting that is typically designed and organized specifically to facilitate the ability of a group to step back from their day-to-day demands and activities for an extended period of concentrated discussion, dialogue, and strategic thinking about the organization’s future or...

Everyone Makes Mistakes in Business The trick is not making those mistakes that put you out of business. As a consultant, I see a lot of mistakes made by business owners. Many of the calls I receive for help come at the last minute, right before...

In performance management, when speaking of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) we often talk about “lagging” and “leading” indicators. But what do they mean exactly? Lagging indicators are typical “output” oriented, easy to measure but hard to improve or influence while leading indicators are typically input oriented,...

1. Stop Selling The secret to making consistent sales is to stop selling. No one likes being sold. Nor do they like pushy salespeople. Instead of pushing for a transaction, salespeople should ask questions, make statements and suggest value propositions that help customers realize they have a...

It should come as no shock to any screenprint business owner that the organization can only be as effective as the team members. However, there is a big difference in knowing this and actually doing something about it. In this article, we will learn about...

Whether one is the Owner, CEO, office manager, plant manager, or production manager, all good leaders require a number of soft skills to help them positively interact with the team and staff members. Employers seek these skills in the candidates they hire for leadership roles....

I am a serial entrepreneur, having started more businesses than most. It helps that I am a serious workaholic, arising as early as 4:30 a.m. and often working until 1:00 a.m. the following morning. At present, I own and operate ten businesses and all are...

This article was originally written in 2001 but is updated and republished annually as the information is seasonal and important to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the successful operation of a shop. As the temperature drops during cold weather, there are some considerations that need...

Efficient and Effective Coating Technique There are perhaps as many ways to coat mesh as there are screenmakers. Unfortunately, most of the techniques fall apart at some point. No two screens are seldom the same thickness and this effect exposure, resolution, color hue of the printed...

Nylobond is a bonding agent that is added to most low-temperature curing (285-300F (140 to 149C)) plastisol inks to help the ink adhere tightly woven nylon. It will not, however, work well with low-bleed plastisol inks. Basically, the product allows the plastisol to bond to...

The pros of using capillary film far outweigh the cons. So, why are more people using capillary film, rather than direct liquid emulsion? It all comes down to the simple fact, that when people first start out in the screenprinting technologies, they are all too...

Attract Clients Based on Value and Not Price The five problems with attracting clients and how to overcome the obstacles in finding the right clients for your business. There are several problems with attracting customers. The primary problem with attracting customers is that most screenprinters cast a...

The goal is to do everything better than previously done. In order to do this, you must constantly learn from each task in the stencil making process. There are three things that are absolutely necessary to hold detail in the final printed piece. Film Positive The most...

Textile screenprinters and decorators should pre-test before printing an entire order to avoid potential problems. If you plan on using a heat cured ink on any color of fabric other than white, you risk the chance of dye migration that may not be visible until...

Most of us have seen those microscopic photos that are taken of mesh threads and emulsion edges, and even details on printed substrates accompanying articles on screenprinting. Most are taken with USB digital microscopes. They are excellent tools for researchers, engineers, teachers, students, technicians, and hobbyists. Some...

The myth of post-exposure continues to haunt the screenprinting technologies. Post-exposure is the theory that if you underexpose your stencil, and find that during the stencil development the emulsion feels slimy on the squeegee side, that you can allow it to dry then return it...

If you are among the many who have problems exposing stencils, this article will explain how to put an end to the stress that you are going through. Become a fly on the wall as we walk a printer through the correct exposure time before...

Every business owner is continuously asking themselves, "How can I keep growing my business?” Most learn early on that the answer is to take good care of your existing customers and the business will grow intrinsically. by Bill Hood, ASDPT 6 Jul 2017 - Any business with...

Screenprinting is unique in being the only printing process to use off-contact to transfer the ink. Off-contact distance is needed to keep the screen from staying in contact with the substrate after printing and to control proper snap-off. While off-contact is not the only variable in...

I am often asked about the ink transfer process. The question usually comes from a textile printer who is trying to print thick white plastisol ink. Of course, without knowledge of the ink transfer process, he is quite simply scooping out a large amount of...

The curing process of plastisol ink is simple. During the curing process, the plastic resin is heated and opens up to absorb the liquid plasticizer. As the resin cools it once again retains its plastic form, with the plasticizer inside. However, curing has to be...

As an International Consultant in the Screenprinting Technologies, I receive a lot of email from would-be screenprinters who are trying to get started in screenprinting. Because I make my email address public, it’s pretty easy to connect with me. However, by the time I hear from...

Most screenmakers in the textile segment of the screenprinting technologies apply tape to the inside edges of most, if not all, of their screens to block the flow of ink between the edge of the emulsion and point where the mesh is attached to the...

You may think that the question is silly at first, but there are businesses who do burn money. In accounting, there is a term called "Burn Rate," and you do need to know the meaning of the term to help you better understand your finances....

While many consider the least expensive way or the fastest way, I have observed that the most successful usually consider the best way to accomplish a task. Yesterday, I watched from my desk as my housekeeper cleaned my home, dusting, sweeping, mopping the tile floors, changing...

During my work as a consultant in the screenprinting technologies over the past 40+ years, I have traveled to shops throughout the world and in every phase of the industry. My work is to effectively find and present comprehensive solutions to bring control over the...

Getting Squeegee Pressure Correct It is not necessary to push the ink through the mesh openings. Excessive pressure is counter-intuitive to the ink transfer process. The majority of screenprinters are using excessive squeegee pressure under the misguided concept that we push ink through the mesh. This belief...

For many, screenprinting is a messy business. But, the consumers are responsible for much of the mess when it comes to the environment. The expectations of the consumers have created huge problems for ink companies and screenprinters alike. The consumer want vibrant colors that hold...

HOW TO ACCOUNT FOR SPOILAGE There is the potential for spoilage or scrap in any manufacturing process, including screenprinting. Normal spoilage and scrap is the standard amount of waste or scrap that arises from the printing process. Abnormal spoilage is that which exceeds the normal or...

By Tance Hughes Screen reclamation tends to be most screen printers’ least favorite part. Removing ink, emulsion, haze, and the tape isn’t near as much fun as creating artwork or printing the t-shirt. What many printers don’t realize is that there is a much easier, quicker,...

Everyone knows that the sun is the perfect ultraviolet energy source and there is a growing number of screenprinters who are choosing to use the sun to expose the emulsion on their stencils. Many screenprinters have found using the sun as an exposure unit, saving...

If you are a relative newcomer to screenprinting with less than say 35 years in the industry, you probably learned most of what you know from a book. This has no doubt proven to be problematic for you, as you have fought the myriad variables...

Every screenprinter is faced with myriad problems each day. They come on an almost hourly basis - so often that we don't have time to come up with a proper solution, so we tend to push them aside hoping that they will go away -...

Creating beautiful prints is an art that can be learned. It becomes more difficult if one does not invest in the right software, and lose the enthusiasm for attempting to save a few dollars upfront. And, we need the right tools and knowledge to produce...

While the Specialty Graphics Imaging Association (SGIA) has chosen to become much more of a digital show, decreasing the number of graphic screenprinting and textile decoration exhibits each year, I will be attending this year. I have several meetings lined up already, but I still...

The FESPA Mexico exhibition, 15-17 August 2013, is a unique event that provides print service providers with the opportunity to see the latest product developments and innovations in screenprinting, both graphic and textile, garment decoration, signage, wide format digital printing to keep your business moving. Print...

Achieving outstanding detail on stencils that hold up well on press are on the wish list for screenprinters worldwide. You may be surprised to learn that humidity has a lot to do with achieving your goals and more....

Why is it that some people just want to find fault with everything they read? Are they suffering from some sort of deficit? Such is the case of much that is written within the screenprinting industry. I have spoken with some of the greatest minds in the industry and each have related their own stories of how many detractors (those that attempt to reduce the value, importance, or quality of the written word) they have. Is this you? If so, you will benefit greatly from this article!

Customers meander around the market, perusing racks of second-hand J. Crew blouses or gently worn Old Navy pants. They are looking for some articles of clothing that are look new and at a low enough price, that they can afford to look well for their next job interview. Does this sound familiar?

Every screenprinter needs tools! Now that I have said that, my addiction to buying the necessary tools doesn’t seem so bad. I have spent quite a bit of money over the years buying tools, many of which were for no other reason than reviewing them...

Screenprint business owners don’t get enough solitude. We are constantly surrounded by our staff members, prospective customers, suppliers and clients in a never-ending battle to operate our business in a positive manner as we seek to grow the business. I am sure that there are many business owners who do spend their day behind a desk without having a single conversation with another person, but solitude and loneliness are not the same thing.

Do you have an employee handbook? Probably, as this is a very important tool for most companies, which expend a great amount of money and resources in the creation of them. These valuable tools usually dive deeply into rules, regulations, mission, policy and conduct, but often ignore what might be the most important category of all – marketing.

The original Mentor is a character in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. When Odysseus, King of Ithaca went to fight in the Trojan War, he entrusted the care of his kingdom to Mentor. Mentor served as the teacher and overseer of Odysseus’ son, Telemachus. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide.” One of the most valuable assets your career can have is a good mentor.

Are you getting all the work that you need to grow your business? Would you like more work? Sure, who wouldn't want a more prosperous business and a better lifestyle. However, you may be rolling the dice by overlooking one important thing!

Is the heat in your shop so unbearable that production suffers? Don’t forget that the human race existed long before there was air conditioning. This article discusses how to cool your production area and employees! Note: I did not think up the ideas expressed in this...

Far too often, many screenprinters will put the screens on the press and then make on press adjustment until the print looks right and start printing. If they have to flash, so be it! If they have to make two strokes, so be it! You may be surprised at how much money you are losing by doing it this way.

Question: Why is it that most of the replies on [a particular] forum go directly to the person who asked the question instead of coming through the list so we can all learn and participate. I feel like I've been missing a lot lately. Solution: There...

The bottom line is that if you did not create the image from scratch, it is not yours to use as you wish. By Bill Hood, ASDPT Fellow Almost daily on social media, you will note that someone will ask about printing copyrighted images or images that...

This article is for those who must work in hot climates with high humidity and have to deal with the discomfort of chafing. Having lived in five of the hottest cities in the USA and working in the others on the Top Ten List, I am...

Saving money is possibly the most important issue of the day for screenprinters. There are far too many ways to save money than can be discussed in one article. In fact, most of the articles on this site will address reducing costs. In this short...

  While those of us in the screenprinting technologies are accustomed to seeing screenprinting every day in our shops, many are unaware of the myriad uses of screenprinting outside of their particular segment of screenprinting.   During a recent golf tournament in which I was coupled with two...

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