Intermittent Image Blurring

By intermittent image blurring, I am referring to an image that normally prints sharp and every once in a while, the edges will be blurred on a few prints and then seemingly correct itself, or the press operator will have to stop and clean the back of the screen and then the problem goes away for the rest of the day. The problem could be due to a number of the 547 variables of the screenprinting technologies, but if you have not found the answer among the known variables, I would like to introduce you to yet another variable – Vibration.

This morning in a telephone conversation with another screenprinting technologies consultant, while we were swapping road stories, I was reminded of this story and thought I would share it.

Decades ago, a friend who owned a blueprint company that used a large — 40-inch x 40-inch — process camera called me to ask if I could stop by and help him with a problem. Upon arrival, he explained that, although he had checked everything he could think of, he was faced with a waste factor of rejected camera shots several times a day, where the image would be blurred. Everything was tight on the camera and the vacuum was working well. He had a voltage regulator to take care of electrical brownouts, caused by intermittent decreases and increases of power.

As we stood there looking at the camera, I felt the floor vibrate. I was used to being in areas where there were mild earthquakes caused by fracking and had even been in a few major earthquakes with massive destruction and deaths, so I am aware of the feeling. I turned to my friend and asked him if he felt the floor vibrate. He gave me that funny look and said smiling said, “No!”

Knowing that the area was not prone to earthquakes occurring several times a day. I went outside and looked around. Just behind their building and probably no more than 20 feet from the building were the railroad tracks. It seems that everytime a train came down the tracks, the camera would vibrate and cause the image to be blurred.

Moving forward to a year ago, I was in a graphics screenprinting shop that had a similar problem on their M&R Saturn press. Every so often they would experience a blurred image on a few prints. When they asked me if I knew what could cause the problem, I only had to ask if there was a train track nearby.

You guessed it! It was right behind their building and the freight train would pass by on a daily basis. While the reason was correct, solving the problem is not so easy. They opted to simply listen for the train and cease printing for a few minutes. Sure it slowed production for a few minutes, but they avoided the waste and cleanup time.


Cease having to remake stencils that were exposed improperly

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 not make it through the run without breaking down? Are […]


Essential tips to help sales professionals generate more consistent sales.

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 need to address. It is better to have...

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Employees are the lifeblood of any company. Hiring for behavior will prove more beneficial than simply filling the available slots.


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 the different types of team members and hire practices that...

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The ultimate goal of every screenprinter should be to reduce waste and increase margins, while increasing quality.

It is quite common for an ink to penetrate absorbent substrates leading to a waste of ink and time needed to clean the ink from the platen or press bed. The cost of excessive ink transferred through the absorbent material can effectively double (or more) the cost of ink. Even in a small shop with […]


Registration begins in the art department. A pre-registration system can greatly speed up the downtime between jobs, as it can guarantee that the films were placed in the same position on the screen to align with the platen. This is especially beneficial on multicolor jobs.

While there are some excellent pre-registration systems on the market today, that work well to reduce the press setup times — such as the Stretch Devices Pin-Lock Registration System or the M&R Tri-Lock System — they each have their shortcomings, as one device will not satisfy the needs of all screenprinters. The one factor that...

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Federal Law on Endorsements and Testimonials

In this age of social media and blogs, where people are providing a testimonial about products and services, the statements are often taken to be truthful by the readers. However, there are many instances where this is not the case.

Almost daily, I see posts, where an endorsement or testimonial is made by individuals that I personally know either work for or have received a benefit from the mention of a particular product or service and the information presented, is often far from the truth.

The problem is they are legally required to disclose their material connection with the product or service so that those reading the testimonial would know of the connection However I have yet to see even one of these individuals include the required disclosure as mandated by the Federal Trade Commission.

Such a statement would be similar to:

Disclosure of Material Connection: Under Federal Law, I must disclose that I work for the company mentioned above and/or I have a material connection with the company in that I receive either products or discounts from the company. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to those who read my comments. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

An example might be that someone asks about a particular brand of ink on Facebook or other social media site. You have used the ink and personally found it to be very good for the purpose mentioned in the original post. You post a message, stating:

“I have used this ink for several years and have found that it works like a charm. It is creamy, ready to use right out of the bucket, produces a smooth, soft finish and cures extremely well. All of the products that I have printed using this ink have come out excellent.”

While that sounds like a glowing recommendation and may be very well entirely true in your own personal opinion. However, it may not be the case for others with a completely different set of variables. If you have no material connection with the ink manufacturer or a distributor your testimonial may not be looked upon as endorsement.

However, if a connection exists between you and the seller of the product or service, which might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement (i.e. the connection is not known or not reasonably expected by the readers), then such a connection must be fully disclosed.

As an example when someone asks, “What ink would you recommend for printing camouflaged fleece?” and a person who works for or has a material connection with a manufacturer or distributor posts a testimonial or even a link to the product, then that person must fully disclose their material connection or be charged under the Federal Law.

Another example is if you promote a product or service that also supports your website by paid advertisement, you must disclose the material connections in all mentions of the product or service.

To learn more, read the Federal Register Notice by Clicking Here


Improving your leadership, managerial, and/or supervisory skills

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. Here are the top 10 skills that make a strong...

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The One Thing

the-one-thingThe One Thing: Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

What’s The ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

In the number one Wall Street Journal bestseller, Gary Keller has identified that behind every successful person is their ONE Thing. No matter how success is measured, personal or professional, only the ability to dismiss distractions and concentrate on The ONE Thing stands between you and your goals. The ONE Thing is about getting extraordinary results in every situation.

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