Frequently Asked Questions


Have a question about the M&R Companies or about M&R screen printing machines like manual & automatic textile presses, graphics presses, conveyor dryers, computer-to-screen (CTS) imaging & exposure units, or other products? Check out the FAQs shown below.

Customer Service

M&R offers maintenance training to our customers at our Roselle Training Facility located in Illinois, USA. Contact the M&R Service Department at 800-736-6431 for more details.
We maintain a section on the M&R Forums Classified Pages for used equipment as a free service to our customers. From time to time, M&R will list demo equipment or factory-refurbished and certified pre-owned equipment for sale. Look for listings located in Roselle, Illinois to find listings from M&R.  

Additionally, anyone wishing to sell used equipment can post it on the forums once they set up and confirm their M&R Forums account. We do not take part in these direct user transactions, nor do we have a financial interest; we simply provide a means by which buyers and sellers can get together. There is no charge to list used equipment for sale, and we impose no fees of any kind on buyers or sellers. If you are interested in buying or selling used equipment, go to the Classifieds section on our Forums and set-up an account.
Most M&R textile machines carry limited two-year warranties and most M&R graphic, Amscomatic and NuArc machines carry limited one-year warranties.
There is no way to predict exactly how many years a press will run or how many impressions it is capable of making. However, we have customers who say their M&R presses have exceeded 10,000,000 prints and are still running strong. A few customers tout over 15,000,000 prints on M&R presses that are still in daily use. Obviously, we can’t tell you how long your M&R press will last, but if you start with M&R quality and stick with proper use and maintenance, your press should last a very long time.
Check out the Blog section of our website. We offer a full range of technical information. You can also check out www.screenweb.com or www.sgia.org.
1. Quality: We manufacture most of our parts in our state-of-the-art facilities, using only the finest materials and components. Our machining and milling equipment is the finest, most modern available, as are our robotic welders and plasma cutters. All M&R equipment is painstakingly manufactured to meet our engineers’ exacting specifications.
2. Innovation: We’re on the cutting edge, with products like the first successful two-tier (Duo-Deck) manual press (Chameleon), the patented dual-reflector UV cure system (Vitran, Switchback, Processor, & Advantage), and the first successful auto-unloader for textiles (Passport).
3. Service & Support: With all of our resources, our network of distributors, our after-sale technical support, 24/7 service hotline, parts warehouses, and the wide range of products available from M&R and our sister companies, Amscomatic & NuArc, M&R simply offers more for your dollar in the long run. No matter where you are or where you want to go, M&R has the products to get you there.

Exposure Systems

It is very important, but especially so for fine detail and half tones. If you want the best reproduction, you need to have the film solidly against the emulsion on the screen fabric. Failure to do so will reduce image sharpness as light bleeds under opaque portions of the film. The result is not unlike the difference between the sharp edges of a laser beam and the fuzzy edges of the beam from a flashlight. Creating a vacuum allows atmospheric pressure to draw the blanket and glass together under more pressure than can be achieved in any other practical way. The vacuum ensures that the film is held against the emulsion under uniform pressure, assuring intimate contact between the two. For the very best results, combine a high-quality vacuum frame with an equally good point light source.

All NuArc exposure systems rely on vacuum drawdown to ensure the closest film-to-screen contact and the sharpest images.
Self-contained exposure units prevent the light leakage that can ruin coated screens by prematurely exposing them. Because exposure cannot take place unless the lid is closed, self-contained exposure units can be placed in darkroom with coated screens. Putting the exposure unit adjacent to the coated screens protects emulsion and increases productivity. Self-contained exposure units also take up less space than a separate vacuum frame and light source.
The Tri-light CTS was designed to meet modern screen making techniques. Computer-to-screen or ink jet-to-screen systems will continue to replace film. Tri-Light CTS has a unique dual-vacuum-frame assembly that enables it to handle both computer-to-screen and film-based screens. Screens can be exposed with film by using the upper vacuum frame. As with the standard Tri-Light, vacuum is applied to ensure intimate contact between the blanket, screen, and glass. The CTS system has the ability to bypass the glass by using a rack for computer-generated screens. Instead, screens rest on an adjustable rack. Screens generated by computer or ink jet do not come into contact with the glass, preventing smearing of the image prior to exposure.
Typically, large format exposure unit lamps are centered for the largest screen the unit can handle. That provides the proper exposure for the largest screen size, but leaves smaller screens off-center where they’ll be unevenly exposed.

Automatic centering lamps are found exclusively on larger models of NuArc’s Helios large-format exposure system. The operator simply punches in the correct screen size and the Helios will center the lamps. The result is a fast, even exposure.
An integrator is an electronic device used to measure the quantity of light emitted by a lamp. Once an exposure test is made to determine the quantity of light needed by a particular emulsion, the integrator will keep the lamp on until that quantity is reached. If the amount of light emitted by lamps did not degrade over time, operators would be able to develop a set exposure time for each emulsion type. However, since lamps do degrade, calculating proper exposures without an integrator becomes very difficult. Integrators enhance your control over the screen-making process and ensure precise repeatability. Each screen will receive the same quantity of light by taking into account the aging of the lamp and the voltage on the line.
NuVac was created by NuArc and is exclusively used on NuArc’s Helios large-format screen exposure system. Many large-format systems have problems removing the air between the screen and glass, but the NuVac System is designed with two vacuum pumps and 2.54 cm (1”) strips sandwiched between twin blankets. The air between the blankets is drawn out, causing the strips to press against the screen and then onto the glass, creating channels for the air pocket to escape. This process ensures intimate contact between the screen and glass. Prior to exposure, the outer blanket is released while the inner blanket remains under vacuum to provide a smooth surface during exposure.
The Point Light Source has always been the best source of light for exposing litho plates, proofing materials, film, and screen printing frames. A Multiple Light Source uses either a bank of UV fluorescent lamps or a bank of UV fluorescent lamps in combination with a quartz halogen lamp. Multiple light source units became popular primarily because of their low cost. For this reason, they’re the choice of many of those just starting out in screen printing. However, if price is the advantage of multiple light source units, high-quality detail is the advantage of point light source units. Larger shops intent on doing higher quality work will definitely want the far superior point light source. Even smaller startup shops should seriously consider starting out with a point light source. If that’s not possible when starting out, the small shop owner should make plans to upgrade as soon as possible. The benefits, which include fewer re-burns and happier customers, are well worth the added cost.

NuArc’s First Light and Mega-Light UV Fluorescent Exposure Systems use multiple light sources. Both units are versatile and affordable, and represent ideal solutions for startup manual screen shops. All the other exposure systems in NuArc’s lineup, from the MSP 2125 through Helios and Helios T, employ a point light source.
Lamps in “instant start” units turn off between exposures, saving energy and reducing heat buildup. These units are typical in shops with low-to-medium production requirements. Lamps in “shuttered” units stay on all the time, but they return to standby (low output) mode between exposures. Since the lamp remains on, shutters close when the blanket frame is opened in order to protect the screen from unwanted light exposure. These units are typical for high volume shops.

NuArc offers both types: the instant-start Tri-Light and the shuttered Tri-Light ST and Tri-Light CTS.
Metal Halide and Mercury Vapor are two similar types of gas discharge lamps that output light in two different areas of the UV spectrum. Both lamps create light by heating up metal additives. Most of today’s emulsions perform best under the spectral output of the metal halide, so it has become the most popular light source. In fact, some modern metal halide lamps are multi-spectrum lamps. Their specialized metal additives cover a wider spectrum in order to match a broader range of emulsions.

Although Quartz Halogen lamps have been used for screen making, they produce a very poor light source. The quartz halogen lamp is basically a high-wattage incandescent lamp that emits a lot of white light but very little of the UV that emulsions require. It’s ironic, but some people invest in what they think is a high-quality exposure system and then compromise performance by using the wrong light source.

Metal Halide is the best light source for today’s emulsions, but be aware that not all metal halide lamps are the same. Those designed to light a warehouse or parking lot have additives that give off more visible light. The light source that provides the best results and fastest screen exposures peaks out in the 350-450 nm range.
Lamps with multiple wattage settings provide increased control over emulsions with very short exposure times. In essence, by reducing wattage and increasing exposure time, the operator has a greater margin of error. Where a one-second difference might be critical on a highly sensitive emulsion exposed at a 6K setting, that single second is far less critical when exposed at the 3K or 1K setting. NuArc’s System 631 is a production-proven light source that gives the operator the ability to change the wattage of the lamp by selecting 6K, 3K or 1K. It’s an ideal choice for those who deal with extremely fast emulsions.

Graphic Screen Printing

In most cases, takeoff systems are extremely cost effective. They reduce costs by eliminating the need to have an employee remove substrates after printing. Fast, effective, and consistent, M&R takeoff systems also help increase print speed while protecting substrates.
M&R's Dual-Reflector System (U.S. Patent No. 5 216 820) uses a secondary reflector—positioned at the top of the primary reflector—to capture the energy that normally bounces down onto the lamp. The secondary reflector redirects this UV energy onto the substrate, speeding the curing process while saving energy and prolonging lamp life. M&R’s unique open-top reflector chambers enhance the curing process by allowing heat and ozone to escape.

M&R's Switchback and Vitran II UV Cure Systems use dual-reflector technology. See the PDF brochures for a graphic depiction of dual-reflector technology.
The dripless squeegee attachment automatically flips to the opposite direction against the front of the floodbar before the flood stroke begins, preventing ink from dripping into the image area. That may seem like a minor benefit, but ink that drips onto the image area of the screen can seep through the open mesh. More ink will then be screened onto the substrate where the drip landed, adversely affecting print quality.
M&R’s Ink Dip System allows the operator to pick up ink that has run past the flood bar by setting the squeegee to periodically move beyond the set stroke length. The operator can set the number of print cycles between each Ink Dip procedure.
These lengths vary depending on (a) the maximum size of the stock you plan to print and (b) whether or not you plan to employ a takeoff. Without a takeoff, the infeed and outfeed have to be long enough (and wide enough) to accommodate a full sheet of stock. If you plan to use a takeoff in an in-line setup, the conveyor infeed must be at least the length of the takeoff. If you plan to use a right-angle setup, the conveyor belt must be wide enough to accommodate the long dimension of the stock. Since takeoff placement accuracy declines as production speeds increase, the conveyor should be somewhat wider that the length of the stock. Note: a right angle setup is not practical for larger presses, like M&R’s Patriot, Patriot LS, Renegade XL, and Renegade LS, because of the limitations on dryer width.
Zoned vacuum beds allow operators to limit vacuum to the area under the substrate. Operators set the vacuum zone by pulling a knob or turning a dial. A zoned vacuum system speeds setup and tear-down since it eliminates the need to tape off areas outside the substrate footprint.
M&R’s Switchback dryer allows the operator to select among three (3) different lamp types (Mercury Vapor, Iron Oxide, and Gallium). All the operator has to do is change the lamp. There’s no need for tools and there are no jumpers to move. This dramatically enhances the operator’s ability to select the ideal cure for any substrate/ink combination.
Flat flood moves the screen to a position level with the printing cartridge prior to flooding. This gives the operator an even and consistent flood.
M&R’s SystemSaver automatic shutdown sequence keeps the blower and belt running until the chamber has cooled. This is especially important in extending the life of the conveyor belt.
A cycle is one full print stroke, from the start of a print stroke to the same point at the start of the next stroke. The term is usually used to represent the rate at which a press can operate when it is not printing. In the non-printing mode, the press is not affected by things like the type and consistency of the ink used, mesh count, screen tension, coverage required, and operator experience. To varying degrees, each of these factors helps prevent the press from printing at the cycle rate.
Park allows the press operator to retract (lift) both the squeegee and floodbar. Once they’re away from the ink and screen, the press can be cycled (the head moved forward and/or back) without flooding or printing.
Job Recall is M&R's system for storing and recalling numerous standard and optional functions and settings under operator-chosen alphanumeric names. On presses, these can include dwell time; index speed; off contact; peel ratio; print stroke and flood stroke length & speed; squeegee pressure (electronically adjusted air pressure); and wattage settings on UV cure units.

Available on many M&R graphic presses, Job Recall speeds job setup and changeover. Once an operator has fine tuned settings for a particular job, he/she can assign a name to those settings and then store them in the memory of the press. The next time a similar job is run on the press, the operator can simply call up that job name to have the appropriate settings automatically applied to the press. If a new job is similar to a stored job, but different in one or more aspects, the operator can modify some settings and store the new job settings under another name.

Job Recall dramatically speeds job setup and print consistency.
On multi-color presses running double-sided work or “work and turn” jobs, the double-sided sheet locator allows the operator to register the substrate at any of the four corners.
During proofing, the operator can alter the order of screen/color application on test prints without having to tear down and set up for each variation.
Curing requirements vary with the type and thickness of substrates. Adjustable-focus UV lamps can be focused to cure heat-sensitive substrates (like vinyl) or unfocused for heavier, less sensitive substrates (like glass and metal).
This allows the operator to adjust for different substrate weight, and thickness. Independent vacuum and blowback can be timed before or after the print. These settings can also be stored in Job recall.
An oiler is a device designed to lubricate components and protect parts from corrosion by injecting oil into pneumatic lines. An oiler is usually part of a lubricator/filter/moisture trap assembly located at the point where pressurized air enters the press. The purpose of this assembly is to protect all the pneumatic components of the press from particulate and moisture contamination. Failure to supply the equipment with clean, moisture-free air may result in premature failure of pneumatic components such as air cylinders, seals, and valves. Air coming straight from a compressor is laden with moisture. This can be very damaging to the small moving parts inside air-driven components. The first line of defense against moisture should be a refrigerated chiller/air dryer, installed between the compressor and press. This device condenses the moisture in the air and removes it from the line. The filter removes particulates from the air, preventing them from damaging pneumatic components. The final device in the assembly injects oil into the line. The oil lubricates pneumatic components, preventing corrosion, and reducing friction and wear. Most oilers are adjustable and should be set to inject at factory-recommended rates. Oilers should be checked regularly to make sure oil level is maintained. M&R equipment requires #10 non-detergent oil.

Online Store

HTTP cookies (also referred to as tracking cookies, or cookies) are small pieces of text stored by a your web browser that contain useful information related to your use of the mrprint.com website.

We use cookies to store information about your account user name, so you don't need to type it in the next time you visit the site.

Cookies are also used to store your selections when you use a temporary shopping cart in our store.

To protect your data, the site uses secure https communication mode.


If you do not have an account, go to store.mrprint.com or www.mrprint.com, click "Create an Account" at the top of the page, and follow the onscreen instructions.

After you receive a confirmation email you'll be able to view invoices and other order information.

If you have problems during or after registration, click "Contact Us" under "Help" and enter your message. Please do not contact M&R’s Credit Department for web-related issues.
  • Each machine's equipment serial number is located within the Equipment Identification Plate.
  • The Equipment Identification Plate contains information particular to your model of the machine and it helps us to uniquely identify your model and the appropriate parts for that machine.
  • The serial number is located on the bottom-right corner of the Equipment Identification Plate.
  • The Equipment Identification Plate placement differs for various product lines.
  • It's a good idea to know where to find the Equipment Identification Plate on your equipment since it will the first information we will ask you for when ordering parts or providing service and support. You may want to keep all of your equipment serial numbers in an easy to access location just for this purpose.
You must have a store account to view invoices, credit memos, and tracking & payment history. (If you do not have an account, scroll to the bottom for instructions on how to create one.)

After you've logged in, click "My Account". From the pulldown menu, select "Orders".

To locate a specific order, search by order, invoice, PO number or other criteria. You can also ask to see recently placed orders. See the screen shot below.


At the bottom of the page (not shown) there is a section on how to retrieve backup information for service invoices.

Instead of searching for invoices on your "Orders" page, you can select "My company has an existing account with The M&R Companies" from the "Create an Account" page. Then enter the invoice number and your customer number. Then click SUBMIT.

Search by

  • M&R Item number
  • Any word within item description
  • Any word within item detail page
  • M&R Serial Number
  • M&R Equipment Number
  • Manufacturer's item number (if applicable)

Search examples

  • "1" will return all items starting with number 1
  • "1002039" will return the part with item number 1002039. This is the fastest way to search our catalog.
  • "WiRE" or "WIRES" returns all items having a word starting with "WIRE" or "WIRES" in its description
  • "WIRE HIGH", or "HIGH WIRE" returns all items having words "WIRE" and "WIRE" in its description.

Serial number search

  • You must be logged in to search The M&R Companies serial number database
  • "010875536S" is a valid The M&R Companies serial number and search will return all available items within that serial number
  • "010875536S WIRE" will return all items with word "WIRE" within its description found in the serial number
  • "WIRE 010875536S HIGH" is more description filtered search within the serial number
  • "010875536S 1002039" searches for item number within the serial number
  • "010875536S 1" displays all items with item number staring with 1 within the serial number

Auto Correction

  • Search by "VACUM" and Online Store will correct spelling returning all items with word "VACUUM"
  • If you search by "WIRRE", Online Store will suggest correct spelling with "Did you mean: WIRE"
  • If you search by "UNKNOWN", Online Store will suggest word that exists within our item descriptions with "Did you mean: UNION"

To regain access to your saved items, wish lists or to place orders, you'll need to login in each time you visit the store.

To log in:

  • Click the Log In button that appears at the top right corner of any page.
  • On the next page, sign in with your e-mail address and password.
  • If you check the Remember Me box, the next time you log in, the username will be automatically filled in for you.

If you are using a public terminal, you will want to log out of the website before you leave the computer. Here's how:

  • Click the Logout button in the top right corner of the page.
  • Close the browser to prevent your name or personal settings from appearing on the public terminal.
  • Once you have done this, your name will be removed from the home page, and your personal settings will be inaccessible to anyone using the same computer after you.

Your equipment serial number should be your starting point when searching for replacement parts. While M&R manufactures most models of our equipment for many years, improvements in existing features and functions over time mean that specific parts will change depending on the date of your machine's manufacture.  When you enter your serial number, your search results will contain only items identified as compatible with your equipment. A serial number search will also provide additional information about your machine such as the operator's manual, electrical drawings, etc.

Placing an Item in Your Shopping Cart

Once you have found the part or supply you're looking for, click the Add to Cart button. Each time you click that button, you will add to the previous item quantity in the shopping cart. You can also adjust the quantity in the cart before you check out.  When you have finished shopping, proceed to the checkout page by clicking the View Cart & Checkout button, or clicking on the Shopping Cart icon in the upper right corner of the page. If you would like to continue shopping, click on the Continue Shopping button, or click on any category page (in the left side navigation bar).  You can also add items to the Shopping Cart from the item category page, Wish List or order details pages.


Changing Item Quantities

If you wish to buy multiple quantities of an item you have placed in your Shopping Cart, change the number in the QTY box. Be sure to click the Update Item link, just below the quantity item, to confirm any changes.


Deleting Items From Your Cart

If you wish to delete an item in your Shopping Cart, simply change the number to "0" in the quantity column of your shopping cart and click on the Update Item link, or, click on Remove Item link. To completely empty your Shopping Cart, click the Clear Shopping Cart link.


Using the Wish List Container

You can use a Wish List to create a shopping list on-the-fly. Add frequently purchased items or items required for the upcoming customer purchase to a list using the Wish List button on the item listing and detail pages. While you are viewing a Wish List, click on the Add to Cart button to add that item to the Shopping Cart.

At The M&R Companies, we understand that our customers wish to keep their personal information private, and we have gone to great lengths to ensure that all such information is guaranteed complete privacy.

How do I know if a website is secure?

In order to be accurate, we are going to get a bit detailed here. When buying something on the Internet, there are three things you need to be sure of:

  • The data you send will be strongly encrypted.
  • The site you are doing business with is the site you think it is.
  • The site you are doing business with processes your information in a safe and responsible manner.
Points 1 and 2 are taken care of by SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), the industry standard security protocol that the Online Store uses to communicate with secure browsers like Safari and Internet Explorer. When communicating with a secure server like ours, these browsers encrypt the information you send in a way that is extremely difficult for anyone else to decode. (You don't have to know whether your browser supports secure transactions - if it doesn't, you won't be able to complete the checkout process.)  Most web browsers indicate that you are on a secure site or webpage by adding a closed lock symbol or the word "Secure" to the URL window at the top of the page that shows the web address.

Many security experts say the most important thing is what happens once the merchant receives your order. At The M&R Companies, we use GoDaddy Secure Certification Authority, the leading provider of electronic commerce solutions, to keep things on our end as safe as possible.

To make it easier to locate and keep track of items you're considering or items you purchase on regular basis--products such as consumables, accessories, or standard maintenance parts--we've created Wish List. It's a list very much like the one you would take with you to the store but with added features.

Wish List saves items even after you leave our site, making it easy to relocate and purchase your favorite items in the future. Items you place on your Wish List will remain there until they are purchased or removed.

To create a Wish List, simply click the Wish List button shown on any item detail page next to the Add To Cart button.  A window will pop-up asking you to either select an existing Wish List or to create a new one by entering a new list name.  Select or create your new list, then click the submit button to save the new list and add the item to it, or to add the item to the selected existing list.

You can create an unlimited number of Wish Lists while shopping to keep your parts orders grouped by equipment type, repair job, supply type, etc..  

  • To access your wish lists, Click on the My Account tab at the top right corner of the page, then select Wish Lists.   You must be logged in to access your existing Wish Lists.
  • To add items, click the Wish List button on any eligible keyword search or detail page.  In the pop-up window that appears, select the existing list to add the item to or create a new list by typing the name in the field, then click submit to add the item to the list.
  • To buy any or all of the items on your list, click the Add to Cart button next to each item and select the quantity in the shopping cart. 
  • To remove items from your list, click the "Remove" link at the bottom of the item description.

Product Finishing (Folding / Bagging / Labeling / Tagging)

Yes. Both the AB-6700 and the Omni-Bagger can be configured to accept single shirts as well as stacks of shirts or garments.
Production counters at various steps along the production line help ensure accuracy.
Bags are generally ordered to your specifications, but try to avoid using a different bag size for every product. If you are simply using the bag as a dust cover, start by sizing the bag to fit your largest product. If the finished fold range varies widely, this should be a "one size fits all" scenario. This is easiest, most efficient, and most cost-effective approach.

However, if the finished package is a retail product, possibly even with advertising on the package, it is important to size the bag to properly fit the finished folded piece. A properly-sized bag is usually a snug fit with no garment distortion. A snug fit also maintains the dexterity of the fold and yields an attractive, professional appearance.
Labeling machines can now be incorporated into the automated folding and bagging lines, and they can greatly increase finishing department efficiency.

Labeling garments: Typically, a worker has been required to place "size-strip" or other types of self-adhesive labels on garments before or after the folding process. This extra step slowed production speed and reduced efficiency. Now, this procedure can be automated, with the label being applied during the folding process. In some cases, the label can even be printed on demand and then applied. In either scenario, automated labeling can greatly increase the line's efficiency.

Labeling bags: As with garment labeling, a worker has often been required to place UPC, product or manufacturer brand, or other type of labels onto the bagged goods. Technology now allows this procedure to be automated, with the label being applied, or printed and then applied, as the bagged goods exit the bagging operation. There is no effect on production speed, because the labeler can run as fast as the rest of the finishing line.

Amscomatic's L-15H high-speed label applicator is designed to automatically apply labels to garments as they pass through an automatic folding machine. Positioned on the folder, the L-15H allows label placement virtually anywhere on the front of the folded garment.

The UPA-II System prints die-cut pressure-sensitive labels. It then affixes those labels to products passing by when signaled by a polarized photoelectric product sensor. It's fully automatic, and it's the perfect companion for Amscomatic's automatic bagger/sealer. Labeling software allows users to design labels with barcodes, pricing & sizing information, product branding, and a wide variety of text and graphics.
As the tagging method of choice, hand-operated tagging guns can be found everywhere. However, they continue to present an ergonomic problem because the operator must hold three things (the tag, the garment and the gun) with only two hands. This forces compromise somewhere along the line, and reduces efficiency. The Amscomatic LLM semi-automatic tagging machine only requires the operator to place the garment in the proper position and then activate a switch, which is easier and 2-5 times faster than the alternative. These machines are also able to apply multiple tags onto to one fastener or barb, which further aids efficiency.

The PrinTagger can, in one operation, print AND apply pricing, bar coding, and other tag styles. The benefits of this machine are obvious, as it streamlines production and increases accuracy by printing only the correct number of tags for each job. Speed is limited more by the operator's efficiency than the machine's capability, but these machines can reach cycles as high as 1200 pieces per hour.
Speed will vary depending upon the machine, the product and the operator. Amscomatic machines can fold as many as 1800 or more garments per hour. Compared to a single operator folding manually, this represents more than a tenfold increase in production speed.

Amscomatic's sophisticated K-840 & K-895 folders are the ideal solution when the goal is high-speed, high-quality folding. And a significant technological breakthrough — M&R's patented bottom pulling dual-belt (upper & lower) transport system — finally makes it possible to fold garments printed with high-density and gel inks.
Bagging machines are available with speeds similar to folding machines: typically between 300 and 1800 per hour.
Most operations will use two or three people, depending upon volume. One person loads the shirt; one bags the product; and sometimes a third person boxes the product and supports the other two employees.
The answer varies with your production quantity, but the sales staff of finishing equipment manufacturers can help you determine which equipment would represent a cost-effective solution in your situation. If the volume is there, the reasons to automate are pretty simple: for many of the same reasons why you bought that fancy Automatic T-shirt press or Multi-Head embroidery machine in the first place. These might include:
Decreased labor costs
Greater profit
Higher production capacity
Improved customer satisfaction
Increased versatility
Yes, the Amscomatic CF-100 will automatically insert a chipboard or stiffener into each garment during the folding process, greatly increasing efficiency.
The advantages include:
Cost of package vs. other types of packaging
Improved product appearance and presentation
Product protection
Product Tracking via labels applied to or printed on the bags
M&R offers two bagging systems: the AB-6700 and the Omni-Bagger. The AB-6700 is a high-speed fully automatic bagger. It creates bags from plastic film, without requiring an operator, so it saves labor.

Omni-Bagger is a compact and affordable semi-automatic bag loading and sealing system. It uses wicketed bags, opening them automatically so that an operator can easily load the product by hand. The bag is then sealed automatically.
The advantages include:
Added-value can allow higher profit margin
Advertising on printed poly bags or packaging
Appearance of final product
Competitive Edge in your market
Consistency of product presentation
Low cost of package vs. other types of packaging
Protection against soiling
Tracking via labeled bags
Printed bags are an outstanding way to get more "bang for the buck," and one of the most overlooked advantages is the opportunity to advertise your company. Printing can be done from one to eight colors. Plates can be designed to print virtually anything on the bag. Company logos, web sites, addresses, contact numbers, and child warning labels are among the more commonly printed bags.

Minimum order points usually start at 10,000 pieces. Price breaks usually start at about 50,000 pieces, and higher quantities get even better pricing.
Costs include those for:
Bags or bagging material
Equipment
Labor
Overhead
The key components are equipment and labor. To automate or not basically comes down to the question of whether or not equipment cost and the advantages of improved efficiency and product presentation are less than the higher labor cost and reduced efficiency found in the manual finishing process.

Finishing operations can be fully or partially automated. Amscomatic has equipment for virtually every finishing application. Whether you're looking for a single semi-automatic tagger or a complete folding/tagging/bagging/sealing/labeling/stacking/boxing solution, Amscomatic is the place to turn.
Bags are readily available with numerous types of closure, including:
Flap with tape seal
Fold-over flap
Hanger bags
Header bags
Heat seal
Perforated tear strips
Tamper-evident seal
Zipper-lock seal
Polyethylene is the material of choice. This poly material is cost effective, easy to work with, and provides good protection for the garment. Polyethylene can be used as either a dust cover or as retail packaging. The higher quality bag is generally 1.5 mils thick. The "dust cover" type of bag typically ranges from 1-1.25 mils.

Other materials, such as Polyolefin, Polypropylene, and co-extruded materials, are available. While they can look very nice, they are more expensive and can be difficult to work with.
There are too many pre-made bag options to cover them all here. However, a visit with your local bag supplier can prove to be informative and beneficial. Resist the temptation to place your bag order before you've consulted your bag supplier about all the available choices.
Products that are well-adapted to the folding/bagging process include:
Dresses
Golf Shirts
Lightweight Jackets (some types)
Long Sleeve Shirts
Pants
Polar Fleece
Sweatshirts
T-Shirts
Baggers can use a wide variety of material formats, from pre-made bags on wickets or rolls, to a center-folded roll of material which is then sealed and cut to form a bag.
Like it or not, our industry is being called upon to provide more services to our customers, as they try to find ways to improve their efficiency. A packaged product which is neatly folded, labeled or tagged for convenience, protected for shipment and during storage, and which is traceable through a bar-coded label applied to the garment or the bag can be a very attractive time-saver for those customers. Though much of this "finishing" work may have historically been done manually, the increased demands are causing many printers and embroiderers to consider investing in automated machinery. For many, an automated line's increased efficiency will quickly justify the investment required.

Folding and packaging is also a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors, and can offer a nice new revenue stream to pad your bottom line. Along with the advent of newer, more automated technologies come opportunities for garment decorators to realize increased consistency of product presentation, increased efficiency and increased profits.

Textile Screen Printing

In the Art Department, films are aligned and attached to carrier sheets (having someone manually align and check every film for things like missing colors or films that may not properly align helps to catch any issues early in the process). Once films have been aligned, they are sent to the Screen Department for exposing. Here the operator simply mounts the film and carrier sheet on the Tri-Loc master frame, and then loads and exposes the screen. As soon as screens are blocked out and taped up, they’re ready for production.

At the press, one printing pallet is removed and replaced with the Tri-Loc pallet. This pallet has three stop blocks that mimic the blocks of the exposure unit master frame. The pallet is indexed around to each print station and raised into position. The screen is simply pulled into contact with the stop blocks, re-registering what was started in the Art and Screen department. With a Tri-Loc, the operator no longer needs to look through the screen for a printed image to align to.
Press cycle speeds vary. For example, Challenger II cycles at speeds over 90 dozen per hour, Formula at over 110 dozen per hour. However, cycle speed is not the same as print speed. A cycle is one full print stroke, from the start of the first print stroke to the same point at the start of the second stroke. The term is usually used to represent the rate at which a press can operate when it is not printing. In the non-printing mode, the press is not affected by things like the type and consistency of the ink used, mesh count, screen tension, coverage required, and operator experience. To varying degrees, each of these factors helps prevent the press from printing at the cycle rate. Although one or more of these factors can slow press operation, maximum press speed is usually determined by how fast the operator can load T-shirts.
M&R’s patented Triple Play Pallets address a wide range of printing needs. The torsion bar support system enables outrigger-style pallets to handle heavy print loads without flexing or drooping. It also allows users to load small-size long-sleeve shirts without interference from the pallet leveling bracket. And operators can load more than one garment at a time, effectively doubling press production. The sleek design and large cutouts maximize clearance for large or bulky garments, and the center pallet is especially effective for garments like Toddler T's and shorts. The rubber-covered printing surface helps enhance print quality. Triple Play Pallets are available in a wide range of sizes and styles.
While this may seem like an unnecessary question, there are many textile products that don’t get the attention T-shirts, sweat shirts, and jackets do, but can be printed on nonetheless. Creativity and knowledge of ink will allow you to print not just on cotton, cotton denim, and cotton blends, but on nylon, polyester, Gore-Tex®, Suplex® and other synthetic substrates. That same knowledge, and possibly a specialized pallet, will allow you to print on products that include towels, scarves, swim trunks, pant legs, shirtsleeves, and socks.
Pneumatic squeegee pressure regulators allow precise, repeatable squeegee pressure from pallet-to-pallet by controlling the air pressure going to the squeegee cylinders. The advantage over mechanical adjustment is that the squeegee actually compensates for pallets that aren’t level and for slight variations in garment thickness. Another advantage is that you can change squeegee blades or squeegee angles without having to make mechanical Adjustments. The squeegee pressure regulator also displays true squeegee pressure, so the operator can set the identical pressure the next time there’s a job with the same parameters.
The Tri-Loc is a Pre-registration system is designed to speed screen setup and registration on M&R presses. Used correctly, it can reduce setup times by as much as 90%.

Traditionally, screen registration has been done on the press, one print and one color at a time. Traditional registration can take up to 2 hours. That’s a huge amount of downtime for a press that should spend as much time as possible in production. The Tri-Loc system takes the time-consuming task of registering screens on the press and shifts it to a pre-press area so that production won’t be affected. That’s not to say registration time is eliminated; it’s just moved in order to free up the press for what it’s designed for: high-speed production. Tri-Loc lets users register films and screens in the pre-press area, and then take those “pre-registered” screens and, with the help of the Tri-Loc pallet, quickly re-register them on the press.

Tri-Loc becomes part of a complete proofing system when combined with M&R’s Chameleon, Sidewinder, or Pre-Runner press. Quick setups allow for pre-press color checks and final design proofing before going into production. And since the operator no longer needs to look through the screen for registering, the screens that were used to sample don’t need to be cleaned, saving time and supplies.
System Integration is M&R’s way of making sure each M&R customer gets maximum return on investment. First, M&R makes sure each piece of equipment stands on its own as the industry’s best in class. But M&R doesn’t stop there. M&R designs products that work together as part of a seamless integrated system, products like Chameleon, which uses frames and pallets that are interchangeable with M&R’s Automatic Presses. And products like M&R’s Tri-Loc & Double Tri-Loc Rapid Registration Systems, which pre-registers screens allowing quick setup on M&R’s automatic and manual presses. In fact, all of M&R’s manual and semi-automatic sampling/short-run presses are compatible with automatic-type screen frames & pallets and with NuArc’s Helios and Tri-Light Exposure Systems. And you can use the Pre-Runner sampling press with Tri-Loc and automatic-type screen frames for ultra-fast registration and color sampling. Since the screens on the sample press can be carried directly to any M&R textile automatic, your automatic presses spend their time engaged in their specialty: high-speed production.

Most M&R flash cures are designed to work with all M&R automatic & manual presses. In addition, M&R’s new Z Series flash cure units are designed to be operated directly from the control panels of M&R new “Z” series automatic presses.

The bottom line is that M&R makes the fastest integrated sampling/production system in the industry. Combine any M&R sampling press with Tri-Loc or Double Tri-Loc for up to 95% faster setup and maximum short-run productivity.

An integrated M&R system also means a single point of contact for customer service, technical support, training, and sales. Every piece of M&R equipment is ruggedly built with M&R's unsurpassed commitment to quality, durability, and design excellence, and is backed by M&R’s unparalleled service and support. With an M&R System, you get all that plus everything you need to run faster, run smarter, and run up your profits.
M&R’s Revolver Print Program enables M&R press owners to get the most out of their presses by allowing the press to make multiple revolutions on a design that may require more print and flash stations than are available on the press. Revolver is especially helpful on 6 and 8-color presses. Revolver allows printing in every head while flash curing at the unload station. Even larger presses benefit from the Revolver program. For example, on a 12-color press running a 10-color job with two flash cures to handle specialty inks that must be flashed three times, the revolver can print 3 colors; flash; then print 4 colors and flash on the first revolution. On the second revolution, the press can print 2 more colors and flash before printing the final color.

Countless other scenarios are well within Revolver’s reach.
The Pallet Locator Arm provides a quick and repeatable way to locate pallets in the same position from arm-to-arm.
Central Off-Contact changes the height of all pallets simultaneously. It’s beneficial when changing garments or other substrates in the middle of a run. For example, when switching from T-shirts to sweatshirts, the operator needs to change the Off-Contact distance for every pallet. Central Off-Contact allows the operator to change the settings on the lower carousel without affecting the screens or registration in any way.
1. It’s the only manual press that can expand from 4 colors to as many as 10 colors, and from 8 colors to as many as 14 colors. Color expansion doesn’t enlarge the footprint of the press.
2. It’s fully compatible with M&R’s Tri-Loc registration system, which speeds setup.
3. It supports automatic presssize screen frames. This means operators never have to buy screen frames that can’t be used on an automatic. Once they decide to automate, they won’t be faced with replacing thousands of dollars of manual-only frames.
An oiler is a device designed to lubricate components and protect parts from corrosion by injecting oil into pneumatic lines. An oiler is usually part of a lubricator/filter/moisture trap assembly located at the point where pressurized air enters the press. The purpose of this assembly is to protect all the pneumatic components of the press from particulate and moisture contamination. Failure to supply the equipment with clean, moisture-free air may result in premature failure of pneumatic components such as air cylinders, seals, and valves. Air coming straight from a compressor is laden with moisture. This can be very damaging to the small moving parts inside air-driven components. The first line of defense against moisture should be a refrigerated chiller/air dryer, installed between the compressor and press. This device condenses the moisture in the air and removes it from the line. The filter removes particulates from the air, preventing them from damaging pneumatic components. The final device in the assembly injects oil into the line. The oil lubricates pneumatic components, preventing corrosion, and reducing friction and wear. Most oilers are adjustable and should be set to inject at factory-recommended rates. Oilers should be checked regularly to make sure oil level is maintained. M&R equipment requires #10 non-detergent oil.
Infrared flash units are less expensive to purchase, and simpler to set up and operate. Quartz-infrared flash units are more expensive, but offer significant advantages, including:
1. Faster curing.
2. Instant on/off operation.
3. Space savings because they mount over the print station and remain in place, rather than sitting outside the carousel and shuttling in and out
4. More precise control over curing
Automatic presses have become amazingly easy to run. Setup can be fast and easy with registration systems like M&R's Tri-Loc. Automatic presses typically run up to 10 times faster than manual presses, usually with better print results. A single operator, working alone, will produce 3-5 times the volume of an operator running a manual press. Automatics take less physical effort to run, so operators of automatics experience less fatigue. Operator fatigue often leads to production decline over the course of a day. Since labor is usually the largest expense in any screen shop, making labor more productive goes a long way toward defraying the cost of an automatic. Increases in productivity can also make for more efficient use of space. Generally speaking, the automatics that will fit into a given space will produce more than the manual presses that will fit into the same space. This means automating can buy time for an expanding business by delaying the time the business will run out of room and have to move to a larger facility. Finally, there is the issue of volume. An automatic press provides proportionately greater benefit to a shop with large press runs. Since setup time on automatic and manual presses is similar, the time it takes to set up and print a single shirt on a manual press would differ little from the time it takes to set up and print one shirt on an automatic. However, the more shirts there are in the print run, the greater the advantage of an automatic.