If you are planning to start your own screen printing business, you need to do some important preparation work before you buy any printing equipment.
This is especially important if you plan to set up your print shop in a basement or in a garage.
Even if you are starting out in a commercial or industrial building, you should read over this article as following the advice given could save you a lot of headaches.
The first thing you must do is take measurements.
Get a tape measure and make notes of the size of the openings where the equipment will be brought in. You want to be sure that the equipment that you want to buy can be brought in without having to disassemble it. Measure the width and height of the door opening(s) or any point of entry that you intend to use to bring in the equipment. Screen printing equipment such as a textile dryer and printing press may or may not fit through your opening space. After you have taken the necessary measurements and are ready to buy equipment, it will be a simple matter to compare the equipment measurements with your available space openings. If the equipment is too large to bring in, it will have to be disassembled and reassembled. This is a situation that you want to avoid if possible. It can be difficult and time consuming to take apart and reassemble equipment. And you may not have the tools and/or expertise to do it.
The second thing you must do is check over the electrical system in your printing area.
How many outlets are available? Is there a dedicated 220v outlet? These two details are very important. With respect to outlets, you should have a minimum of at least three 110v outlets in your print shop. For safety reasons, it is recommended that you use separate outlets for the various pieces of equipment that you will using so as to not overload any one particular outlet. That's means you should have an outlet for a flash cure unit, one for your screen exposure unit and one for a heat transfer transfer press (if you intend to do transfer printing). A typical heat transfer press and a flash cure unit tend to draw a decent amount of current so a dedicated outlet for each of them with its own breaker in the electrical panel box is recommended.
If you are going to buy a textile dryer to cure your printed products, you will need a dedicated 220v outlet. There are some dryers that run on 110v, but they are uncommon and are very energy inefficient. If you do not have a 220v outlet available, contact a few local electricians and get some bids to have one installed. You will find the cost should be under $250 to have one installed in most areas of the US. Moreover, ask about the dryer plug that comes installed on the dryer. You will need to have a receptacle box installed in your shop that matches the configuration of the dryer plug.
Bottom line: Before you buy any screen printing equipment, save yourself from a lot of trouble by taking plenty of measurements and looking over the electrical system in your new print shop. It will be time well spent.