A lot has happened in the St. Louis digital T-shirt printing industry over the last 10 years. Ink jet application methods have evolved and have become much more efficient. Although the equipment is still extremely expensive, there is a large amount of use machinery available as long as you don’t mind using last years model. This type of equipment is evolving almost as fast as cell phones. I would not recommend going out to a dealer and purchasing the latest and greatest model on the showroom floor. Just like an automobile, it will devalue the second you drive it off the lot. It would make a lot more sense to just let someone else take that depreciation hit.
I’ve always been of the opinion that there is no status in overpaying no matter what your shopping for. A lot of the time you can purchase an extended warranty even if you didn’t purchase it from the manufacturers dealer. The companies who produce these state-of-the-art machines seem to have figured out. I can’t tell you how many people I know who bought one of these in order to break into the St. Louis digital T-shirt printing market and within two years it broke. What usually wears out is the spray applicators. When applying an image on a dark garment, you have to print a white under base. If the printing mechanism that sprays this white ink is not used on a daily basis, then the ink will have a tendency to dry out and harden. If that happens, the machine will not work and you have to call a service technician which is normally located out-of-state. You’re going to pay him approximately $50 per hour and that starts the moment they leave their warehouse. By the time they get to the airport and catch the plane you might already be owing that technician for over 10 hours. This is why I strongly would recommend that you make sure that an expert checks out your equipment before buying it used. I strongly recommend getting the extended two year warranty. It will normally cost approximately $2000, but in the event that the equipment malfunctions you’ll be glad you have it and it will be worth every penny.
This type of machinery is normally a great addition to almost any St. Louis screen printing company. It does away with all the typical color separations and having to generate films like the old traditional method required. It really comes in handy if you have a small run of 24 or less units and there are a lot of colors involved. It is so efficient in comparison to the old way of doing things. The very nature of custom screen printing requires that you have the exact same set up to process one item as you would 300 pieces, as well as the same exact clean up requirements.
Please remember us the next time you are looking for custom embroidery as well as screen printing and digital T-shirt requirements.