Print Performance vs. Material Costs
Too often in life we purchase items based solely on cost alone. Following this logic then everything we purchase should be the cheapest it possibly can be. The thought process goes, ‘spend less, make more. Yet I will bet you didn’t buy the cheapest car on the lot, you know the 1,000 dollar subcompact with 300,000 miles on it? Why? Simply because you know you want a car that will last, get up to freeway speeds safely, get decent gas mileage, and haul you and your family comfortably to this weekend’s soccer game. More than likely you bought a product to fit your needs and not the cheapest car on the market.
Companies that operate on the philosophy that ‘cheaper is better’ fall into the above trap. The trouble is too often the company is on the ropes after a couple years of buying emulsion or mesh that doesn’t perform. Their print quality not as good, registration is fuzzy or barely there, and their prints lack the color and quality that their competition is providing. In screen printing it’s performance that counts. Here is a short list of why quality stencil products matter in Screen Printing:
1. Production Yields – Downtime is the 800 pound Gorilla in your shop, and he gets paid before you do! You can rush orders all you want or jump up and down on the folding table admonishing your workforce to get the job done. These tactics simply won’t matter if your press is stopping to fix pin-holes, or you need to set up another discharge screen that has broken down. My company found out like many others in this industry that production is much like the tortoise and the hare story. Consistent steady production with quality stencil products will often finish sooner than a mad rush with cheaper stencil products that breakdown or lose register.
2. Quality – Believe it or not, you have competition, lots of it. There are printers bidding on your work as we speak. Whether you are a volume printer, or are a niche market printer, your work will be analyzed and critiqued by your competition to see if they can do better. Buyers are always looking for a better price, but they also weigh the quality factor, especially if they are going to wear it. Quality is difficult to come by if the products you use to print with cannot produce the highest quality prints possible. A distinct competitive advantage is knowing you can print something your competition can’t match.