Machine: MHM S-Type Xtreme Automatic Screen Printing Press
From MHM Direct GB
Tell us a bit about your business
We started off in retail years ago, then we started offering custom print services using vinyl cutters and heat presses, and then we added DTG, a VersaCamm and a manual screen printing set-up, which we had above the shop. Three years ago we shut the retail store and concentrated on large volume. Since then we’ve just been adding more equipment and growing. We’ve added a Kornit and two of the new Brother GTXs.
What screen printing press did you buy?
The MHM S-Type Xtreme in August 2017. It’s a 10-colour, 12-station. I like the MHMs because they’re ‘gadgety’. I like gadgets, I like technology.
What do you think are its main advantages?
For us, it’s the pin registration system, the way the screens lock in, and the really fancy touch pad control, it’s very ergonomic. Speed-wise, it’s comparable with most machines – I think that’s down to the operator. It cost around £55,000.
We don’t make lots of screens. We keep the same ones, and we just pull them out and lock them in the machine. That’s why the pin registration system is so handy for us, because we can just plug them in and it’s already registered.
Is there anything you’d like to see in an upgrade?
No, not really. Although I’d love a zero registration system to automatically zero, which you get on the big 5000 series machines, but they’re quite a lot of money.
What’s it like to use? Do you have any tips on how to get the most out of it?
Not really – I’m learning as I go. It’s my first auto. I’ve watched lots and lots of YouTube videos from Ryonet, companies like that. Before we had a 10-colour M&R Chameleon manual, and a sixcolour Riley Hopkins manual press before that. I wanted an auto, I wanted that consistency and to be able to train an operator and all they’d really have to do is load T-shirts and push buttons. It just makes life easier.
What sizes runs do you do on it?
Anything from 20 to 500.
What would be your advice to anyone who is thinking of buying an automatic screen printing press?
Speak to John [Potter, of MHM Direct GB].
Any other advice?
You shouldn’t jump into an automatic, you should learn the techniques, the screen preparation and everything else before you go down the automatic route. And you obviously want really good support – you want to know that if your machine breaks down, it’s going to get fixed very quickly.