Premier Screen Printing: MHM automatic presses

Ian Webster, systems and operations manager

Tell us a bit about your business

Established as a family-run business in 1996, Premier Screen Printing Co experienced continual year- on-year growth. The company has subsequently developed into Premier Screen Printing Ltd and employs more than 70 full-time staff. We operate in two distinct sectors within the textile decoration world, supplying both the apparel and promotional merchandise markets.

We are proud to offer a ‘trade only/ print only’ service to the promotional merchandise market and work for some of the biggest and most respected promo suppliers in the UK. As such our clients can rest easy in the knowledge that we don’t sell any of our own products and therefore manage to avoid any unwanted conflicts of interest. We excel in screen printing a wide variety of bags and notepads and are widely considered as the industry’s ‘go to’ printer when it comes to high volume runs or multicolour designs, especially when printing difficult substrates such as nylon, polyester or non-woven PP. We are also highly respected within the printed apparel industry and supply high-end printed garments to both the promotional and retail markets.

Which screen printing presses do you use?

We currently have five MHM automatic machines ranging from 4- to 12-colour S-Type Xtreme and X-Type models. We also have an S-Type on order, and also a bespoke 5000+, which is the Rolls Royce of printing machinery. The 5000+ offers many functions that are not available on the other machines, such as auto-registration.

Why did you choose the MHM automatics?

Due to the demanding lead times in the promotional merchandise industry, we run our five machines over two eight-hour shifts. Taking overtime into consideration, they are often running for 16-20 hours per day, so the machines are worked extremely hard. The reliability that we get from the MHM machines is second to none and this is very important to our business model.

What are they like to use?

MHM is always developing its machinery and so there is a period of training involved every time we upgrade a machine. Once you are familiar with the machine, they are very user-friendly.

What sort of work are they used for?

As well as T-shirts and hoodies we print the whole spectrum of bags including shoppers, drawstrings, business and cooler bags, which are manufactured using a wide variety of substrates including cotton, canvas, nylon, polyester, non-woven PP, jute and paper.

What other equipment do you use?

We use a wide range of other machinery in conjunction with our MHM autos. These include manual carousels, a Brother DTG printer, an MHM direct- to-screen imaging system, five large Tesoma gas conveyor dryers (with more on order) and various flash cure units.

What is your advice to others thinking of buying a screen printing press?

MHM automatic machines are not cheap and when you consider all the other equipment that you will need like registration systems, flash cures and conveyor dryers, it all adds up to what is a considerable five- or even six-figure investment. When you factor in running costs and staff wages, the move into automatic printing presses will not be for everyone. If you do decide to make the move then remember that, as with most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for. You may get cheaper quotes from other machine dealers, but are you comparing like for like? Investing in the wrong machinery now could prove to be very costly in the future. MHM machinery has proved extremely dependable and has never let us down.