How to spot a professional heat press
“TheMagicTouch for the past 25 years has only ever sold professional heat presses made to the highest standards for reliability and safe operation,” says managing director Jim Nicol. The company has enjoyed a relationship since 1989 with both Insta Graphics and Adkins, both of whom TheMagicTouch says are considered market leaders in the north American and European markets respectively.
When choosing a heat press, there are a number of factors to consider, says Jim. “Does the product, whether it is a mug press, cap press or T-shirt press, conform to the relevant European health and safety standards and legislation? Does the supplier or manufacturer offer warranty, support and training?”
When considering an upgrade or new purchase, Jim says one of the key points to look for is even temperature. “Even temperature is probably the most important feature in a heat press. The best option is to have a heat platen with a cast-in tubular heating element that runs from edge to edge and is evenly spaced throughout the entire platen; this means the coiled heating element is actually cast into the upper platen, instead of sitting on top, so it heats the metal from within. Both Adkins and Insta presses come with a lifetime guarantee on the heat platen.”
Other factors to consider are even pressure, ergonomic design, model options (clam-style or swing head), and whether to choose a pneumatic or manual model. When going into high volume production – that is, more than 100 items a day – TheMagicTouch recommends opting for an automatic, pneumatic press. “ Find a heat press that has the key elements for quality and reliability,” concludes Jim, adding: “And make sure you’re clear on what you’re using it for so you get a model that suits your needs.”
The Sefa Sublitex 1510 heat press
According to Xpres, its recently launched range of wide format textile solutions is “taking the soft signage, home décor, sportswear and sublimated fashion markets by storm”. The company has partnered with a number of leading brands with the aim of “wowing” its customers with the choice of heat presses and calendars it offers.
One example of what is available is the Chromaluxe-approved Sefa Sublitex 1510, a large format heat press that has high thermal efficiency, a touchscreen panel and accurate and fast registration. It has been designed and built for big productions and has double-driven plates (1500 mm x 1000 mm) working alternatively with pressure transmitted by four air cylinders. It is dedicated to sublimation on to textile, has two independent heating zones, a five-program pre-set, automatic opening and lowering, and a twin timer.
“For flawless results when pressing hard substrates like Chromaluxe aluminium panels, the Sefa large format Subli series comes highly recommended,” explains Xpres. “Featuring multi-zone temperature controls and double-driven plates creating powerful pressure, these presses always produce stunning, quality results.”
Xpres aims to provide a range of high quality, affordable heat presses that suit almost every printing application and have been designed to keep running costs low and productivity high. This diverse collection has been specifically chosen to suit both established professionals and companies new to the printing business.
MHM Direct GB
Tesoma dryers: made in Germany for quality and performance
According to MHM Direct GB, Tesoma textile dryers are known as the ‘Bentley’ of the dryer world and, says the company, “have become the premier choice of screen printers throughout the UK”.
“As with most things made in Germany, build quality and performance are second to none, especially with water-based and discharge printing inks where the Drylight model is simply head and shoulders above the competition,” says John Potter, managing director of Tesoma’s award-winning UK dealer MHM Direct GB. “With almost 70 installations within the last three years, there is no doubting the customer satisfaction with this product.”
The digital combustion burner system constantly monitors the gas/air ratio, ensuring what MHM says is the cleanest possible combustion and the lowest possible running costs. In addition, Tesoma dryers have an innovative system of processing the hot air, resulting in even air-flow and accurate temperature control throughout the entire length and width of the dryer.
“We also offer a sophisticated thermal mapping test to highlight precisely what is happening to your garments inside the dryer, something which enables us to demonstrate in black and white why we believe the Tesoma dryer performs better than any other dryer in the industry,” explains John.
Installation and servicing is carried out by MHM’s highly qualified, Gas Safe technician who is able to complete the entire installation in accordance with all current safety legislation. This is extremely important, explains John, as installation or servicing by a technician without the correct certification could render your insurance invalid.
R A Smart
R A Smart launches the desktop HeatJet 24
“At R A Smart we are delighted to be able to offer the new, cost-effective, desktop HeatJet 24” rotary heat press,” says the company. “With its 70 cm passage and 65 cm transfer width, it is one of the smallest rotary heat presses on the market, but that does not mean it compromises on ergonomics or the technology found on larger models.”
The HeatJet now comes with its own loading table, meaning creating beautiful lengths of textile is easier than ever, says R A Smart. The digital control panel allows users to confirm and adjust settings with ease, and there is a driven take-up roller on the back for the dyed textile, as well as three un-wind rollers for fabric, paper and protection paper.
Able to press materials with a thickness of up to 5 mm, this narrow-width calendar is suitable for printing a wide range of products including scarves, towels, canvases, ties and cushions, to name but a few. It’s also ideal to be used by textile designers and universities for creating samples without having to invest a huge amount of money in a wide format heat press.