Long Beach Part 1: Know-It-Alls, Ink and Level Platens (…Pallets, whatever…)
Well, the Ink Kitchen “Know-It-Alls” descended on ISS Long Beach 2016 and we had a pretty damn good time and met a whole lot of great folks that do printing and embroidery. Here’s post numero uno regarding some of what we found in Long Beach this year.
We had our guide to the show, many of the companies that Tom and I partner with in our shops were there. It is so great to hang out with good people that you usually just get to talk to on the phone the rest of the year. We are unabashed supporters of our vendors. We don’t have to give equal time to everyone. We promote the companies that we know are solid from our many years of experience working with them. People always see our printing and say, “how do you do that, and what do you use to do that?” Now the Ink Kitchen gives us a forum to say, we use Saati squeegees, GSF and Newman frames, Rutland inks, etc. Here is the guide we handed to people that were interested, (apparently quite a few because we had to print more during the show.)
No ink, no printing. Tom and I use Rutland inks almost exclusively and Rutland was at the show.
Rutland has a new VP of Global Marketing Ravi who is managing their brands. He seems like a really great guy and a very smart guy and he is giving Rutland some clear direction and more than ever they seem like the international powerhouse that they have been for a long time. Between their booth architecture and the awesome coffee machine with professional baristas they seemed friendlier than ever. Their new silicone ink called “Silextreme” is now fully launched and they had free seminars on how to print it. If you need silicone inks for difficult fabrics, it is a godsend, but most of you out there don’t need it. What almost all of you do need is the Rutland Endurance Plus System that has great dye blocking qualities while still maintaining softness, the two things you need on so many fabrics we seen now in our shops. We ran some at the show to the great interest of many in attendance, and we had quite a few conversations about printing problems that ended up with Endurance as part of the recommended solution.
Action Engineering and their head honcho Erik were in the house. Tom and I both use their specialty platens (I say platen, you say pallet…) like double sleeve platens and zipper platens. We also use his flattening tools which are flattening screens and roller squeegees. He had a new M&R Style Leveling & Off Contact Pallet he was showing off. Tom and I use MHM’s which are nearly always level without us doing anything, but this pallet looks like a great tool for M&R users. A press that isn’t level is not a great start for printing.