WhoshouldIsee Tracks
Back to blog

In-house screen preparation makes printing a breeze

RH in-house Screen Preparation Department creates quality fresh screens to support the smooth running of our screen printing machines.

Pt 3 Screen Department - Film Roller - - membrane keypads membrane switches membrane keyboards graphic overlay

In-house screen preparation makes printing a breeze

As a part of our many in-house capabilities, we manage our own silkscreen preparations. This pre-press screen department helps streamline the screen-printing department’s running with new screens on-call to mitigate any potential press downtime. If a screen has any issues in production, we can pull the screen and replace it with a new one in as little as 30 minutes. This in-house screen preparation keeps the presses moving and every job to plan.

The department works in a specially constructed yellow light environment to protect unexposed screens from UV light. We can handle all areas of screen production from exposure of precoated screen to wash out and storage of used screen. However, we choose to outsource the application of emulsion to new screens. All fresh screens are created in a non-damaging ecological way by a supplier that follows the strictest government guidelines and oversight. This supply helps RH remain a clean supplier, protecting the biological quality of local water systems.

Supplying screens for others

We not only make screens for our own printing needs, but we also make screens for smaller third-party suppliers. This service gives select customers flexibility to manage their own printing needs. Removing the worry of preparation from smaller businesses, they can focus on quality printing while we handle all their prepress issues.

The detail is in the thread count

Using a variety of thread counts achieves different print results. The courser the screen, the higher the volume of ink that is transferred. Using a low thread count of 79, with broader mesh openings, makes simple block colour dense and solid. The greater the thread count the more significant the detail. Therefore, high screen counts can create smooth gradient effects. However, jobs with more detail may require a slower press speed to prevent low volume screens from filling in on the press. High definition printing also relies on expert preparation of the ink, requiring a perfectly mixed ink viscosity.


Screen Thread Count Diagram

Screen Thread Count:
  • 79 – Printed circuits conductive inks
  • 90 – Printed circuits conductive inks and Dielectric insulation. White backup prints
  • 120 – Conventional (Solvent Inks). Surface printed Texture.
  • 140 – Most UV inks Text and background colours.
  • 150 – Surface printed wet out anti-glare lacquer windows. Under surface Filter prints
  • 165 – Vignettes and fine detail

The application of RH Screen Printing

When RH manufactures Membrane Keypads, Membrane Switches, Graphic Overlays and Custom Labels on a number of different plastic substrates, we usually print on the undersurface. Undersurface printing gives the graphics protection from daily wear and tear while offering a significantly improved product life expectancy. We also run surface printed jobs, but this is usually directly onto a component.

Finally, the maximum image size we can produce is 915 x 610 for special large format work. Normally, we work with smaller screens with a 610 x 457 image size; then step and repeat multiple images onto one screen to increase productivity and reduce waste. Our normal bleed for colour trapping is 0.3mm on the screen presses.

RH are experts in Screen Printing and offer your company a wide variety of print solutions for all your HMI and Label needs. Working in conjunction with digital print creates impressive results. Contact RH for a review of any designs you may have in preproduction, and we are sure to have a solution for you!