Grafica News - Mar 2016

Mahendra Enterprises, Pune

Mahendra Enterprises is engaged in industrial and commercial screen printing. Their 800 sq.ft print unit houses Grafica's Nano- Print plus and Nano-Screen Maker 5-in-1. They also have a separate screen making unit (1300 sq.ft) which supplies duly stretched ready-to-use wide format screen frames and exposed stencils to many industrial screen printers in and around Pune.

The company began its operations as a commercial printer in 1981. They now print and supply decals and product application stickers and labels (paper, PVC, poly carbonate, polyester) to customers in automobile, electrical, engineering sectors in Pune and all over Maharashtra.

Why automation?
Mahendra Padture, proprietor of Mahendra Enterprises, says: “We had 4 manual screen printing tables, and we had to go for automation for consistent quality which is a prime importance in industrial screen printing. And big jobs could not be printed on manual table with such registration accuracy.”

He highlights some of the changes that have taken place in screen printing during the last few decades:

  1. 5-star film to stencil system
  2. High elongation Nylon mesh to low elongation polyester mesh thus great shift in quality.
  3. Wooden frame to high quality Aluminium frame
  4. Manual table to automation
  5. Small area printing to wide format printing.

“As a result of these major shifts, now screen printers can deliver superior quality prints and delight customers. With automation, very large format screen printing is possible. I would say customers are benefited from these major changes and it is a positive sign of growth for screen printers,” says Mahendra Padture. His son Abhinandan has joined the family business after completing BCA.

“I feel whoever undertakes industrial screen printing, automation is desirable to meet various technical aspects, requiring precision quality and accuracy. With automation, we can accept any type of jobs with confidence as wide range of inks are now available or can be made, as per job applications and substrates requirement/surface treatment, coupled with wide range of mesh,” he adds.

What are the challenges in industrial screen printing?
“From my experience I can say that screen printers engaged in industrial applications should acquire thorough knowledge in different aspects such as Stencil making/screen making, Inks fundamentals with regard to bonding on a given substrate, ink durability, knowledge of substrate, knowledge of the product on which such labels are applied, etc.” says Mahendra Padture.

He adds: “In industrial screen printing there is no written thumb rules. One has to do own R&D, study the job (if it is new), know the purpose of printed products (e.g. product application labels), test it, get approvals before going into full production, and document parameters of each job, learn and improvise the coating technique as per job requirement. All said, automation is the key factor.”

Why did you provide yellow light environment in your screen making department?
“It makes a difference as yellow light does not have UV. White lights emit UV, hence affects emulsion while coating. Yellow environment is necessary to make perfect screen. I feel these are simply part of systems and procedures laid down internationally, so why not follow it,” he concludes.

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