Heat press machine is crucial component of desktop digital printing setups since they are utilized to permanently attach a transfer to a surface. Any type of transfer process, including heat transfer vinyl (HTV), printable heat transfer vinyl, inkjet transfer paper, laser transfer paper, plastisol transfers, and sublimation transfers, requires precise application times, temperatures, and pressures, which can only be achieved by using a heat press machine.
There has never been a wider variety of heat presses and related equipment available on the market, with many choices coming from suppliers throughout the world and many of them now being available online. Offerings differ significantly in terms of quality, safety, consistency, and value for money in addition to pricing. Any business that deals with clothing embellishment needs a heat press. Making the incorrect purchase might be very costly. For instance, irregularities on the heat plate will cause a variety of problems, and unequal pressure can be a serious trouble. Despite the plausible printing effect, the clothes will eventually appear its real quality after first washing.
HTV and the newest transfers are made to be applied at significantly lower temperatures. Today’s clothing is frequently heat-sensitive. While entry-level press machine can typically produce and sustain temperatures of 190°C to 200°C for sublimation prints, they sometimes struggle to maintain steady temperatures for applications requiring temperatures as low as 120°C since the heat might fluctuate greatly.
Customers—both potential and current—regularly inform us that they have checked the temperature of their presses and everything is in order. However, they prefer to choose low-cost infrared (IR) temperature gauges. These are renowned for being inaccurate because the surface’s emissivity [the relative capacity of the surface to radiate heat] must be taken into account. Typically, they are placed on a matte black surface. The distance between the measurement surface and the gun must also be precise.
Avoid utilizing an IR gun on a shiny or PTFE-coated platen surface since it will produce a falsely lower reading. It is possible to assess older heat presses with deteriorated PTFE surfaces more precisely, but the results will still be poor. The Adkins Beta Maxi and other high-end professional presses are traditionally calibrated using type K thermocouples, which measure temperature in an absolute form and are +/-2°C without correction. These are put in the press, closed to stabilize it, and preheated to 200°C. Older Adkins Beta Maxi presses can self-calibrate by switching to calibration mode, which causes them to run until the type K thermocouple installed within the heat plate reaches 200°C.
If you don’t have the emissivity data to account for the heat plate surface, you shouldn’t ever modify any press with an IR thermometer because it will get hot. The DIY IR guns we’ve found lack correction tables, unlike more expensive models that come with them. Always use a touch thermometer when checking the temperature of your press.
Different Heat Press Machines
Clam Heat Press Machine
A clam press is probably going to be the finest choice if space is limited and you want to put your heat press machine in the room’s corner. Clam presses are much smaller than swing-away presses, yet they are infamous for applying uneven pressure. To guarantee completely uniform pressure throughout, make sure the press levels out before shutting. Clam presses have recently undergone improvements and modifications to maintain consistent pressure. Many of the earlier clam designs only offered very little room for user hands toward the back of the platen. As a result, they might touch the heat platen with their hands’ palms or fingers. Presses with a pull-out draw, making acess easier and safer.
Swing Style Heat Press
These enable smooth access to the platen without having to worry about hands or fingers getting too close to the upper element. Swing-away press machine prevent burns or accidents by keeping the heat away from the user’s face. The majority of higher-end presses provide interchangeable platen options. Users can easily press bags, shoes, collars, and sleeves thanks to this. A swing press, however, typically occupies one square meter, which is a bit bigger than a clam-style press.
Pneumatic Press Machine
If a company produces between 100 and 200 clothing or other items a day, or more. They should choose an automatic, in my opinion. In combination with a compressor or the print shop’s own air supply, a pneumatic press will deliver a steady rate of production. Additionally, this will lessen operator tiredness throughout the working day.
Make sure to complete your research before you go out and purchase your new heat press. Look for a heat press with the essential features required for quality and dependability. To ensure that you choose a model that meets your needs, be sure to be clear about what you plan to use it for. Avoid imports of substandard quality.
Does the manufacturer or supplier provide a warranty? Does it offer training and support? Additionally, make sure your press complies with all applicable European Health and Safety regulations. Then you will get what you pay for.