Embracing Innovation and Enhanced Efficiency in Our Screen Reclaiming Process
The early adoption of an automated screen cleaning and reclaim system made OSI the first textile screen printer in the US to embrace this technology
At Oregon Screen Impressions, we’ve always believed in moving forward with purpose and care for people and the environment. Our early adoption in the year 2000 of an automated screen cleaning and reclaim system made us the first textile screen printer in the US to embrace this technology. After daily use for 23 years, we replaced this reclaim line with newer technology, as well as enhanced brushes and motors to process our more difficult screens as we have become more water based in production.
Our Four-Step Automated Reclaiming System Explained
In simple terms our automated screen reclaim line contains each step to the process, which allows us to recirculate (reuse/recycle) the chemicals for each step, as it proceeds to the next step. This reduces our consumption and allows us to properly dispose of the byproduct. Many, if not most, shops do all of this in one sink and everything is going down the drain. We are committed to the environment and have always been willing to vote with our dollars to do the best we can.
This screen reclaiming system streamlines several labor-intensive tasks, including ink removal, emulsion removal, dehazing, degreasing, and drying, through a meticulously designed four-step process:
- Ink Removal: The first step is the application of a citrus based ink cleaner to the screen, which the system effectively agitates with brushes, removing the ink from the screens. This product is recirculated within the chamber in a continuous cycle being reused.
- Emulsion Removal: The next step involves applying an emulsion remover in a similar fashion where we recirculate the product to reuse it and it is contained from any rinse process, hence not discharged from the machine. This byproduct becomes a solid waste sludge not going to the water treatment plant and is processed by a third party who ethically converts this to other products or solid waste.
- Rinse: Following the emulsion removal, the machine has two 300 psi pressure washers, one on each side, ensuring a clean screen. The gray water leaving the machine goes to a filtration system before it is discharged onward to the water treatment plant.
- Degreasing and Drying: The final stage of the process is degreasing the screens, with the final light rinse preparing them for a new emulsion layer. An integrated dryer then ensures the screens are dry and ready for immediate reuse. The screens come out clean, dry and ready to be reused.
Prioritizing Environmental Responsibility and Employee Health
Central to our operation is an acute awareness of our environmental footprint. Our automated system is specifically designed to minimize, contain, and manage this step of our work.
By recycling and recirculating chemicals during the reclaiming process within each chamber in the 4-step process, especially for emulsion and ink removers, we not only reduce waste significantly but also prolong the usage of these chemicals. This careful management allows us to lessen our environmental impact substantially and aligns with our commitment to sustainable practices.
It’s also put at the forefront the health and safety of our team. Through automation of the ‘dirtiest’ aspect of screen printing, we’ve dramatically reduced exposure to hazardous substances. This is a key factor in fostering a healthier and safer workplace for our team.
Streamlining Our Workflow
Adopting this automated system has allowed us to enhance our workflow efficiency in a cleaner environment. Our journey towards automation and efficiency in screen reclaiming is a reflection of our values and commitment to people and the environment. We are proud to be at the forefront of this innovative approach in the industry.
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