Every week we hear horror stories of companies that bought low cost (ie cheap) heat transfer machine from online retailers or markets. It will be unusable for a few days or weeks after installing a new "out-of-the-box" heat press. Electronic equipment stops operating, or the temperature / pressure on the platen changes significantly, causing the transfer to be incorrectly applied to clothing. This can cause frustration, shorten production times, and sometimes damage clothing.


Why would anyone buy a cheap heat press instead of a professional-grade heat press? The answer is a low purchase price. They might think, "Why can cheap machines do the job, but why spend money on more expensive machines?" But if you consider other factors, you usually lose the cost savings of buying a cheap heat press. E.g:

Production Loss-When the heat press stops working, the work scheduled at that station will also stop. How to recover during this time? Is the customer being told that they cannot fulfill their delivery promise? Do I need to work overtime on another workstation to make up for the lost output? Non-working hot presses cause inefficiencies and can cause far-reaching problems at the production site. When purchasing a machine, these potential issues are not always considered.

Quality-If the pressure and / or temperature of the upper platen are inconsistent, the graphic may not be correctly applied to the garment. This may be obvious when the download body is removed from the conveyor and part of the artwork is not suitable for clothing, or until the customer has washed the clothing several times and the artwork has been lifted from the clothing. In the first example, there will be transfers and garment waste, which increases the cost of work. In the second example, your reputation with your customers will be compromised because they realize that the art will come off their clothes after a few washings.

Durability – Low cost (ie cheap) heat presses are cheap for a reason. They tend to use inferior parts and take shortcuts in their production shop to minimize production costs. As the saying goes, "you pay". These machines are ultimately disposable. Professional-grade machines, such as those from Insta Graphic Systems, have an average service life of more than 25 years and are the most reliable and durable machines on the market.

Service / Parts-Most cheap heat presses are manufactured and sold by offshore companies that do not have a local branch in the United States. If you need to replace parts or accessories, or if you need help from a service technician, there is nowhere to look. Domestic manufacturers (such as Insta Graphic Systems) have parts lists and service technicians who can help by phone or email.

Consider for a moment the three key functions of a hot press:

time:
All transfers require some time under a hot press to allow the characteristics of the ink to adhere to the fabric of the garment. Depending on the type of transfer ink and the remelting characteristics of the ink, the time required for transferring under a hot press will vary.

temperature
Remember "ink cannot think". If the temperature setting of the heat press is not accurate to the temperature of the entire platen, the transfer will not be applied correctly to the garment.

pressure:
The pressure exerted by the upper platen on the clothes plays a crucial role in the transfer process. The pressure is too small, too large or inconsistent, and the transfer will not be applied to the garment properly.

In the long run, buying an inexpensive heat press to save initial investment will not prove to be a reasonable strategy. When you encounter repeated garment and transfer waste, wasted production time, missed delivery promises, and a reputation for poor delivery quality, you will find that buying a hot press that can get repeated positive results again and again Machine makes more sense.