Maintenance on Your Heat Press is Important!
Your heat press is the heart of your business and it’s important to perform simple maintenance procedures on this moneymaker from time to time. A heat press is a durable piece of machinery but there are steps you can take to increase the life and performance of the machine.
Simple heat press maintenance tips to follow:
(1.) Lubrication – A new heat press is ready to use right out of the box with little worry about greasing wear points, but it’s important to inspect exposed rods at the pivot or “hinge” points every 6 months to a year and lightly lubricate these areas with high temp lithium grease. Note: Excessive lubrication on a heat press can lead to soiled garments, so take it easy with the grease!
(2.) Heat Element – The main care for the heat element is to keep it clean. In most shops cleaning the heat element only happens after a transfer is flipped over and pressed causing a gooey mess! To remove ink from the heat element, simply use a piece of flannel or soft fabric and clean off the melted ink while the press is still hot, but be careful not to get burned.
If cleaning off the ink while the machine is hot doesn’t work, turn off the press and after it’s cool, use a house hold surface cleaner or solvent recommended by the manufacture and wipe off the ink residue using a soft piece of flannel. Note: Don’t use a metal scraper or abrasive materials to clean the heat element.
(3.) Lower Rubber pad – The rubber pad is made of a high temp silicone rubber that will start to wear after time causing low areas on the edges or in the middle. To check the pad for wear, place strips of paper at each corner of the pad and lock down the heat platen. If the paper can be easily pulled out while the press is locked down, the pad could be worn in these areas causing poor application pressure.
Solution: Replacement pad kits are available from heat press manufactures or if you have a Stahls’ Hotronix® with interchangeable platens, a new lower platen can be purchased and switched out in just seconds.
(4.) Pneumatic Press – If you have an air operated heat press, be sure to keep your airlines free from moisture. A simple solution is to install a water trap on the airline to capture the water before the air goes into the machine. Note: Moisture laden air can damage air valves and internal components.
Spare parts? For high volume shops that can’t afford to be down even a day waiting on replacement parts, it’s recommended to keep a few common parts at the shop. Some of these parts include: circuit breakers, on/off switches, gas springs, triac, and possibly a control board for the larger volume shops. Just like your car, all machines are subject to wear and tear and will need replacement parts from time to time so it’s a good idea to be prepared!
Stahls’ Hotronix® offers the best machines and technical help in the industry with 24/7, 365 days a year customer service call line. (800-727-8520.)
Have questions? Hotronix® has full instructional videos online to assist you in getting your heat press back up and running in a matter of minutes. Following the maintenance tips above (and keeping a few spare parts on hand) will help you keep your moneymaker in action for years to come!