Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 show season begins

FireFly demonstration
2015 has kicked off to a roaring start!

And welcome to a new season.  We are loading our trucks this week for upcoming events and we hope to see you there.  We have many new things to show you and we are very excited to hear your reaction.

The first event of the season was the PPAI show in Las Vegas. We displayed 2 amazing machines at this show.  The ElectraPrint Junior and the FireFly Curing System.  The speed and small size of the ElectraPrint makes this a great addition to any print shop.  The versatility of the FireFly is a perfect curing option for shops with direct-to-garment machines, athletic printers who print on performance materials and any shop who is trying to feed from multiple print operations onto one belt.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

We've been nominated!

Nominated for a Reggie!  How exciting!  

Now all we need is a little help from our friends.   

Best New Product - 2014

This category is for products that have made an impact on our industry in 2014 that are relatively new to the market place. It maybe have been around for a few years already, but really affected our industry in 2014. 
So what are we asking?  For you to vote.  Follow the link and vote for the FireFly.  The voting is anonymous but we believe that the FireFly deserves this recognition.

Monday, November 3, 2014

BrownDigital FireFly introduction


This October, BrownDigital, a division of Brown Manufacturing Group, Inc. introduced the FireFly line of curing system.  The DragonAir line was expanded to include the new modular Griffin and the upgraded Fire models.  The SGIA introduction was a huge success.

 DragonAir Fire


The DragonAir Fire units feature TRX software with touch screen displays and DragonAir Core Technology.  The Fire is designed for high volume of discharge, direct-to-garment and water based printing. 

 DragonAir Griffin


The DragonAir Griffin units feature the TRXi software on a larger 10” touchscreen and internet connectivity.  These units provide the production of the DragonAir Fire with the mobile control needed in today’s fast paced world.  The added feature of modular design provides growth flexibility to any shop.

Finally, the FireFly, a patent pending machine, was shown in the Kornit booth and provides unique thermal imaging software and quartz heat technology for reduced floor space requirements, increased production volume and higher quality final goods.

As was proven at SGIA, the FireFly is the future of curing for digital print on textile.  If you have interest in this product line, please contact us for additional information.

Thank you for considering BrownDigital.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The evolution of garment curing solutions.

We are going to take a trip back in time.  

Let's go back to the 80's when t-shirt printing began its meteoric rise to the behemoth the industry is today.  Before that time, very few people had screen printed shirts.  These shirts were printed with air-dry ink that did not have durability.  The development of the conveyor curing oven and plastisol inks changed everything.

Harco was and early leader in the new plastisol curing market.  Some of the first items were small, clever and efficient.  The Shuttle Flash was well received and handled the volume of many manual printers of that era.  However, conveyors were needed to speed things up.

Harco became the manufacturer of many brands of ovens.  The same oven was painted brown, blue and green.  It had at least 3 different logos that were printed on them.  These ovens offered unique features not found in others, such as cal-rod heaters, fan cooled temperature controls, thermocouples that read chamber temperature and variable temperature control.

All of these features are still used in current ovens.
The technology has advanced but the benefits of these basics has remained constant.

Moving into the future.

The t-shirt business morphed into a large industry that includes athletic printing, community printing and garments in every retail store in the world.  Volume is key.  The electric oven is the standard in most community printer shops and the electronics in these units has advanced into solid state controls.

Volume production has been set up around the world.  Shirts are printed in bulk in 2nd and 3rd world nations as the labor is less expensive and regulations are light.  The large production houses have added gas heated ovens to their print lines to increase volume.  Gas in many parts of the world is less expensive than electricity.

Harco never sold gas ovens in volume.  The ovens were created and sold but the majority of the company's time was spent helping community printers expand their business and understand the changing garment and ink technologies.

What happened next?

Yes, this is a history lesson.  But there is a point.  Hold on.

The TRX is now the top of the line textile dryer in the industry.  It still has all the features of the ovens from the early days but it offers much, much more.  Digital technology in a touch screen interface puts this model at the top of the game.  We could brag about this for another paragraph or so, but this is a history lesson.  So if you need more information, click here.

New industries create new challenges.

So the t-shirt printing world is ever changing.  The direct to garment printers were first introduced in the early 2000's.  We saw the first one at the ISS Long Beach show and knew that they would change the way garments are decorated.  It has taken a few years but this technology is the future.  So how has the curing of printed changed?

First transfer machines were used.  These garments have to be handled a lot before they can be shipped.  That problem is being resolved at an exponential rate.  The curing answer is the DragonAir series of dryers.  Again, we can tell you all about them here but it is faster if you visit the web site.

The future?

Ok, so why did you read this history lesson?  What was the point?  

The point is that this industry is ever changing.  We have engineers on staff that are constantly researching the changes in garment printing production and are creating solutions to new problems.
What does that really mean?  Visit us at SGIA to find out.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Expanding your business with on-site printing

All businesses, large or small, are looking to expand their market potential.  While repeat customers must be catered to and require constant attention, developing new business is how a business grows.  For many companies new business is created by the development of new products but another option is to expand into new markets.  At Brown, our engineers are always creating new and exciting products.  But additionally, we are now expanding into the global market and showing at new events.  This is expanding our product line and our customer base.

What are your expansion options?

One possibility is by offering products on-site at events.  These events can be festivals, markets, sporting tournaments or maybe your front side walk.  Summer offers this opportunity for those in colder climates and tourism feeds economic growth.  What are your options for printing on-site?

  • pre-print goods for the event.  In this way your are prepared and there is no initial on-site stress.  When you sell out, you go home.  The stress comes in 2 ways.  You either run out too soon, or you are stuck with inventory you cannot sell.  
  • Create or order heat transfers that you apply on site.  This is a great way to manage inventory.  You only press what you sell and the transfers are inexpensive to throw away.  There are two negatives.  One is that many people do not like the feel of heat transfers and, two, you do not generate a feeling of excitement within your booth.  You could have sold more.
  • The final option is to print on-site.  You only print what you need.  Customers receive a printed shirt, which many people feel is a higher quality than a transfer.  And you create an excitement within your booth that people want to watch the garments being printed and may buy more.

So what is involved in on-site direct printing?

First, if you think you should pull the equipment from your shop and set it up at a new location, think again.  That is a quick way to frustrate yourself and lose money.  The shop needs to be left alone to produce the work it was set up to do.

Second, if you think you can print on any used stuff you find cheap, then remember what it is like when your press doesn't hold register and your dryer breaks down.  Frustration and no money.

The answer is an inexpensive and portable set up that is designed to roll in and out with easy power hook up and real printing capabilities.  The size of machine you decide on is determined by your budget and your vehicle size.  

There are many options.  Just remember that you need the basics.  A multi-color printer, a tunnel oven and a flash dryer.  Unless you own a generator, then plan on all these items needing 120V power that you can "borrow" from the event.  You can start with table top machines that are small enough to load in a hatch back, or scale up to a PonyXprs that loads into a pick up or a small trailer.  With either of these options, there are profits to be made.

Your only final decision is where to start.  

If you have a business in an area with heavy foot traffic, how about starting in your parking lot.  Like a tent sale, only with new stuff.  The next option is to find the next street fair in your town.  The cost to show is minimal and you will pick up long term customers there as well.  Once you have tried on-site you will see the benefits and the increased customer base.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Our machinery and our warranty are long term.

After seeing the number of vintage Harco and Brown machines that are still in production we thought we would review our warranty statement.  We are most concerned with customer satisfaction, long term customer relations and helping our customers grow their businesses.

With machines from the 1980's still producing goods we are confident in our long term solutions.

But, for those who would like to know, our warranty is this for the original owners of Brown machinery:

  • 1 year full warranty
  • 3 year warranty on all cal-rod style heaters
  • 15 year warranty on all product chassis
  • 7 year warranty on printer registration gate systems
  • 2 year software upgrades
It is our belief that customers expect a solid investment in Brown products and we agree that machinery should be designed to provide consistent, maintainable production for many years.  
This is why our warranty is written with long term goals.

Brown has been a part of the screen print machine manufacturing world since 1979.  We choose design features that are durable and reliable.  As examples, the registration gate systems in our presses are hardened steel.  These are integral parts of the long term performance of the press.  These are not wear parts that re changed or adjusted.  It is thinking like this that has driven our design for over 30 years.

When considering expanding your business with new screen printing equipment, plan on your future.  Plan on printing on your machinery, not spending days repairing it.  Plan on Brown to help build your business future.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The test of time

We asked customers to submit photos of Brown and Harco machinery that they owned for years and are still using in production.  The response was amazing.  We also started collecting some photos of machines that we know are in production because they are from service calls within the last 6 weeks.  Again, we are pleased and surprised at the age and durability of our products.

We think this is an indication that our products are excellent investments.

Some of our favorite photos came from customers who showed old and new in production together.  The oldest combo is this SuperPrinter from 1983 and the ElectraPrint Jr. from 2012.

Side by side they deliver results every day.
Courtesy of Clay Tees Printing
We also noticed that a clean shop means machinery that lasts.  Notice how clean these are?

These are vintage in great condition.  Both are circa 1987.
Courtesy of O'Callahans

Courtesy of Custom 31 Graphics
We received many other photos.  Some looked old, but they were not quite as antique as the customer thought.  They were all in working condition and it was a bit of a walk down memory lane for our staff.

So, what is the oldest machine that we saw?  Well, the photo of the complete unit was never sent, but close-ups were.  Also sent, was the original sales material from when they purchased the unit.

Vintage 1979.  

Courtesy of DeMans Team Sports
We thank all the people who sent in photos.  If you have some, please send.  We are working on a video montage of these.  So the more the merrier.