Author Topic: FN Ink Testing  (Read 3299 times)

Offline alan802

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FN Ink Testing
« on: January 13, 2022, 12:21:33 PM »
So I'm testing some FN colors today and so far I have the Brite Red, Navy, Royal Blue, Lemon Yellow, Golden Yellow and Black.  The black builds up so bad you can't step on it at all.  I'll post a pic of that.  But most shops can work around not having their black ink WOW capable.  But there's another issue I'm seeing with the Royal Blue.  It's basically a process ink.  It's an exact match to Pantone 072 Blue in the bucket and acts like nothing more than a mixing color or light garment only ink. The navy is better, and doing a double stroke of the navy on a base is passable but if you look at the printed color versus the ink in the bucket, it's definitely struggallling.   

WOW ability for all the colors except black is good to go.  BUT, if the ink isn't opaque enough to print on dark garments the WOW means nothing.  I think I'm going to take another look at the black ink and make sure my guy stirred the 5 gal properly and the extremely poor result for WOW wasn't a fluke. 

I'm not sure if anyone out there is using this stuff, but the white is good.  I was hoping their colors would be as good and the red, yellow, navy are average-slightly above average.  The Royal blue is a royal fail though and the amount of buildup the black had after about 40 prints is fairly staggering.  I haven't seen buildup like that, that quick, in years.

I feel like something is wrong with the royal, like it's mislabeled or something.  I had that happen with the Lemon Yellow.  I ordered Lemon, the label said Lemon, but the ink inside was their Golden Yellow.  Maybe they sent me their mixing system version of royal or they mislabeled again.  It's so transparent it would be hard to believe an ink manufacture would sell this ink as a versatile opaque plastisol ink that can print on lights or darks, on purpose.  When I opened the bucket and started stirring I knew right away this ink wasn't going to print well on a base.   

Anyone else using this ink and can add anything to the convo?  See anything different?

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it -T.J.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it -T.P.


Offline Nation03

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Re: FN Ink Testing
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2022, 07:24:53 PM »
I have the same issue with the royal. It's so bad that my only work around when I use it is to flash it and do a second hit so the coverage is better, but who wants to do that. I bought the white in a pinch since not much else was in stock at the time. It's usable but I don't love it. Doesn't seem to matt the fibers as nicely and it's not quite as bright as I would like it to be. I have some Monarch Yeti coming in soon so ideally I won't have to go back to the FN anytime soon. For the price I would say the inks are fine, but I'm a big fan of how this Monarch inks are printing.

Offline Raw Paw

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Re: FN Ink Testing
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2022, 08:32:26 PM »
Alan - Auto newbie here, manual printer for 15 years.  Just got our first auto and switching over to plastisol, after mainly being a wb/dc manual shop.  I've been reading everything I can on this forum, and your comments and posts have been super helpful.

When describing the issue with the Royal, you say it's more transparent, and unfit for printing over an underbase.  One of the things I've never figured out how to do is print a CMYK on a white underbase without flashing every color.  Through trial and error, I noticed that the transparent plastisol colors usually look like straight trash when printed on any kind of underbase (plastisol, discharge, or magnaprint killer base, doesn't matter how high of mesh from my experience either).  Only way I've gotten CMYK to work on darks is to flash EACH color and wipe the shirt side of EACH screen after EACH print, to clean up all the dot gain / buildup.  Obviously not a solution.  Is there any work around for printing these transparent colors on an underbase?  If you did a plastisol CMYK on a black shirt, are you using more opaque CMYK inks than when printing on a white shirt?  Or for "CMYK like" prints on dark shirts, is it simulated process all the way?  You rule dude, hope to meet you someday
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Offline cbjamel

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Re: FN Ink Testing
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2022, 12:56:56 AM »
FN inks? What brand is that?
Thanks,
Shane

Offline alan802

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Re: FN Ink Testing
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2022, 11:32:10 AM »
Alan - Auto newbie here, manual printer for 15 years.  Just got our first auto and switching over to plastisol, after mainly being a wb/dc manual shop.  I've been reading everything I can on this forum, and your comments and posts have been super helpful.

When describing the issue with the Royal, you say it's more transparent, and unfit for printing over an underbase.  One of the things I've never figured out how to do is print a CMYK on a white underbase without flashing every color.  Through trial and error, I noticed that the transparent plastisol colors usually look like straight trash when printed on any kind of underbase (plastisol, discharge, or magnaprint killer base, doesn't matter how high of mesh from my experience either).  Only way I've gotten CMYK to work on darks is to flash EACH color and wipe the shirt side of EACH screen after EACH print, to clean up all the dot gain / buildup.  Obviously not a solution.  Is there any work around for printing these transparent colors on an underbase?  If you did a plastisol CMYK on a black shirt, are you using more opaque CMYK inks than when printing on a white shirt?  Or for "CMYK like" prints on dark shirts, is it simulated process all the way?  You rule dude, hope to meet you someday

Thanks for the kind words.  I wish I could spend more time around here like the old days but there's too much going on.  Been half-staffed and not looking like it's getting better any time soon.  Hired 2 people to start Monday in embroidery and neither showed up.  I think that makes about 8-10 in a row that we've hired but they've no-showed.

I've done CMYK on darks before and the results were terrible.  I didn't spend much time trying to make it work but I've seen pics from shops who've done it that looked passable so I'm certain people have figured out how to get by with it.  I assume it's a lot of what you were doing to make it work though, flashing, wiping...huge loss of production.  Plus the camera is almost always guilty of making a print look better than it is in person.  We quickly moved on to sim/spot process printing which works great and the only time we'll even try a CMYK is on white/very light garments.  Full disclosure though, the last 2 years the jobs that are rolling in rarely require even spot process and 99% of our work these days is simple spot color.  It's been years since we've even opened a CMYK ink bucket.  I know Union used to make a more opaque version of their process colors but to be honest they were still way too transparent for dark garment printing.

This leads me to another issue I've seen with plastisol inks over the last few years.  Aside from them getting better at low-cure the overall quality has diminished and perhaps we have reached the final plateau for plastisol inks.  I think the best they've ever been was right before the phthalate ban happened.  The only advancements I've seen the last few years is lower cure.  Opacity isn't better, printability isn't better, the fastest flashing white I've ever seen isn't made anymore and we haven't lowered our flash time/temp any noticeable amount the last few years.  I really think Phthalates made plastisol inks a lot better.  But I'm not an ink expert and someone with more detailed knowledge of the chemistry of plastisols could explain the reasons for what I've seen at the production level. Maybe it's raw materials availability or quality. 

Jake, I had a 5er of the Monarch Yeti about this time last year and it was ok.  I still prefer the FN White though, because you can print so much faster.  The monarch was long, almost honey-like in it's consistency and having only used one batch it's hard to say if that's it's normal shape or we got a bad bucket.  Long bodied whites tend to do better at keeping fibers down but you lose the ability to get that print stroke up in the 15-30"/sec range where you get the best opacity and smoothest print.  I hate to judge an ink on just one bucket though.  Especially these days when I've seen drastic differences between ink batches.

We still use One Stroke for poly stuff, even though the price hurts, it's never failed us with poly products and it's very consistent from batch to batch. 

Our shop was strictly QCM for about 4 years for all our colors and white.  I was hoping with the price and availability of the FN Inks it would work for us.  I still might mix it up like we did in the past, using different brands for different colors, it worked fine that way.  The colors other than Royal and Navy from FN have been pretty solid so perhaps we just stay away from those two colors and the black.  Or at least have a black ink in-house for any projects we have to step on the black. 

Shane, the FN is a fairly new brand that is one of the main plastisol inks that Ryonet is carrying at the moment. 
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it -T.J.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it -T.P.

Offline Nation03

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Re: FN Ink Testing
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2022, 08:01:36 PM »
Good to know, thanks Alan. Maybe I'll bump the speed up with the FN white, as I do tend to print it a bit slower. I'm on an Anatol Volt right now so I noticed the white ink tends to clear better on a medium/slow print speed, but I haven't tried a super quick stroke yet so I'll give that a try.

Offline blue moon

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Re: FN Ink Testing
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2022, 10:36:48 PM »
Alan - Auto newbie here, manual printer for 15 years.  Just got our first auto and switching over to plastisol, after mainly being a wb/dc manual shop.  I've been reading everything I can on this forum, and your comments and posts have been super helpful.

When describing the issue with the Royal, you say it's more transparent, and unfit for printing over an underbase.  One of the things I've never figured out how to do is print a CMYK on a white underbase without flashing every color.  Through trial and error, I noticed that the transparent plastisol colors usually look like straight trash when printed on any kind of underbase (plastisol, discharge, or magnaprint killer base, doesn't matter how high of mesh from my experience either).  Only way I've gotten CMYK to work on darks is to flash EACH color and wipe the shirt side of EACH screen after EACH print, to clean up all the dot gain / buildup.  Obviously not a solution.  Is there any work around for printing these transparent colors on an underbase?  If you did a plastisol CMYK on a black shirt, are you using more opaque CMYK inks than when printing on a white shirt?  Or for "CMYK like" prints on dark shirts, is it simulated process all the way?  You rule dude, hope to meet you someday
CMYK can actually work pretty well for process printing. The colors can be pretty decent. I would not use it for spot printing though, the halftone dots kill any edges and the whole print seems grainy.
For 4CP to work well your underbase has to be WHITE. As in pure white. no shades of gray, no fibrilation, NOTHING!!! It is designed for printing on white so it is translucent. That means if you are printing on anything else the colors will shift significantly. If you'd like to see some stunning 4CP prints, check out using discharge underbase. It is unbelievable.
What does that mean in practice? print the ubase, flash, roll it, print another layer and then flash. You should be able to make it look as good as printing on white paper.
I should also add that using photoshop RGB to CMYK conversion will not give you best results. They are usable, but about as much as using Ultraseps or SepStudio without making adjustments. Good seps make a big difference in CMYK.
Similarily to simulated, you should run a minimum of 20 (30 would be better) full wet on wet prints before evaluating what is going on. This will preload the backs of the screens with ink so it will not pull from the image. Printing one at a time and flashing is very similar to having the screens full loaded on the bottom.
Beware though, what you get after 20 prints will be very different from your first one! The red will build up like crazy and everything will shift. We generally back up off the magenta when setting up so the first print looks pretty bad, but running 20 brings it up. If you make the magenta look good on the first print, it will look like crap 20 prints later.  It also makes a difference on what you are printing. If you run 20 shirts for build up and then get a different type of garment it will not print the same. The buildup shirts should be the same as the garments you are printing on. The difference there is not huge, but better safe than sorry.
Then once you get your good shirt after the buildup, make any adjustments and print another 20 shirts before evaluating. The ink needs to build up at the proper level again. If you are making 10 adjustments (pretty common) you'll have to print 200 impressions before you get started.
Then somewhere around 1000 impressions you will need to wipe the screens and do 20 shirts again. The color on 4CP always drifts a little bit as you print so you have to keep an eye on it. Then when it's too far away from where it's supposed to be (for us it was 1000-1300 prints), wipe it all and build. The difference between shirt 1000 and 1001 will be very obvious.
so that's why most ppl don't do 4CP, but after you do it for a while, you get used to it and it's not that big of a deal. Luckily, the art has changed in the last 10 years and there is hardly any demand for it. We used to do it several times per week and now we go months without seeing any. Stick with simulated or send to DTG. Save yourself the headache!
pierre
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Offline tonypep

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Re: FN Ink Testing
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2022, 08:32:43 AM »
Thread properly derailed Pierre! ;) New post on dc/ub/cmyk  forthcoming.

Offline Raw Paw

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Re: FN Ink Testing
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2022, 12:04:44 PM »
Thank you Pierre and Alan, that was super helpful <3
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Offline AntonySharples

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Re: FN Ink Testing
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2022, 11:38:28 AM »
Off the original topic and on the 4cp, we just ran 250 Jerzees hoodies with 250 Jerzees tee's....6 different colors.  Not for the faint of heart, but after a lot of experience, it's doable.  It's all in the seps and screens.  As Pierre said, you've got to get that build up before you really know what you're working with.  So if you're having to flash after every color and wipe down after every print, you need to adjust your seps to compensate for the dot gain.

Offline Nation03

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Re: FN Ink Testing
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2022, 04:07:32 PM »
Alan, I ran 2 more jobs with the FN Royal this week. Using 180-S and 230 thin thread. I ended up bumping the squeegee speed up a ton and it seemed to cover better. Still not perfect, but it was an improvement. I don't have an EOM tool so I can't really say what my percentages were there, but the speed for sure helps. I assume you're printing your top colors fast as well, so I'm not sure if this will really help. Also worth noting, I used a double stroke which I know isn't ideal.