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Tips for Installing Your First Automatic Press

Posted by Mary Yaeger on 2/27/2018

You have put a lot of thought and money into buying your first automatic press, but purchasing is just the first step. We have compiled your to-do list to make the installation of your automatic press as painless as possible.

Before Arrival

1.       Continue your research. Buying the press was part one – understanding and preparing for any hiccups is part two. Delve deeper into installation issues to make yours and the tech’s jobs easier. You can contact the manufacturer about any tips or guidelines they may have, go to seminars if available in your area, or reach out to printers in your area or on Facebook groups.

2.       Be clear on the expenses that are included in your setup fees. The technician is there to get the machine working and make sure that you understand the functions and operations of the press. Getting the press setup takes an estimated 12-16 working hours which you can expect to see a flat fee for. Other fees for the tech include food and lodging. If you need additional time with the tech after the specified amount of time you can expect to pay hourly (which can be very expensive).

3.       Clear space. For example, a 6 color 6 station takes up 10 ft in a circle diameter. You will also want to allot 2-3 ft of walking room (with absolutely no obstructions) for yourself and your employees. If you are not going to use an auto-flash, you will need to ensure that you have enough space cleared for your flash unit.

4.       Flooring. Concrete floors are preferred. Wood floors will require additional support to hold the weight of the machine.

5.       Power. Your electrician will need to set up your shop’s power. They will need to know the specs of the press – amps, is it three-phase, 220v, etc.

6.       If you have not done this already – upgrade your other equipment to handle the workload of the automatic press. This also includes the purchase of an air compressor. This should be an option given to you by the manufacturer and as an added bonus, they will take care of the routine maintenance of the air compressor for you.

7.       Invest in the people power. To successfully run an automatic shop you will need the extra hands.


1.       Scheduling and moving your press will be your responsibility. Freight companies have different requirements (and costs) for delivery. You will have to talk to the freight companies about the best solution for you. Communication is key here. You will want to receive a tracking number for your press and know the anticipated delivery date and time range to prepare your shop for arrival.

2.       The delivery truck delivers. You have to do the rest which includes unloading your press from the truck with a forklift and making sure that you have enough clearance for your press to pass through.

3.       During the working hours of the tech, their first job is to get the press up and running. Any information you can provide to the tech will save them time ensuring that they can spend more time with you at the end of the process to teach you the operating functions and maintenance needs of your new press.

4.       Have your 23x31 screens ready to go to run a practice job with the tech (if possible). If you run into any hiccups during the printing process, you will be able to address it with them. If the tech is unavailable to you when you do a test run, you can always call your manufacturer and run the issues by them to get an answer.

Remember that communication and preparation are key for a painless installation. Having a clear understanding on what issues you need to address with the tech, what their responsibilities are and what your requirements are will help you have an easy time getting your press set up and your shop running smoothly.

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