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Ikonics: Case Study on Screenprinting Trends

A visit to Ikonics (Chromaline) illustrates some trends in the screenprinting world:


1. The screenprinting world is splitting into high tech and automation versus DIY, side hustle, small crafty shops.

High tech:  laser exposures and fully automated screen cleaning. Chromaline was probably best known for their capillary films and other products, but now their purchase by Saati accelerated their entry into high tech equipment like an LTS (laser exposure), Grunig coaters, and as shown in this photo, Zentner screen cleaning equipment.
Small Business: To that end I checked out their new LED exposure unit. More photos of the unit to follow, and you have to love it being simple and solid. LED exposures are not optimal, but the cost is low and lots of decent work can be done with these units.
Chromaline has gone one step further and has modified one of their emulsions to work with the LED wavelength.

2. The screenprinting world is consolidating. Kornit bought Tesoma. Alpha bought NES, Broder and other distributors. Gildan bought Comfort Colors, American Apparel and Alstyle. Hanes bought Alternative Apparel. Saati is showing a new way forward in that they really are not dismantling what they bought, on the contrary they are not only leaving Chromaline as a stand alone business, but they have bolstered them by adding more advanced equipment to what Chromaline offers its customers.

3. Another trend is the crafter space is blowing up and Chromaline has a cool line called Ikonart which sells to crafty folks. You can use it to make signs, t-shirts, mugs and other things you design yourself.

Ikonics craft division is called Ikonart. For example my daughter’s girl scout troop has been having a great old time making things with it.
Another trend is that companies that diversify are stronger as they draw from a larger labor pool. Part of that is including women in your workforce and management, as last I checked 51% of all people are women. Ikonics lead R&D chemist is Aimee Peterson, 34 years at Chromaline.
Heading up their Ikonart division is Fawn Giese.

Back to the LED Exposure unit, great in its simplicity.

Two sizes, strong hinges, strong clamp.
Strong vacuum blanket.
Oil-less pump, strong enough to give you great contact film to screen.
Simple solid counter and controls, you don’t want anything more than this on a unit like this.
Great array of LED bulbs for even exposure, up to 50K hours of use



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