Alphabetical list of terms relating to screen printing, drying and curing processes


Carbon fibre heating element definition

Carbon fibres have emerged as the preferred choice for heating elements over traditional metal materials. Their lightweight nature, exceptional mechanical properties, high exothermic temperature, low density, and impressive electrical and thermal conductivities make them economically superior for prolonged use.

Adelco employs carbon fibre heating elements in products like the DTF, where a prolonged and economically efficient heat source is essential, thanks to its exceptional heat retention capabilities.

Curing definition

Curing is the vital chemical bonding process that occurs as the ink is subjected to a specific temperature. This prompts the pigment to securely bond with the fabric while facilitating the evaporation of water. Doing this step right is of most paramount importance, proper curing ensures that the ink securely sets into the garment. Neglecting this step could lead to issues like cracking deterioration and a shortened lifespan of the print

Adelco dryers stand out for their high level of innovation, guaranteeing a consistent and precise drying process that meets the demands of any production scale.

Drones definition

Drones are modular extensions to the oven section of the dryer, designed to seamlessly expand the capabilities of your dryer, tailored to your specific requirements. 

Adelco's Dual Smart and Pro-Cure Smart models have the capability to incorporate drones into their production processes, enhancing their versatility and boosting overall power and efficiency.

Quartz heating element definition

Quartz heating, often referred to as short-wave infrared heating, offers swift and concentrated heat upon activation. Its ability to cool down rapidly upon deactivation lends it versatility during operation, allowing for precise and efficient use.

UV flame detection system definition

Ultraviolet flame detector works by detecting UV radiation at the point of ignition meaning it can swiftly and accurately identify the onset of a flame or fire, providing a rapid response for safety measures to be initiated. 

All Adelco's gas dryers are equipped with UV flame detection systems to swiftly and accurately identify the presence of flames, providing an added layer of safety and security to the drying process.

Screen Printing

CNC definition

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, It is an advanced manufacturing method that employs pre-programmed computer software integrated within machine tools to automate control, movement and enhance precision.

Adelco systems are outfitted with precision CNC components, ensuring meticulous detail in every print. These machines boast pinpoint accuracy even at high speeds, all while providing exceptional value for money. 

Colour bonding definition

Colour bonding refers to the relationship between dye and the fibres of the fabric. The specific nature of this bonding interaction is contingent upon the type of dye employed and the fabric's composition. Various categories of dyes adhere to fibres through distinct modes of bonding. Typically, these interactions can be categorized as either physical or chemical in nature.

Colour Gamut definition

Colour gamut is a widely used term in the printing industry, generally denoting the spectrum of colours perceptible to the human eye. The colour gamut is defined by factors such as the hue, saturation, and lightness of its cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks, as well as the brightness and other attributes of the substrate onto which they are applied.

Adelco has pioneered a Hybrid printer that extends the 4-colour CMYK gamut to a larger 6-colour CMYK+RG, allowing their customers to print a wider range of pantones and colours.

Cost-per-print definition

Cost-per-print is defined by the factors in the production cost of the printed material, including ink and substrate type, which are considered to determine the cost-per-print.

Adelco's Hybrid model  offers a cost-effective solution by boasting the lowest ink cost per print. This means you can achieve high-quality photographic prints at a fraction of the usual price.


CMYK is defined by the abbreviation of the four ink plates used, cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), it can also be expanded to red and green for a wider colour gamut. 

The CMYK model functions by partially or completely masking colours against a typically lighter, white background. The ink diminishes the amount of light that would otherwise be reflected. This model is referred to as subtractive since the inks "subtract" the colours red, green, and blue from white light; subtracting red from white light results in cyan, subtracting green yields magenta, and subtracting blue produces yellow.

Adelco's environmentally friendly inks, when combined with the Hybrid, enable the use of both CMYK and RG, achieving exceptional photographic print and full-colour prints

DPI definition

Dots per inch quantifies the density of individual dots in a spatial layout within a one-inch span, commonly applied to printing, video, or image scanning. It is a key metric for specifying the resolution in digital and hard copy prints, encompassing considerations like dot gain—the expansion of halftone dots during printing due to ink spreading on the media surface. 

Higher DPI in printers generally results in sharper, more intricate output. It's worth noting that a printer may offer varying DPI measurements, contingent on print mode and driver settings. The supported DPI range is primarily determined by the print head technology. It's often necessary for a printer's DPI measurement to surpass the pixels per inch (PPI) of a video display in order to achieve comparable output quality.

Adelco's foremost high-DPI printing solution is the Hybrid, achieving an impressive 600x1800 DPI, courtesy of its Ricoh Gen 5 Print Heads.

DTG definition

DTG, which stands for Direct-to-Garment, is a textile printing method distinguished from others like heat transfer or dye sublimation. This process employs specialized ink and a DTG printer to directly print onto the garment. The fabric fibres absorb the ink, seamlessly integrating it into the garment. This technology ensures that garment prints remain free from issues like cracking, peeling, or distortion over time.

Index definition

An index is defined as one movement of the machinery onto the next step in production. 

PLC control system definition

PLC stands for a programmable logic controller, or programmable controller, is an industrial-grade computer designed and reinforced to oversee and regulate manufacturing processes. These processes can encompass assembly lines, machinery, robotic devices, or any task demanding high reliability, user-friendly programming, and adept diagnosis of process faults.

Adelco's screen printers are outfitted with this technology, guaranteeing consistent quality in prints and unwavering reliability.

Print, flash, cool format definition

The "print, flash, cool" format is a common format for t-shirt printing with Oval machines. This configuration enables the ink to cool without fully drying during the printing process. Moreover, it grants users the flexibility to adjust the placement of the flash cures to achieve various formats tailored to different production requirements. This is often used for water-based and discharge ink sets.

Adelco's Matrix and Ellipse models are ideal options to explore this format, owing to their customizable size and versatile features.

Servo driver definition

Servo driver controls the servo motor to produce motion proportional to the command signal. Typically, the command signal represents a desired velocity, but can also represent a desired torque or position. The servo driver allows the equipment to have fine accuracy and movement in the production process. 

All of Adelco’s automatic screen printers are equipped with a servo driver always ensuring a smooth and accurate motion and index.

Under base definition

Under base is defined as a white foundation layer of ink on dark fabrics, providing a base for subsequent colours. This enhances the vibrancy of the top colours and accounts for the additional time required when printing on darker materials. The under base serves to prevent the coloured ink from being absorbed by the garment, ensuring the true perception of that colour. Depending on the specific piece, the underbase may need to vary in thickness. Printing on white T-shirts is straightforward, as they already define the colour. However, if a cyan design were printed directly onto a yellow t-shirt without a white under base, the resulting appearance would be green, due to the garment absorbing that colour.

Water-based pigment ink definition

Water-based pigment ink comprises just two components: water and pigment. Notably, this ink formulation excludes plastics, rendering it an eco-friendly alternative when compared to plastisols. In the absence of a fixing agent, this ink permeates the garment, dyeing the material instead of remaining on the fabric's surface. This results in a more uniform and natural feel. Remarkably, water-based pigment ink can produce exceptionally soft and lightweight impressions, sometimes indistinguishable hand feel between imprinted and non-imprinted sections of the finished piece.

Adelco remains committed to advancing ecological practices in the industry by incorporating water-based ink in products like the DTF.

Digital Printing

Anti-collision printheads definition

The anti-collision mechanism comprises two robust high-strength aluminium plates positioned on either side of the movement axis, serving as protective barriers for the printheads. In the event of an accident, they swiftly trigger an emergency stop, ensuring the integrity of the printheads.

Adelco's DTF system features an integrated anti-collision device designed to safeguard the four heads of the digital printer. This ensures high-speed printing operations can be carried out with confidence, free from concerns about potential accidents.

Capping station definition

The capping station, also known as a maintenance station, constitutes a vital element in any digital printer system, comprising a pump, capping assembly, and wiper. Its primary function is to safeguard the print head when idle and facilitate the flow of ink for priming and cleaning prior to printing. Exposing the print head directly would lead to rapid clogging, especially given the water-based ink used in the printers. 

Adelco's Hybrid and DTF models feature this advanced system, ensuring constant care and protection for the printheads.

DTF definition

DTF stands for Direct-to-film, which involves printing designs onto a film, applying powder as a bonding agent for the design, and finally transferring it onto clothing via a heat press. This method is highly versatile and can be applied to various materials, even in hard-to-reach areas.

Visit Adelco’s DTF page for more resources about the DTF and how it can help your business with digital printers.

Film definition

The film serves as the surface for DTF printing. It is treated with a specialized oil that enables a seamless transfer onto garments. Additionally, it can withstand high temperatures without shrinking, ensuring the design remains intact and free from distortion.

Visit Adelco’s DTF page for more resources about the film and how it can help your business with digital printers.

Ink Alarm system definition

The ink alarm system is a device designed to alert the user about which specific ink is running low. This feature enables uninterrupted production, eliminating any potential delays in the printing process.

Visit Adelco’s DTF page for more resources about the ink alarm system and how it can help your business with digital printers.

Powder definition

Powder is an adhesive element that is mixed with wet ink. After using a heat-press the design will transfer into the garment by melting the powder into the fabric.

Visit Adelco’s DTF page for more resources about the powder and how it can help your business with digital printers.

CTS systems

CTS definition

CTS, or computer-to-screen, is a technology that produces images or "burns" screens for screen printing. It achieves this by projecting a negative image directly onto the screen mesh, utilizing methods such as wax, ink, or in more advanced systems, laser beams.

Adelco’s range of CTS systems is comprehensive to every need and suited for all sizes of production.

DMD lens definition

DMD, which stands for digital micro-mirror device, plays a crucial role in the laser-to-screen process. Once the data is read by the CTS, it is converted into images that are then projected onto the screen through the use of laser beams, facilitated by the DMD.

Adelco's LaserPro is outfitted with this cutting-edge technology, ensuring crisp and precise images on every screen it creates.

EOM definition

EOM stands for emulsion-over-mesh, it is a gauge of the emulsion's thickness on the side facing the substrate. It is expressed as a percentage of the mesh thickness. If the EOM ratio is too low, it can hinder the creation of a proper gasket seal, compromise detail resolution, and elevate the risk of sawtooth edges.

AM screen dots definition

AM is defined as Amplitude Modulated screen dots; it consists of half-tone dots structured in a grid pattern. This grid maintains a fixed number of dots in an orthogonal layout. Larger dots are utilized to depict darker tonal values, while smaller dots are employed for lighter tonal values.

FM screen dots definition

FM is defined as Frequency Modulated screen dots, refers to a screening method where the half-tone dots maintain a fixed size. In contrast to AM screening, FM screening arranges dots in a stochastic or random pattern based on the desired tone value. Darker tones are achieved by placing more dots (higher dot frequency) in the region, while lighter tones result from fewer dots (lower dot frequency) in the area. FM utilizes exceptionally small dots, enabling the reproduction of finer details with precision

Halftone definition

Halftone is a reprographic method that emulates continuous-tone imagery by employing dots, which can vary in size or spacing to create a gradient-like effect. The term "halftone" can also specifically denote the image generated through this process.

Screen printing using Inkjet technology in definition

This is defined by different processes consequently working together to achieve an imaged screen. First, the screen needs to be coated with a thin layer of photosensitive emulsion. Once it dries, the design can be printed with the Inkjet technology and exposed to UV light hardening the emulsion around the image. The emulsion covered by the design remains soft and is then washed out of the screen leaving the design on the screen. 

Adelco's CTS machines  streamline this process with a range of options. The InkPro, for instance, can complete the entire procedure in just a minute. On the other hand, the LaserPro eliminates the need for additional consumables while maintaining high-definition results.

LPI definition

LPI stands for lines per inch, similar to DPI, A line consists of halftones that are built up by physical ink dots made by the printer device to create different tones. Specifically, LPI is a measure of how close together the lines in a halftone grid are. The quality of the printer device or screen determines how high the LPI will be. High LPI indicates greater detail and sharpness.

Purging definition

Printer purge files are sections filled with a solid colour or a specific selection of colours, designed to clear a blocked printer without necessitating a full printer cleaning cycle.

Raster definition

Raster images are pixel-based, essentially composed of a grid of pixels. This grid stores information about each pixel's colour, which is then used to render the image on a screen. When zoomed in, it becomes apparent that the image is comprised of individual pixels, visible upon close inspection. Raster images are predominantly used in photographs taken in natural settings.

Vector definition

Vector images utilize tiny lines to store and present information to the viewer. They employ polygons to represent images through mathematical curves. When printed, vector images excel as they allow printers to render curves with remarkable sharpness and precision. 

Stencil definition

A stencil is a cut-out design through which ink is applied, creating a print or impression.