Heat Presses

Heat Press Innovations

The heat press has come a long way from the days cold spots, uneven pressure and inaccurate temperature readings. There has been one company primarily responsible for making the heat press the fine tuned machine that it is today – Stahls Hotronix.

Around 20 years ago, Heat Presses weren’t nearly as accurate as they are now.  Heating elements were located on the top side of the platen and spaced as much as six inches apart.  The temperature was measured using a Bi-Metallic thermometer, also on the top of the platen.  Bi-Metallic thermometers coupled with the location of the elements caused a 10 degree variance in the set temperature of the press.  A transfer that was to be applied at 350 degrees could have actually been applied at as low as 340 degrees or as high as 360.  A variance like that can and probably will greatly affect the quality of the transfer.

Hotronix developed the first cast in heating element and RTD temperature sensor.  The cast in heating element took the element from the top of the press and placed it inside the upper platen.  Heating elements were also made much closer together, moved to less than 2″ apart.  The RTD (Resistance Temperature Device) measured the temperature not on the top side, but at the pressing surface of the heat platen.  Hotronix was also the first to add a Digital Temperature readout.  The old meat thermometer readout was very difficult to set an accurate temperature and even more difficult to read.  With heat transfers calling for a very specific temperature to be applied at, being off a few degrees coupled with the 10 degree variance caused many more heat transfers to fail and many more $ out of your profits.  Off all the innovations i have and will speak of, incorporating the digital readout was probably the most important innovation made in the heat transfer business.

Accurate temperature is just one of the important pieces to the Heat Transfer puzzle.  Another, equally important piece is Time.  The timer, if there was one, on the press of yesteryear was essentially a “wind up” kitchen timer.  When it buzzed, time was up.  As with temperature, the time the transfer is being pressed has to be accurate.  Inaccuracies can lead to a transfer that’s not very easy to peel and can affect the adhesive quality.  As with Digital Temperature, the Digital Time readout allowed a better end product.

Digital Time and Temperature was first added by Hotronix a while back.  More recently, a Digital Pressure readout has also been added.  Digital pressure eliminates the guess-work that had always been associated with manual heat presses.  Pressure is measured on a 1 – 9 scale with one being the lowest and 9 being the highest or firmest pressure.  Now, a heat transfer will be pressed at the same pressure no matter who is manning the heat press.

The upgrades I’ve discussed so far have been upgrades that have made the press a more accurate machine.  The Auto-opening developed within the last few years is an innovation that made the machine much easier to use.  The digital timer along with an electromagnetic release and shock opening cut user fatigue in half.  Now, a press operator only has to close the machine, it opens automatically, on time, by itself.

Other Hotronix innovations include:

  • Stress relieved heating element eliminates warping caused by excessive heat.  A warped element can lead to uneven pressure.
  • Upper flotational platen on clamshell machines virtually eliminates the pinching effect found on any other clamshell design.  The flotational platen also allows for even, consistent pressure.
  • Over the center pressure adjustment easily and evenly distributes pressure throughout the entire surface area.
  • Laser cut steel makes a stronger, more durable press.

If you’re looking for a company that stands behind their equipment, Hotronix is unrivaled.  Their support is top-notch, and warranties are easy to understand and hardly ever needed.  At Imprintables Warehouse, I have set up many a customer with a Heat Press manufactured by Stahls Hotronix to start out or expand their existing business.  I’m confident their business was easier to run and more profitable because of their decision to go with the “Cadillac” of Heat Presses.


Trade Show Video

Hello all.  I exhibited at the NBM Printwear Show in Charlotte a couple weeks back and shot a video with the folks at NBM in our booth.  The video was limited to three minutes but you can get an idea of the products I represent at Imprintables Warehouse and also get a chance to view a bit of our Trade Show Booth if you haven’t made it out to see us at a Trade Show before. 

Here’s the link to the video:  Imprintables Warehouse Booth – Charlotte.

Also, if you’re interested in coming out to a show, the Trade Shows page on the site has been updated with the shows Imprintables Warehouse will be exhibiting at next year and the shows which I will be attending.  As free registrations are posted, I’ll add them to the site as well.  Keep checking  back!

Leasing Equipment Q&A

When is it a good idea to Lease equipment vs other purchasing options?  I’ve asked Chris Pfriem with ACG Equipment Finance to help answer a lot of the common questions about leasing. 


Q:  What are the primary benefits of leasing equipment vs. other purchasing options? 

A:  Generally, there are a few reasons why customers choose to lease in an “up market and also in tighter financial market we face today.”  First, leasing offers 100% tax deductibility.  Second, leasing conserves companies lines of credit with their bank since LEASING is “Off Balance Sheet” financing.    Companies can use Leasing for equipment purchases and keep their LINES of credit open for cash reserves or payroll, or for expansion purposes.  Lastly, many of my repeat customers come back to ACG for convenience.  Banks prior to freezing up credit can and in many instances are hard to work with.  Banks want financial statements from an accountant which costs money and time.  With LEASING, for most transactions up to $100,000.00, all that is needed is a one page credit application.  Decision time for LEASING is usually within a 24 hour period.  Banks can take days to make a decision.

Q:  What are the tax benefits of a lease*? 

A:  100% of the monthly payment is written off as an expense. 

 *It is recommended that you consult with your tax professional to review your tax savings based on your tax bracket and financial situation.


Q:  Do you have a minimum purchase amount to apply for a lease? 

A:  $1,000.00 


Q:  What is the timeframe from start to finish to receive my equipment? 

A:  We have many customers approved the same day they have submitted their credit application.  Once we receive the quote from Imprintables, we email the contracts to the customer and include a pre-paid FED-X label.  Once we receive the originals, we issue Imprintables the PO, and from there Imprintables ships the equipment. This can take just 24-48 hours to get completed.  (I suggest all customers contacting their Imprintables representative for shipping times and dates for delivery)  


Q:  What are the payment terms that are available? 

A:  We lease from 12, 24, 36, 48, or 60 months.


Q:  Can you be flexible with your payment plans?

A:  YES, depending on credit and the customers time in business, we have offered 3 and 6 month deferred payment plans to help a customer with cash flow while getting their equipment running for profitability. 


Q:  Are there buy-out options? 

A:  We have 2 buyouts.  One and the most common is a $1.00 buy out lease.  At the end of the term, the customer owns the equipment for $1.00.  The other and less common is a 10% residual lease.  Example for a $19,000.00 deal…After the lease is over a 10% or $1,900.00 balloon payment is required to be done with the lease.  (A 10% buy out lease would have a lower payment vs.. the $1.00 buy out lease.) 


Q:  What is my monthly payment? What is the rate? 

A:  In Leasing, we do not use an APR.  This is a LEASE and not a loan.  With leasing, we use a monthly matrix factor to calculate the rental payment.  This matrix factor is based on risk..  The lower the payment, the lower the risk etc.  Payments are calculated basically with 2 things.  First, is the personal credit.  Second, is the companies time in business. 


Q:  What if I am a new business and what if I have “not so good” credit? 

A:  We have a very high approval percentage at ACG.  We have programs to fit most credits and we do new businesses. 

Most approvals are good for 60-90 days.  Chris suggests to any customer who is interested to Email Him about your needs and your credit and to fill out a credit application.  There is NO OBLIGATION once approved.

Chris also asked that I post some additional documents that can also be helpful.  Please download and read the “Why Lease” and “Lease vs Bank vs Cash” documents from the “Box” on the left.