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Banner Hemming. Tape, Weld or Stitch?

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Post Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:49 pm

Banner Hemming. Tape, Weld or Stitch?

Here I am again!!!

My dilemma is that shortly I will take delivery of my new printer and we plan on pushing banners quite heavily given the ease of making them (no laminating, no fitting, etc, just give it to the customer) but I have experienced the pros and cons of different hemming.

I originally used Tesa tape but because of the amount of banners I was making this started to prove expensive (in a 10 month period I had spent £3,800 on just the tape) so we bought a Leister Uniplan welder (around £3-4k can't remember exactly) which didn't come without it's own problems.

On looking at this I decided the best option for myself in my new venture would be to stitch the hems but I have had trouble finding anybody to offer advice. I did email one company but never got a reply so I am again turning to you lovely people.

This is how I see it:

TAPE
Pros - A 'payg' solution, clean and easy.
Cons - Expensive long term, not the best finish.

WELDING
Pros - A perfect finish. Finishing cost is cheap per banner.
Cons - High purchase cost. Smoke. Can damage banners. Finishing short hems difficult.

STITCHING
Pros - Finishing cost is cheap per banner. Looks professional.
Cons - Medium equipment cost. Chance of sewing my hand to a banner.

This leads me to believe that stitching is my best option but as per everything it would be nice to see what experience others have.
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Post Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:41 pm

Hi

We have tried everything and now have a Miller Weldmaster T3, superb machine, excellent finish and easy to use BUT even though this is the entry level machine you need to be making a lot of banners to justify the expense. They have even bigger machines available but unless you had someone using them all day every day non stop then I cant see how you could justify one. The only downside is that if the banner is still a little chewy with the solvent then it can foul easily - either leave it a few hours or ensure the bleed for the hem is left unprinted white.

We tried a sewing machine and I reckon this is the best option if the volumes don't justify the above type of welder. Much faster, cheaper and easier than taping when you get the hang of it (although it takes a while before it becomes second nature). Strongly recommend getting one with a 'puller' otherwise it can be difficult to manage the weight / bulk of larger banners on your own. From memory there was some cheap ones on fleabay when we last looked.

A sewn hem isn't as strong as a welded hem and whichever thread you choose it usually contrasts and you can see. Not a major issue but always bugged me.

We still use banner tape from time to time when we want to finish a banner that's still warm off the printer but other than that avoid using tape now as don't like the way the hem puckers if you or the customer has to roll it up.

Hope that helps
Macky
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Post Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:05 pm

David McDonald wrote:Hi
Hiya.

David McDonald wrote:We have tried everything and now have a Miller Weldmaster T3, superb machine, excellent finish and easy to use BUT even though this is the entry level machine you need to be making a lot of banners to justify the expense.
Without Googling what is the rough price I should expect to pay? Also you mention a solvent, does the Miller use something other than just heat?

David McDonald wrote:We tried a sewing machine and I reckon this is the best option if the volumes don't justify the above type of welder. Much faster, cheaper and easier than taping when you get the hang of it (although it takes a while before it becomes second nature). Strongly recommend getting one with a 'puller' otherwise it can be difficult to manage the weight / bulk of larger banners on your own.
I have somebody who can help with the manhandling but I have absolutely zero experience of sewing machines, I would however make a stand so that the business end of the sewing machine is at the same height as the rest of the bench.

David McDonald wrote:A sewn hem isn't as strong as a welded hem...
Bugger.

David McDonald wrote:...and whichever thread you choose it usually contrasts and you can see. Not a major issue but always bugged me.
This wouldn't bother me at all, in fact I'm guessing on some banners it could look nice if it picks up on some of the highlighted colours.

David McDonald wrote:We still use banner tape from time to time... ...don't like the way the hem puckers if you or the customer has to roll it up.
This is the bit I hate as well.

David McDonald wrote:Hope that helps
Macky
It certainly has!
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Post Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:17 pm

Hi

No the Weldmaster uses heat only and has a really strong puller to drag the banner through which is really handy - however if the banner is still soft with solvent inks off the printer then it can stretch and tear it. As mentioned not a problem if you leave it a short while or ensure the foldback for the hem isn't printed and left as white banner. They are over £11K for the machine, compressor and table - is it worth it? If we get a few years of service out of it then easily (and they are very well built).

Sewing machine - yes got to be an industrial one a stand with a decent motor - get an industrial one built into a table with the foot peddle switch and knee pad lever to lift the foot. (and a puller as mentioned before). You will need a single upturn hemmer so get a machine that will take one of these (most will). Even with an upturn hemmer it can be much easier to pre-crease the hem before sewing.

Hobkirk in Preston will be able to help you with a sewing machine (dont know where you are based).

Cheers
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Post Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:41 pm

£11k is way out of our league.

I have just emailed Hobkirk so I will see what they say, thanks for your help.
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Post Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:16 pm

Hi John,

If you go the banner tape route, David mentioned in an earlier post re: cheap supplier.

Link here (i hope...).


https://www.uksignboards.com/viewtopic.p ... hlight=box


Martin
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Post Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:12 pm

Martin Grimmer wrote:Hi John,

If you go the banner tape route, David mentioned in an earlier post re: cheap supplier.

Link here (i hope...).


https://www.uksignboards.com/viewtopic.p ... hlight=box


Martin


DURACO are now trading as http://www.essentraspecialitytapes.co.uk/

http://www.essentraspecialitytapes.co.uk/4951-Film-Tape
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Post Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:18 pm

Good link, I think we pay £7 a roll
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Post Tue May 13, 2014 3:31 pm

just ordered a box of 36 @ £3 a roll
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Post Tue May 13, 2014 5:55 pm

Hi
a little tip if you use a drop of MEK on a cloth and wipe the area where the tape is going to bond you will find that it sticks better. Just a quick wipe over as it is strong enough to melt the PVC if left on it.

Kev
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Post Tue May 13, 2014 8:42 pm

Kevin Flowers wrote:Hi
a little tip if you use a drop of MEK on a cloth and wipe the area where the tape is going to bond you will find that it sticks better. Just a quick wipe over as it is strong enough to melt the PVC if left on it.

Kev


What is MEK? Kevin
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Post Tue May 13, 2014 10:02 pm

Denise

Methyl ethyl ketone (butanone) solvent it can be used to weld some plastic so cleans and makes the banner slighty tacky making the tape stick very erll so you get very little rucking/tape lift if you role the banner etc

Kev
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Post Fri May 30, 2014 9:43 am

David McDonald wrote:Hi

We have tried everything and now have a Miller Weldmaster T3, superb machine, excellent finish and easy to use BUT even though this is the entry level machine you need to be making a lot of banners to justify the expense. They have even bigger machines available but unless you had someone using them all day every day non stop then I cant see how you could justify one. The only downside is that if the banner is still a little chewy with the solvent then it can foul easily - either leave it a few hours or ensure the bleed for the hem is left unprinted white.

We tried a sewing machine and I reckon this is the best option if the volumes don't justify the above type of welder. Much faster, cheaper and easier than taping when you get the hang of it (although it takes a while before it becomes second nature). Strongly recommend getting one with a 'puller' otherwise it can be difficult to manage the weight / bulk of larger banners on your own. From memory there was some cheap ones on fleabay when we last looked.

A sewn hem isn't as strong as a welded hem and whichever thread you choose it usually contrasts and you can see. Not a major issue but always bugged me.

We still use banner tape from time to time when we want to finish a banner that's still warm off the printer but other than that avoid using tape now as don't like the way the hem puckers if you or the customer has to roll it up.

Hope that helps
Macky


Can you weld a PVC webbing for mesh banners with the T3?
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Post Fri May 30, 2014 6:00 pm

Hi Jason

We have hemmed quite a few mesh banners with excellent results.

Not sure if you can add any extra webbing in the hem to strengthen it although there is an attachment to allow you to put a cord/rope in it if that's what you mean.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liO44KOMnhg

This is us hemming a 10m mesh banner on the day we got the machine - the table top wasn't very slippy so the banner crumpled up as it came out of the machine - hence someone rolling it up as it came off. We've since changed the table top to alicomp and this is much better and 1-person can hem long banners OK, we've bought some second hand conveyor roller tables to put either side which will mean 1-person can handle any length / width / weight of banner.


Cheers
Macky
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Post Sat May 31, 2014 2:55 am

David McDonald wrote:Hi Jason

We have hemmed quite a few mesh banners with excellent results.

Not sure if you can add any extra webbing in the hem to strengthen it although there is an attachment to allow you to put a cord/rope in it if that's what you mean.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liO44KOMnhg

This is us hemming a 10m mesh banner on the day we got the machine - the table top wasn't very slippy so the banner crumpled up as it came out of the machine - hence someone rolling it up as it came off. We've since changed the table top to alicomp and this is much better and 1-person can hem long banners OK, we've bought some second hand conveyor roller tables to put either side which will mean 1-person can handle any length / width / weight of banner.


Cheers
Macky


Hey David I knew that face looked familiar in the video. Saw it the other day :)

The weldable webbing I am thinking of looks like this: http://louisagreen.com/wwgrmweb.jpg

Down here on mesh banners we don't fold them over. We cut them flush and weld this webbing on the back which gives it a lot more strength. If I can achieve the same thing I'd be interested in getting a T3.
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Post Sat May 31, 2014 1:58 pm

interesting machine David, seen similar but not that one.

We have been using the Liester banner welder for about 10 years now.
we tend only to use it for joining large banners in tiles, or welding large banners and hemming.
bog standard banners we still hem using tape by hand but we are quick at it and fails on the process are zero. where as using the liester machine lots can go wrong unless the guy operating it has plenty experience and is set-up correct. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4xpgFXkg40

we use Oracal hemming tape. think its about £4.30'ish per roll from memory. (will need to check that)
we used a tesa tape before that at £6-£7 pounds per roll and came in quantity so the oracal was a much better deal.

what i have found with the hot air welders is that they hate cheap banner material. i dont mean we buy in crap, just that we have some good stuff and some slightly lower costing stuff when we are caught on the hop, we buy. anyway, the cheaper stuff just warps with the heat. it still welds but the banner has a noticeable warp due to the parametrize being effected by the heat.

the other thing with the heat welders is your going to have to have a dedicated area for the process and depending on the size of banner you use that area may have to be large. this is because of how the banner is fed through the machine, the alignment is crucial and needs to flow bang on or you can melt the banner, damage the print or buckle with heat. practice makes perfect of course. just pointing out the obvious stuff we quickly found out.
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Post Sat May 31, 2014 5:07 pm

Hi Jason

Having read your post, I am not sure if its the same thing I use, but this tape. is it a tough nylon type strip with adhesive tape on the back?

reason i ask is we use a tape like that for reinforcing the parameter of large banners. works very well because as you will know, large banners need all the help you can give to prevent tears where the eyelets are placed.
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Post Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:42 am

Robert Lambie wrote:interesting machine David, seen similar but not that one.

We have been using the Liester banner welder for about 10 years now.
we tend only to use it for joining large banners in tiles, or welding large banners and hemming.
bog standard banners we still hem using tape by hand but we are quick at it and fails on the process are zero. where as using the liester machine lots can go wrong unless the guy operating it has plenty experience and is set-up correct. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4xpgFXkg40

we use Oracal hemming tape. think its about £4.30'ish per roll from memory. (will need to check that)
we used a tesa tape before that at £6-£7 pounds per roll and came in quantity so the oracal was a much better deal.

what i have found with the hot air welders is that they hate cheap banner material. i dont mean we buy in crap, just that we have some good stuff and some slightly lower costing stuff when we are caught on the hop, we buy. anyway, the cheaper stuff just warps with the heat. it still welds but the banner has a noticeable warp due to the parametrize being effected by the heat.

the other thing with the heat welders is your going to have to have a dedicated area for the process and depending on the size of banner you use that area may have to be large. this is because of how the banner is fed through the machine, the alignment is crucial and needs to flow bang on or you can melt the banner, damage the print or buckle with heat. practice makes perfect of course. just pointing out the obvious stuff we quickly found out.


Hey Rob,

We're looking at only doing hemming, pole pockets, hems with rope and welding webbing to mesh banners.

Joining banners won't be a big problem for us as well be able to print 3.2m wide which covers all of the jobs we've ever done.

We currently use tape but it adds an additional cost and this Miller Weldmaster seems like it is faster and allows us to do hems with rope easier and pole pockets using the attachments.

We're going to test one with the banner stocks we run. With out Zund and our new printer coming we can seriously output a large amount of banners in a day and need a faster way to finish and dispatch them.
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Post Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:44 am

Robert Lambie wrote:Hi Jason

Having read your post, I am not sure if its the same thing I use, but this tape. is it a tough nylon type strip with adhesive tape on the back?

reason i ask is we use a tape like that for reinforcing the parameter of large banners. works very well because as you will know, large banners need all the help you can give to prevent tears where the eyelets are placed.


They might supply it as a self adhesive but our current supplier uses a weldable type pvc. This is used on mesh banners and they simply cut weld and eyelet. There is no hem as such.

We're only looking at doing this to increase the speed of turning around our jobs. We currently outsource all banner finishing but with sending out banners and waiting for them to come back it adds an extra two days to a process I can get done and dispatched within one day.
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Post Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:47 am

Thanks for your help David we've bought a T3 as well.

I gave it a go myself perfect first time and really fast.

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