Self Contained Exposure Units – Frequently Asked Questions


Our range of self contained exposure units for screen printing are very straightforward machines to use, but like most straightforward products, sometimes it is necessary to provide some background information that will help to clarify initial questions. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and we hope that these will help you to decide if one of these models is the right machine for your business.

Why Is The System Referred To As A Self Contained Exposure Unit?

Self Contained Exposure Units | Metal Halide Screen Exposure UnitIn order to expose high definition artwork onto a screen, two specific pieces of hardware are needed. The first is a light source, in this case, a metal halide bulb, and secondly, a vacuum table to pull the light sensitive emulsion which the screen has been coated with tightly against the artwork. When exposure and vacuum systems are integrated into one module, the unit is referred to as a self contained exposure unit. Some manufacturers also supply units where the light source is separate from the vacuum table. This type of system is used by businesses that need to expose very large screens. Unfortunately we no longer supply this type of unit.


What Type Of Clients Need A Self Contained Exposure Units?

Any client that needs to expose very detailed designs such as process colour separations, with screens that are not larger than 127 x 171cm will choose this style of exposure device in preference to a free standing light source and vacuum table. In addition, schools, colleges, universities, research laboratories and any print shop that has space restrictions would benefit from an “all in one” self contained exposure unit. It is worthwhile comparing these units with LED screen exposure units as the latter offer much lower running costs, albeit for slightly smaller screen sizes.


What Type Of Artwork Should I Expose On This Unit?

In simple terms, anything, whether it be simple solid areas of spot colours or complex half tone dots as required for process colour printing.


Why Does This Exposure Device Use Metal Halide Light Source?

Once the exposure area becomes a certain size, it is simpler, more cost effective and quicker (in relation to exposure time) to use this type of light source instead of traditional low wattage UV tubes. LED screen exposure units are comparable to self contained exposure units in the amount of detail that can be achieved as well as exposure times and should be considered as an alternative.


Why Do Self Contained Exposure Units Have Fluorescent Tubes?

These tubes allow the unit to be used as a light, or touch-up table so artwork can be checked carefully prior to exposure


How Do I Set Exposure Time?

The exposure time is set in seconds or light units depending on the preferred method of exposure.


Why Are The Units Offered In Different Power Levels?

The high power light sources are needed when exposing larger images and some substrates can be cured very quickly if a high output lamp is available. It also allows the most flexibility for installation of the system as there are both single and three phase units available to choose from.


What Power Requirements Are Needed?

A standard 13 amp domestic plug socket is needed for any of the single phase 240 volt models. All other models require a three phase 400 volt supply which may not be available to residential homes or some small business premises.


How Much Space Do I Need?

The unit is supplied on heavy duty castors hence can be easily moved. In addition, the system is built in a way that allows it to be brought into the building using a standard 90cm doorway with only the minimum of parts having to be assembled afterwards. Please refer to the specifications table on the product page to review the machine dimensions for each model.