The ROQ E is a new screen printing press that is fully electric – all we need to do is provide electricity to the machine and you’re on your way like never before. The press produces its own air with a small compressor located inside the base of the machine that pumps air into a 13 gallon holding tank which gives us the ability to expertly operate our printheads, chopping of our squeegees, and the brake mechanism on the index. We're not giving up the benefits of printing with air with the ROQ E, as opposed to just printing mechanically, which is way less reliable and more prone to error. This allows us to dial in with our regulators (on each printhead) the amount of pressure we want to print with, and do so with consistency that ROQ is famous for.
Why would you want to print with air power versus relying on a mechanical application? Let's say we’re in a situation where we have a platen or a print arm that somehow differs from the others for some reason (which often doesn’t reveal itself until you print), then the mechanical pressure would follow and reinforce the glitch, it would chop over and wouldn’t address the deviation to give you a proper print. And if I'm just slightly touching the surface of the garment, and if the platen or an arm that was even slightly lower, it wouldn't print properly because it would be mechanically problematic at that point. But with the power of air pressure, it's going to follow and correct any hidden deviation, perfecting your prints effortlessly. It’s highly preferable to print with air all the time. It kind of ‘fills in the cracks’ if and when that would happen and you can be more finite with adjustments. Rather than just trying to mash ink through a screen, you can precisely lay the right amount of ink onto your garment with the exact amount of pressure you'd like.
The ROQ E’s on-board compressor is located out of the way at the bottom of the machine. The 13 gallon tank holds all the air required to run this press if you’re running all six printheads or all eight at one time. This holding tank gives you the ability to run more printheads when you're using more air. We have a six-color E in the Multicraft 1907: The Chicago Printeasy Showroom, but that holding tank would give you all the air required to operate this press at maximum air consumption.
A special air cylinder that was similar to what's on top of the ROQ YOU machines has been replaced with an AC motor that lifts and lowers the printheads with ease. The ROQ E’s AC motor significantly lowers the requirements to run with air, so in addition to having an onboard air compressor, the requirements are greatly reduced.
My first experience with the ROQ E was at Printing United in Atlanta this year. I was given a call and asked if I could run this press during the show. Having never seen it, I was super excited to get behind the wheel and run this exciting new press. I absolutely loved it. The first thing that hit me in the face when I walked in was its much larger HMI, and it's similar to what we run on the ROQ NEXT, ROQ ECO, and the ROQ OVALs, which gives me the ability to do some things I couldn't do previously on similar machines.
I have control I never had before. I can move the machine left and right without having to disengage the brake to do this. It has the feel of ROQ YOU and ROQ NEXT press. I can print from the main display at the operator station, saving even more time, enabling me to print even faster. I can index the star left and right from there now. I can FLASH from the main operator station to the load station which means way less running around the machine. I can send something over to a FLASH while I'm at the load station and bring it back to me. This is a huge time saver and a huge benefit to the operator.
Everybody I spoke with at Printing United really liked all the new changes. There were a few other changes made from aesthetic changes and some functional changes as well. We have the cleaning latch on top of each printhead that was changed to move the latch further out. A shorter person can easily reach this latch and makes the entire workflow easier to use. Something that stood out for many was the E’s new color scheme, it caught so much attention, and I really like it as well.
The ROQ E has slim pallet arms similar to the ROQ FIT for running your sleeves and such. It was just a really great experience to run.
I personally think the ROQ E is a great press all around but I would say that those coming from a manual press will especially love the E. If you don’t have a large space to house a compressor in your facility or garage, whatever it might be, with this press, you’re able to just wire it up and you don’t need to worry about all getting compressed air plumbed in. It's just a worry you won't have – a big advantage.
Unless you're really listening for the compressor, you're not going to hear it. I want to say it's right around 55 decibels or so, which in this world is not loud at all. We really had to listen when I was trying to show people at Printing United because it was definitely not a deafening noise like traditional compressors.
With the E, you're not giving up anything on setups, you can run the press just like you would on the ROQ YOU and all the way up the ROQ Automatic Fleet. The new latch on top of the printhead makes it way easier to get the printhead into a lifted position for cleaning.
Running a single sleeve platen will not be an issue on this machine whatsoever. I’m really excited to get more people in to see this machine. It's really impressive what ROQ has done with this.
There's a brake mechanism and we've moved all these fittings to the outside of the machine, so you do not need to remove covers to maintain this machine. You can do it from the load/unload station – just fill it just like any that'll keep your break moving freely. Ease of maintenance is a big thing for me. The ROQ E couldn’t be easier.
ROQ is a solid company with outstanding service technicians. They really care about the customer as a true Partner and that was the reason for bringing this press to the market. Because you're eliminating the need to run compressed air to his machine with an external compressor, you're essentially saving that much money, enabling you to get yourself into an automatic far sooner than usual. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to speaking with you and answering any questions you may have about the ROQ E. ROQ on!