Many screen printing presses are manually operated and consist of a simple frame hinged to a flat surface. The equipment can be very cheap and, as such, it is often used by people printing at home. There are also semi-automatic presses in which, while the screen is raised and lowered and the squeegee is pulled across the screen automatically, the material to be printed has to be inserted and removed by hand. Fully automatic presses also feed and deliver the paper or material automatically and some have an impression cylinder that holds the paper while the screen moves in unison and squeegee remains stationary. These presses can attain speeds of up to 6,000 copies per hour.
The fact that the process can apply a very thick film of ink onto a large sheet makes it ideal for posters. Also, virtually any type of material can be printed on including; wood, fabric, glass, plastic and metal. Screen printing is therefore used for plastic and metal signs, t-shirts, CDs and DVDs, bottles and transfers.