To our seasoned printing audience, “What is a screen printer?” can essentially be answered in one sentence: “A screen printer presses ink through a mesh screen onto a substrate, except where a stencil keeps the ink from passing through.” And although that is correct, it’s not the whole picture — by a long shot. We think even an industry expert will benefit from pausing to revel in the details of this century-old printing technique.
As mentioned above, at its basic level, screen printing is a method that presses ink through a mesh screen onto a flat or round surface, except where an impermeable stencil keeps the ink from passing through. So, let’s break down the components of the actual screen printer:
Many of our readers are quite well-versed in printing technology, so, “What is a pad printer?” may seem too basic a question to address. We hope, however, that even a printing expert may gain a nugget of helpful insight from this “back to basics” topic.
Having said that, a pad printer is a highly practical and versatile piece of printing technology, capable of printing a flat image onto a vast array of products. Simply put, pad printers use rubber-molded pads to transfer two-dimensional images onto three-dimensional objects. Whether a surface (or substrate) is concave, cylindrical, textured, or even highly sensitive, a pad printer can be tailor made to fit nearly any application.
In the screen printing vs. pad printing debate, it’s less about deciding which method is best, and more about determining which is best for your particular application. If you’re the one responsible for making that determination, you know it can be a tough choice. Hopefully the following tips and information can help you along the way. Continue reading
Diversified Printing Techniques specializes in the design, construction and support of standard and automated product decorating solutions. Not all solutions are simple; some require the creative application of auxiliary technologies. Our staff of experts is adept at providing results that are innovative, value based and efficient.
We were recently approached by a customer that specializes in various forms of product decoration. They have a long and successful history of providing pad printed products on a contractual basis and had just landed a high volume contract. Although they have an ample supply of standard printers, the application required a custom solution. Continue reading
Diversified Printing Techniques focuses on practical solutions. Our team of highly experienced engineers and technicians are able to carefully analyze difficult projects, and apply successful solutions. Recently we had a customer present us with a dilemma. They were using heat transfers on a souvenir cup with a three color image that wrapped more than 180̊ degrees around the circumference. They had been told by most in the industry that this was the only way to decorate their product. Not only were the transfers expensive, but also they were having serious quality issues and were forced to scrap a large percentage of their daily production. We carefully analyzed the product, and even though pad printing on cups is a challenge due to the restricted amount of wrap, we saw an opportunity for success. Continue reading
Have you ever experienced a small smudge or void in the middle of a pad printed image and are unsure of what caused it? Surprisingly the culprit is most likely the transfer pad, or more specifically, the location of the image on the pad. The transfer pad assumes two basic shapes, the “cone” and the “V”. All designs are derived from these two.
The transfer pad functions by creating a rolling effect when under compression. This rolling effect creates angles between the pad shape and the part surface.
Larger angles are more desirable than shallower angles as they result in “pushing” air out, reducing if not eliminating pin holes. Continue reading
KENT Engineering Co., Ltd. CEO, David Ho, was featured in thePlastics Decorating Blog where he discusses the elements of green pad printing. In an effort to encourage responsible printing, Ho authored GO: Green Pad Printing, a full resource for fostering the environmental effort within the print industry.
In the article, Ho describes the effects of pad printing on the environment, and explores the resources made available by Kent, which promote efficient, environmentally friendly processes. Read the full article, and learn more about the unique and cost saving advantages of going green!
If you’re here to learn more about green pad printing, you’ve come to the right place. As technology becomes more advanced, we become more and more aware as a civilization of how what we do is affecting the environment. This earth is our only home, which is why your Diversified Printing team is doing our part to protect it with our Green Pad Printing services.
Printing a large bold area can be tricky if appropriate steps are not taken. It is not uncommon to see a blemish or missing ink in the middle of the print. This can be the result of a couple of factors. The first is the position of the tip or apex of the transfer pad. Be sure that this is placed adjacent to, but not in the image itself. A second variable is the potential of the doctor blade or ring dipping into the image during the doctoring cycle.
To counter this, a screen (dots) may be added to support the blade or ring. The amount of dots added are subject to the type of cliché material used. Thick steel cliches are limited to 150 dpi while alcohol and water wash cliches can use a range up to 300dpi. The actual dot screened used is dependent on the application.
For more information on perfecting your large area print projects, or for additional assistance with your pad and screen printing projects, give us a call!
John Shaw was recently hired as the Western Development Manager for Diversified Printing Techniques. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, John is no stranger to pad printing. His extensive knowledge in the details of plate making, inks, pads, equipment solutions, and general pad printing techniques makes him a great resource from which customers can glean.
John is excited to be a part of a progressive company that is developing new equipment and accessories to better the process of pad printing. He recently finished his first trip to California with Diversified and is excited about the opportunities available to us to serve the western market in a more personal way.
Not all pad printing machines are created equal just as not all pad printing applications are the same.
Unique to the Kent line of pad printers is the KSD series. The servo driven Kent KSD provides a vault like structure with sophisticated motion control and is ideal for use in high speed situations or applications that require extensive process management.
A solid cast structure provides stability while precision guide rails with pairing runner blocks mounted to machined surfaces offer accurate and repeatable linear motion. Servo motors drive the pad ram and cliché carriage. Controlling this motion is an advanced program offering programmable pad stroke, cliché positioning, Continue reading
Budget and needs do not always meet. This is where our experienced and creative team becomes so valuable. We have a customer that needed to produce high volumes of a particular part. We offered them a feeder bowl system, which would have had very low costs on labor, but the cost of the feeding system was a bit overwhelming. We developed an infeed conveyor system that allowed them to bulk feed the system with an operator.
Kent’s global teams of engineers work together to aggressively design new technology in padprinting. This technology is designed to enhance your success. The advances in the G-Turbo350 make it simpler to work with your pad printing machine while utilizing state of the art components and technology. By using raw materials like granite and servo motors instead of cylinders, this equipment has a very low impact to our environment. The G-Turbo 350 is an amazingly versatile machine, which allows complex jobs to be completed with ease.
Using the proper ink, thinner, and hardener on for your print project is extremely important. Many times you can spend great amounts of time and money to test your inks for the best look and performance. Unfortunately, all this can be wasted with out using the proper type of mixing cup.
Many times mixing cups become the cheapest and easiest thing to find. This oversight can cause problems down the road. Many cups have wax liners, or have low solvent resistance. This type of mixing cup can contaminate the ink when the solvents attach the plastic or coating inside the cup. This can easily be resolved by using a polythene or polypropelyne cup to mix your inks. It is important to note that the liner of the G-cup can be used as a proper mixing cup and eliminate the need for another material.
Have you found yourself with three plates etched, and you are not happy with the print from any of them? Maybe it’s time to refresh yourself on plate making 101. When etching plates, it is very important that your artwork is produced on good film with an ultra opaque image.
To check this, put a light source behind the image on the film and see if light passes through. If light passes through the image, your plates will be too shallow. Next select the right dot pattern. In choosing the right dot pattern, use large dot film (133 line) for bold images and small dot film (200 line) for fine images.
After what seemed like a long winter, and a brief glimpse of spring, the warm summer weather seems to making its first appearance of 2015. For many people, this means trips to the beach, days spent by the pool, and maybe even a mojito or two. For those of us in the printing industry, however, hot temperatures and high humidity mean paying extra attention to the weather in order to take proper care of our inks.
Have you ever had a print job, and the print is just not opaque? Let’s say, for example, a light color print on a dark part. Most customers automatically think the printing plate is the cause, but it’s possible that the printing plate is just fine, meaning that the print issue is caused by something else.
When customers call with this issue, there are a few questions we might ask. Follow our 4 part article series, featuring a few of these questions, along with the reasons we ask them: Continue reading
Color matching inks were intended for blending with other colors in the color matching system. Because of this, they tend to be more transparent in color. A color matching series usually contains 12 colors. When ink manufacturers use this series of colors, they’ve essentially made purchasing and mixing ink easier for their customers, as it means they have formulas for all Pantone® color charts readily available. If a customer needed to have color matched ink made every time they ran out, they would typically incur an additional color matching fee, in addition Continue reading
Standard colors will have more pigment incorporated into them than color matching ink colors. High opaque colors, sometimes called “high definition colors,” will have even more pigment added to the resin and thinner mixture, thus giving the high opaque inks the most hiding power. Please note that the more pigment added will mean less resin, and depending on the material being printed, this may create adhesion issues. With that being said, it is always important to run tests before putting the ink into production.
Since the late 1960s, transfer pad printing has been a popular decorative process, but it hasn’t always been the easiest. Since its inception, the pad printing process has undergone several revolutionary changes, but none are as important as the award winning Diversified Printing Techniques “Green Pad Printing System.” In full, this system includes the Green Cup, Green Plate, G-printer, UV ink, and a direct computer-to-plate laser-engraving machine (KCTP).