When faced with a large-format print job, most printers will choose between digital or silk screen process. Either choice would work if the substrate is flat and images are composed of large areas of background color. Unfortunately those processes will not work all the time if the substrate is rough or is three-dimensional in nature.
Pad printing machines have advanced to servo-driven systems to direct pad travel and part movement precisely along the X and Y axes for accurate placement and alignment of images.
Pad printers can be designed with a row of independent pads allowing flexibility to print an image where it needs to be. A conveyor system moves the part and the cliché can be etched with multiple images to complete the printing process in one pass.(KE16 is shown with independent pads and linear shuttle)
These systems ( XE-Tech shown) are fully automatic, computerized gantry-based pad printing center. The system is controlled by a PC with highly sophisticated software that can be programmed to accommodate several printing points.