Tag Archive: Custom Service

  1. Ink Adhesion Part 1: General Education

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    Have you ever looked down at a water bottle and wondered how the logo got there? Personally I know I have. Before the colors and image can get put together on the object the first question that needs to be answered is how to choose the right ink for the job. Simply put, ink adhesion is ink that sticks to any given product to a known specification. One of the most common tasks our Technical Service team are charged with is to “find me an ink that sticks to the surface of my product.” It wouldn’t be realistic if I told you that our Technical Service team has magic powers and can automatically determine the perfect ink for the material being printed on. Even though inks are produced to stick to a particular substrate; the question is which ink is best suited to adhere to your particular substrate based on your requirements?

    There are many different substrates and even more sub-sets within each . Not all polypropylene’s (PP), for example, are created equal. An ink that may exhibit flawless adhesion to one PP product may not adhere at all to another. We therefore need to match the ink series with the particular substrate being presented. However if you supply our Technical Service team with the parts you wish to print on, they will be able to begin working their “magic”. They will be able to first make an educated guess as to which ink will meet the customers’ expectations based on experience, then begin testing the inks and provide samples for the individual customer’s review.

    For information about Pad Print Machinery of Vermont’s custom solutions, standard pad printers, industrial digital ink jet, consumables and other auxiliary equipment, visit Engineered Printing Solutions, email sales@www.epsvt.com or call 1-800-272-7764.

  2. Technical Service with Remote Access

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    Whenever you have a technical problem wouldn’t it be nice to virtually relay the issue to the guy on the other end; without having to explain the details? There are so many times when I wish technical service could see what is on my screen rather than having to figure it out on my own. Here at Engineered Printing Solutions, our technical service representatives are able to virtually operate your machine and resolve the problems or issues you may be experiencing. This is all done by having “remote access” to the machine.

    Remote access has been extremely successful with our customers. The remote access program is available with our custom machines. With this technology our technical support team can access the clients’ machine through a simple internet browser. This is a major advantage because with a complex custom machine it is challenging to describe what the customer is seeing on the screen. As soon as the customer and our technical staff are connected they are able to speak either by phone or Skype. The operator is able to see exactly what our technical support team is doing on the machine and our tech support staff can see exactly what the operator is doing on the machine. It is not just a matter of being shown how to resolve the problem; technical support can virtually operate the machine to solve the problem. For safety reasons we do want to make sure that someone is physically at the machine to ensure the safety of everyone on the plant floor and to monitor that the machine functions as expected during the operations that are being performed.

    For information about Engineered Printing Solutions custom solutions, standard pad printers, industrial digital ink jet, consumables and other auxiliary equipment, visit Ink Adhesion Part 3: Ink Mixing, Contamination, Blooming and Mold Release Agents, email sales@www.epsvt.com or call
    1-800-272-7764.

  3. The Barcode Scanner

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    The days of looking up the parameters on a job set up sheet and entering them by hand are no more!

    In the world of engineering anything is feasible when you really think about it. Engineered Printing Solutions has taken the standard hand held barcode scanner and integrated it into our machines, creating new generation of custom pad printers.

    When the barcode scanner option is installed in the printing system, the risk of improper parameters being loaded when changing from one print job to the next is virtually eliminated. All the operator and setup individual has to do in order to load the correct printing parameters is to plug in the hand held barcode scanner and scan the barcode for the product. The system then automatically loads the print parameters for that product.

    While this option has been popular with our customers in the medical industry due to stringent process validation requirements; we feel many other industries would benefit from this feature as it requires much less operator and setup involvement in the configuration of the system for the new print job. There by reducing the time required and virtually eliminating parameter errors, thus reducing misprinted parts. If however the operator chooses to manually enter the code they are still able to hook up a keyboard and enter the program information.

    Our engineers at Pad Print Machinery of Vermont can install this option into almost any of our machines that are custom built in our Facility. The bar code scanner option can be configured to be compatible with almost all barcodes. At the moment Pad Print of Machinery is using 1st and 2nd barcodes. But our engineers are able to adhere to whatever barcode needs to be read by the product at hand.

    For information about Engineered Printing Solutions custom solutions, standard pad printers, industrial digital ink jet, consumables and other auxiliary equipment, visit Ink Adhesion Part 3: Ink Mixing, Contamination, Blooming and Mold Release Agents, email sales@www.epsvt.com or call 1-800-272-7764.

  4. The Future of Pad Printing

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    For the past three years Engineered Printing Solutions has been utilizing robotics to increase production, lower operator costs and improve the overall decorating process of various parts. The use of robotics has evolved from (a) pick and place systems to (b) SCARA robots loading tooling to (c) 6 axis robots with vision orienting and loading tooling. SCARA robots were then utilized as the actual printing arm with the capability of changing pad styles during the print process. A robot being used as a printing arm has been proven to be the most effective way to print on various three dimensional products that require multiple prints in different locations.  In prior designs an elaborate fixture would be designed to rotate the part to different print positions so the 4 axis SCARA robot could print down on the specific location.  The development of the smaller 6 axis articulating robots with increased power has led to advancement in our current robotic pad printer designs replacing the SCARA robot with a 6 axis Robot.  The part fixture now remains stationary because the 6 axis robot allows you to print at any angle. This eliminates the need for an elaborate multi axis servo driven fixture. The pad printing cycle is also shortened because the robot is no longer waiting for part rotations.

    Features of the six axis robot printer:

    • End of arm tool to hold print pad
    • Automatic tape cleaner
    • 2 sets of independent clichés to allow set up of next part to run without stopping the current print process
    • Clichés can hold multiple artworks
    • Touch screen HMI controller display on strong arm
    • Camera vision system to detect orientation of part
    • Up to six color printing
    • Automatic pad changer with use of up to six different pads
    • In feed & out feed conveyers

    Currently the Engineered Printing Solutions team includes many highly motivated individuals with full engineering, software development and tech support. Our #1 goal is Customer Satisfaction. Our company is constantly pushing the envelope, discovering more and more ways to seamlessly incorporate pad and ink jet printing into customers’ manufacturing environments.

    For information about Engineered Printing Solutions custom solutions, standard pad printers, industrial digital ink jet, consumables and other auxiliary equipment, visit Ink Adhesion Part 3: Ink Mixing, Contamination, Blooming and Mold Release Agents, e-mail sales@www.epsvt.com or call 1-800-272-7764

  5. Pad Printing in Multiples

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    Compared to the world of manual pad printing, the world of automation is virtually unlimited, within reason. Here at Engineered Printing Solutions we have taken a standard KP05 bench mounted printer and stripped it of the software and hardware. We then completely customized it to be able to produce 8,000 pieces per hour, all the while requiring minimal operator involvement.  How do you decide if automation is right for you? Well you need to ask yourself 3 questions: How many pieces per hour do you need to print? How many colors on the image? Finally what is the size of the image? With this machine, it all starts with the Bowl Feeder which aligns the parts all the same direction and feeds them down a track to the printer, printing the parts and finishing with the items going out under an infrared heater, ensuring that the images are dry enough to continue down the production line to other operations or to packaging. However with every innovation there are obstacles which we must work through.

    Some of the technical problems that can arise are:

    • Being able to efficiently feed the parts to keep up with the printer.
    • Printing multiple images in one pad stroke can create some undesirable results. This may require custom pads.
    • Being able to efficiently process parts through the system without damaging even the most delicate part.
    • Ensuring that the printed image is dry enough to withstand downstream operations as soon as it leaves the system.

    In this case we are printing 8 pieces at a time so our engineers need to make sure that the images are being placed correctly on each of the 8 parts every time.

    For information about Engineered Printing Solutions custom solutions, standard pad printers, industrial digital ink jet, consumables and other auxiliary equipment, visit Ink Adhesion Part 3: Ink Mixing, Contamination, Blooming and Mold Release Agents, email sales@www.epsvt.com or call 1-800-272-7764

  6. Pick This and Place First in Pad Print Success!

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    The pad printing industry has revolutionized marking in so many manufacturing industries, and continues to grow and cause further change. Pad Print Machinery of Vermont wants our customers to stay current on what has — and still is — happening in your industry and in the fields your customers service.

    Starting today we will occasionally feature new equipment, or additional devices available for that equipment, that have made a difference in your competitors’ businesses. You might want to consider investing in some of these in the near future.

    Consider a pick and place device

    The single most cost-effective automation feature for customers servicing any industry is a pick and place device, used to rake off or auto-unload parts after printing. Adding this one feature can come close to doubling your production rate overnight. The best news? It increases production at a low cost and saves operator time. The operator no longer has to load the parts onto the machine and then unload them onto a table or elliptical conveyor. The operator simply loads them.

    Here’s the technical stuff

    Pick & Place Systems are pneumatic or servo-motorized devices which can be installed on the pad print machine’s conveyor or other automation devices. Click here to see a video on different Pick & Place applications.

    A pick-and-place device can be designed for 2, 3, 4 or more axes/stations, depending on the conveyor installed and the configuration of the pad print machine. It is ready to install on conveyors for automatic loading and/or unloading of parts.

    PPMOVT has conveyors available ranging from the Linear Shuttle for single-part fixtures (offering four stations for four-color and six stations for five-color printing), up to top-of-the-line conveyors offering fully-automated, servo motor-driven, multicolor system up to 48+ stations.

    Our reps should know!

    The experienced PPMOVT customer service reps know about great deals like this. Increased production, moderate startup costs, a big boost on your ROI — these are benefits your business can’t ignore.

    Remember: we want your business to grow with your equipment. PPMOVT has reps assigned to your area waiting to hear from you. Call us at 1-800-272-7764, or use Live Chat on our Home page https://www.epsvt.com

    A year from now, call us to report a 100% increase in production year-to-date. We’ll celebrate with you!

  7. The Skinny on Plate Types

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    Engineered Printing Solutions reps often hear the question “what plate type should I use?” The answer is standard for pad printing:

    • What is the intended application
    • How detailed is the artwork (fine lines? large solid areas?)
    • What are the environment’s conditions (dusty? flying debris?)
    • What is the thickness or opacity of ink required?
    • What is the size of the run?

    Your rep is here to help you analyze your job and narrow your choices, including plate type. There are two major image plate types:  Steel and Photopolymer. Let’s take a closer look at each.

    Steel Plates

    • Thick Steel Plates. These are old-fashioned and originally used in pad printing because it was usually the only choice. There were few to no other more affordable materials. These thick steel plates were tempered and machined flat prior to acid etching. Very expensive and requiring an outside plate-maker service, their redeeming quality was longevity, often providing several-hundred-thousand print cycles.
    • Thin Steel Plates. These plates have gained in popularity due to the improved materials used. They provide excellent flatness for proper functionality and higher tempering (into the Rockwell 70’s) for long life. Their cost is much lower than thick steel plates and can be used on the same standard plate stages as polymer plates. These plates also need an outside plate-maker service – acid bath required.

    Photopolymer Plates
    Photopolymer plates come in a variety of types and are made of photosensitive material that changes chemical composition when exposed to ultraviolet light. Using a film positive, the image is etched into the plate, preventing the image area from being exposed to the UV-light. To control etch depth in larger color areas, a second exposure with a screen is necessary.

    • Double Exposure. These plates are available in several polymer materials depending on the etch depth and the number of impressions needed. An exposure unit is required to expose the plate and would require using a line screen. This material is available in either alcohol- or water-based development. A full list of plate materials can be found on our website – Printing Plates here.
    • Single Exposure. This special material provides a very thin photopolymer coating, clad to a very thin steel backing. The plate can only be etched to a .001” depth and requires a single exposure. This material has a shorter impression life than conventional Double Exposure plates. Since it lacks the customary screen in the artwork area, it is used only on fine line or text artwork. It is not used to print bold artwork or solid backgrounds.
    • Laser Etched. These plates are used in conjunction with a laser etching device such as our RapidFire Laser Etcher to produce plates similar to the conventional Double Exposure plates, including screened artwork areas of all types. Bringing this ability in-house eliminates the need for artwork films and provides multiple benefits in speed, turnaround, corrections and profitability.

    Where do I get help?
    Recommendations, troubleshooting and assistance in all areas of your production cycle are at the end of your phone or mouse! Call the trained and experienced Pad Print people at 1-800-272-7764, or use Live Chat on our Home page  https://www.epsvt.com
    We’ll stop by for a cup of coffee!

  8. Print Pad Durometer or Hardness – Same Thing

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    Albert F. Shore developed the measurement device called a durometer in the 1920s to measure material hardness. As a result of the Shore ratings, the terms hardness and durometer became interchangeable. Many pad print pad manufacturers color code the standard durometers by adding pigment to the silicone itself or by coloring the pad base. The following chart shows the durometer range for each silcone material (color) we typically recommend:

    Color                             Hardness
    Blue                                  10 – 60
    White                               20 – 65
    Red                                   30 – 75

    The harder the pad, the higher the Shore durometer rating. Three basic pad durometers are standard in the industry and cover most applications. Custom pad durometers are also available through most pad suppliers. We suggest you invest in a durometer gauge, valuable for all pad printers for determining pad hardness and quality control of pads in rotation. This simple tool is available through silicone-rubber suppliers and many general-service dealers in the screen printing and pad printing industries.

    Choosing the proper pad hardness for a job is often a combination of experimentation and experience. As a general rule, the harder the pad, the better the performance, the longer the pad life. But hard pads may be impractical in some applications. Here are some guidelines for durometer selection and maintenance:

    • Use softer pads when printing on heavily contoured surfaces or on fragile items.
    • Use a softer pad if the power of your machine can’t compress the pad sufficiently to achieve a satisfactory rolling action.
    • Use hard pads for textured surfaces, or printing an image in a recessed area where the pad must roll over a “step”.
    • Use hard pads in a pad “nest” where a number of pads are spaced with small gaps (for example, printing computer keyboards).
    • Consider a special pad for printing on abrasive substrates and textured finishes. Example applications include automobile control arms like turn-signals and windshield-wipers, when the pad must resist the abrasive nature of the substrate.
    • Avoid using pads of different durometers on the same application. The thickness of the ink deposit will vary on the substrate.

    Custom Pads – Custom Service
    Confused about durometer? Need help selecting pad durometer for a custom job? We have a full pad department to help and we don’t charge for phone calls! Click Cylindrical Printing Padsor call 800-272-7764 for our undivided attention. We are here to help you!