Tag Archive: pad printing

  1. Visit us at MD&M East, NYC June 13-15

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    Engineered Printing Solutions (East Dorset, VT) will be featuring its latest technologies in both pad and industrial inkjet printing at the 2017 MD&M East Trade Show, being held June 13-15 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY.

    This year’s industrial printers include the following:

    The fJet-24

    The perfect flatbed solution for personalized souvenirs, customized gifts, industrial products and promotional items, this multi-color printer provides quality as high as 1200 dpi, high speed uni- and bi-directional printing and a maximum print area of 20” x 24”. See a complete list of features and watch the video for this popular industrial inkjet printer.

    The KP05 360° Catheter Pad Printer

    When it comes to printing versatility, this KP05 Pad Printing Machine does not disappoint. It can be used as a single color machine, two color and rotational printer, and be electro-pneumatically controlled with a digital programmable microprocessor for high quality printing.  This particular configuration will be equipped with a vacuum catheter bed for providing the capacity to print any images –bands text etc 360° around the tube within the confines of the 90mm diameter print area of this machine.

    For information about Engineered Printing Solutions custom solutions, standard pad printers, industrial inkjet, consumables and other auxiliary equipment, visit www.epsvt.com, email info@epsvt.com or call 1-800-272-7764.

    See our technology in action for yourself. Register for the 2017MD&M EAST here and come visit us at Booth #1729.
    Contact:
    Eric Henzie – Director of Marketing
    Engineered Printing Solutions
    201 Tennis Way
    East Dorset, VT 05253
    ehenzie@www.epsvt.com
    800-272-7764 ext. 227

  2. Supporting and Training Industrial Printing Customers

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    In this edition of EPS Insider I caught up with Jim Tower, Technical Services Manager at Engineered Printing Solutions. Simply put, Jim is dedicated. He commutes around an hour each way every day and he offers customers around the clock mobile phone availability. His morning commute is devoted to mental preparation for the work day ahead, and his commute home offers an opportunity to wind-down.

    Jim and the Technical Services Team play a vitally important role at EPS. Jim and his team are responsible for supporting the Sales Team in the early stages of product qualification, generating the samples for each of our prospective clients. Technical Services is deeply involved in the development and maintenance of our facilities process development. They also put the final stamp on our completed projects during the quality control phase prior to shipment. And lastly, our most important point of competitive differentiation, our post-manufacturing customer support that follows every product we ship for the products entire lifespan.

    Q: What is your role here and what responsibilities does it entail?

    “I am the Technical Services Manager at EPS and manage a 15 person department. Our team handles a wide variety of responsibilities, a good place to start is at the ‘hand off’ from the Machine Assembly and Engineering Team(s) after a piece of equipment is complete. We make sure that the equipment meets all specifications, and after we are satisfied that these specification have been met we build a process for support around them. We are very critical during these activities because nothing will leave this building unless we are positive we have met our customer expectations. Accomplishing this is all about process development, and this is where the talent of this department really comes into play.”

    “In addition, we provide support for the life of the equipment after we have completed our final testing steps before we ship to their facility. This post purchase customer support is a large part of what we do every day. It begins with what I term, installation commissioning and on-site training. This involves visiting the customer’s facility, checking the equipments condition, reproducing the production process, establishing a baseline of what the equipment is capable of, and then training the customer to effectively perform the process themselves.”

    Q: Can you tell me more about the free lifetime technical support that we provide to our industrial printing customers?

    “While we offer an extensive warranty for every product we sell, the personal relationship never really stops for us. We provide free post-warranty, lifetime technical support to all original equipment owners of our machines. This support is provided via phone, email, Skype…whatever remote assistance is most comfortable for the customer. All of our larger systems can be operated and diagnosed right from my desk via TeamViewer, the proprietary remote access software solution we have relied on for years.”

    “We find a special pride in our ability to develop long-term relationships with each of them. We cherish all of our customers and we frequently receive positive feedback because they know that we are always here for them. We will send a qualified Technician to any facility within a few hours time if the situation warrants this level of timeliness support. We know that really matters and we have loyal, repeat customers because that’s the level of support we are known for.”

    Q: In addition to simply providing the free lifetime support, what about it do you think sets us apart from other companies in our industry?

    “I think what sets us apart is our responsiveness and expertise, which is second to none. You can ask any customer and they will tell you as much. We make every effort to get back to our customers within minutes of a request. In addition to my team having a high level of expertise and quick response time, they are a ‘likable’ group. People enjoy speaking to them, and prefer that over opening a manual and troubleshooting an issue themselves. We have a mantra here; if our customers are successful we are successful. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, and therefore they are more likely to consider EPS for future projects. We have built relationships with our customers and know where they are at with a piece of equipment. As a result, we can pick up on something right where we have left off.

    “That being said, the double-edged sword here is that if a customer is picking up the phone to call us, it’s not because they wanted to say hello. It’s because they have encountered an issue and they need a quick and thorough resolution. Let’s use a newly purchased machine as an example. A significant investment has been made and there’s a learning curve there, plain and simple. The customer is still getting their ‘sea legs’ and that is where most problems occur. It’s our job to diffuse the situation, to calm them down and do what we do…which is to work them through the problem. This is what my team is very good at.”

    Q: How and why do customers depend on your department for sample production?

    “There’s any number of reasons as to why we produce so many product samples. It can be a contract basis, a custom basis, and most commonly during the presale phase for a new tool for proof of concept and quality. A company might simply need samples done for a trade show. A customer may be struggling with their own in-house printing, and ask us to figure out the problem. There are lots of reasons we’ll turn a machine on here!”

    Q: What do you think best summarizes the importance of the technical services department?

    “It would be the fact that there is no such thing as a ‘service-less machine’. Our customers simply need us in one manner or another. Regardless of whether or not it is a technical issue with some aspect of the printer, or the operator is struggling with a process. My team is here to see them through it.”

    Q: What do you personally enjoy the most about your position and leading your team on a daily basis?

    “The challenge of the job, hands down! After doing this for 20 years, I still learn something new every day. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing it. Engineered Printing Solutions is a ‘custom automation house’, and thus no two processes are the same. We are uniquely positioned to produce and service three very different solutions; pad printing machines, cutting edge digital machines and completely customized, uniquely manufactured proprietary machines. There might be a few cookie cutter aspects with the smaller, pad printing equipment. However, when you get into the larger machines, none of it is the same. The challenge for my technicians and I is understanding what those differences are so we are able to diagnose and repair them. That’s the challenge, in addition to always meeting the customer’s expectations…of course!”

    For more information about Engineered Printing Solutions custom solutions, such as standard pad printers, industrial inkjet, consumables and auxiliary equipment, visit www.epsvt.com, email info@epsvt.com or call 1-800-272-7764.

  3. Tech Tip Tuesday: When Should You Replace Your Ceramic Rings?

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    More often than not, the ceramic rings do not make it to expiration of the useful production life.  The more likely scenario for replacing them tend to be mishandling.  The rings will often be set down incorrectly or dropped causing a chip in the ring that renders it unusable.

    If the ring is to make it to the end of its useful production life, one of the symptoms is heavy shadowing of ink on the cliché.  The lapped flat, when new, is approximately 0.005″ wide.  When the flat wears to a point where the mean width approaches the 0.010″ to 0.015″ width, you can safely say the ring has served you well.

    In my experience you can see upwards of 5 – 6 years of useful life out of a ceramic ring (dependent on usage).

    Check out our Pad Printing Machines at www.epsvt.com there you can also find more information about Engineered Printing Solutions custom solutions, standard pad printers, industrial inkjet, consumables and other auxiliary equipment. Email info@epsvt.com or call 1-800-272-7764 if you would like more information.

  4. Tech Tip Tuesday: What Is The Difference Between A Polymer Plate And A Thin Steel Plate?

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    [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]There are two major differences between a polymer plate and a thin steel plate:

    1. Etching method.
      1. Printing Plates are etched by means of a UV exposure unit whereby a series of steps are taken to burn the image to the surface of the plate while exposing the surrounding area.  Depending on the type of polymer (alcohol or water wash) the unhardened material will be washed away to leave a positive impression of the image.
      2. The Printing Plates process is similar however to get to the end result the steel must see an acid bath for the etching process.
    2. Production life.
      1. There are many different types of polymer plate materials and associated estimated production lives.  This speaks to the importance of selection of a material that is cost-effective for the anticipated production run.  There are plate materials that are rated anywhere from 10k – 15k impressions with higher end materials can provide an estimated 60k – 70k impressions.
      2. The thin steel plate material has been estimated in the 500k+ impression range for durability.

    The above factors have bearing on the cost of the material.  As you might imagine, the photosensitive polymers tend to be much cheaper, in particular on the lower end of the durability scale, while the thin steel plate’s durability tends to be a bit higher.

    Thick steel plates are another option.  Thick steel plates are usually about 10mm thick and rated for a production life of close to one million cycles.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Want to learn more about printing plates?  Drop us a line![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

  5. Tech Tip Tuesday: Tools Required To Operate Pad Printing Machines

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    [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In the traditional sense there are very few tools required to operate pad printing machines.  In most cases you will find that a single M4 Allen key will be all that you put to the machine in order to get it setup and functioning.

    However there are a few tools outside of formed metal that come in much more handy.  Common sense, diligence and a little elbow grease.  If the former two attributes are employed, from day one, the latter decreases exponentially as do the issues that impose themselves when allowing the process and machine to get a bit messy.

    For instance, one of the leading causes of premature wear of Printing Plates is dried ink between the mount surface of the cliché and the cliché support.  Simply wiping both surfaces prior to setup contributes greatly to maximizing the production life of the cliché.  When ink infiltrates the surface between the two mating parts, the inkcup tends to work at what becomes a raised portion of the cliché.  You will find that a divot will develop as the inkcup shaves away, ever so slightly, the material.  The next time the cliché is used, the divot that has developed will catch ink.  If near on in the image area the cliché will be rendered useless.

    Tip number one imparted during all training sessions is to keep the process and equipment as clean as is feasible.  Excess ink will seep into places that may seem innocuous at the time but down the road, after the ink has had a chance to dry and cure, it will act as an adhesive and beget many a cuss word as screws are stripped and adjustments made impossible due to parts sticking together.

    Cleanliness makes for a happy process![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row gap=”10″ equal_height=”yes” content_placement=”top”][vc_column width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1558615514458{border-top-width: 1px !important;border-right-width: 1px !important;border-bottom-width: 1px !important;border-left-width: 1px !important;padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: rgba(0,0,0,0.2) !important;*background-color: rgb(0,0,0) !important;border-left-color: #000000 !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #000000 !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #000000 !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #000000 !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 5px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Want to learn more about pad printing?  Contact our Sales Team:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1558615558893{border-top-width: 1px !important;border-right-width: 1px !important;border-bottom-width: 1px !important;border-left-width: 1px !important;padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: rgba(0,0,0,0.2) !important;*background-color: rgb(0,0,0) !important;border-left-color: #000000 !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #000000 !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #000000 !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #000000 !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 5px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Got a Tech Support question?  Contact our Team:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

  6. Tech Tip Tuesdays: Frequently Asked Pad Printing Pad Questions?

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    How long should my pad printing pad last?
    Depending on how “rugged” a surface you’re printing on, a pad should last between 50,000 and 100,000 impressions. Improper use, careless machine operation or stray grit however, can decrease the pad’s life.

    What should i watch for when I’m pad printing?
    Make sure your substrate is free of sharp particles and debris. Avoid printing on sharp edges, which can puncture the pad. Use as little pad pressure (downstroke) as you can to pick up and deposit your image. (Tip: Too light an image could be an improperly etched cliche’)

    What causes the most damage to pads?
    Overly aggressive solvents, mechanical damage, poor storage practices, dirt/dust/debris and careless use are the most common causes of damage to pads. Additionally, some inks have aggressive solvents as part of their mix that will be absorbed by the pad and cause the image to “spread” on the pad. This isn’t permanent, as the solvent will evaporate if warmed or left to stand.

    How should I clean my pad?
    The best way to remove ink and debris from your pad surface is with regular packing tape. You may also use a mild solvent, such as alcohol. Always clean your pad before starting a printing job and never use a sharp object on your pad.

    What is the best way to store my pad?
    If a pad arrives in a protective shell or with a protective cover, remove it and do not reuse. It could trap grit and debris that can damage the pad. Never store a pad on top of or compressed against another pad. Handle and store your pads carefully.

    What’s the nest way to extend my pad’s life?
    We sell 8 oz. bottles of Pad Rejuvenator (Ask for Part Number PAD OIL when you call our customer service department.) The other way we recommend extending a pad’s life is to have two pads that you alternate one shift on, one shift off, to “rest” the pad and let it restore to its uncompressed state.

    How do I prevent pad wear?
    Correct design and tooling of fixtures will help eliminate pad wear … a major cause of image distortion.

     

  7. Tech Tip Tuesday: Symptoms of Having Chosen the Incorrect Pad Printing Pad

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    The pad is one of the most important elements in the pad printing process. The correct choice is essential in obtaining good final print results.

    Symptoms of having chosen the incorrect pad printing pad:

    1. Pin holing (pad too soft or too shallow),
    2. Image distortion,
    3. Incomplete transfer (in particular near the peak of the pad),
    4. Inability to pickup entire image (pad too small),
    5. Will not fit on equipment,
    6. Equipment incapable of compressing pad sufficiently for pickup, transfer or both.

    Choosing the correct pad requires some familiarity with the pad print process.  General rule of thumb:

    1. Choose as hard a pad as the process will allow.
    2. Keep the image size to no more than 80% of the print area of a given pad.
    3. When odd form printing … use a large a pad (within reason) as is possible.

    Our customer service team will help you choose the proper pad for your printing application. Some of the questions we will ask (in addition to print area, shape and surface texture) are:

    1. Thickness of the base (1/2″, 3/4″, etc.);
    2. Type of base needed (wooden is standard, or specify flat aluminum or extruded aluminum dovetail);
    3. Machining or drilling needed on base (size and location of tap holes);
    4. Overall maximum pad height, including the base;
    5. Whether the pad needs to be hollow of with a helicoil insert;
    6. How hard or soft the item is being printed (to determine pad durometer);
    7. The size “T” nut needed to attach pad to machine (if needed).
  8. Unique Ink-Saver Ring

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    Have you ever run into the problem of producing a printed image with weak coverage on solid areas despite using the right amount of ink?  If you have then we have the solution for you.

    Engineered Printing Solutions’ unique Ink-Saver Ring agitates the ink as the cup slides across the cliché, allowing the ink to evenly flow and mix over the print area. The patented Fan Blade design scoops and mixes the pigment as it passes through each chamber allowing the ink to spread evenly throughout the ink cup, providing even coverage over the entire image.

    Ink Saver-Ring Figure 1 shows what normally happens to a printed image when the ink does not disperse evenly and tends to leave the sides unprinted. Solid areas can also be affected with weak print opacity.

    ­On the other hand, Figure 2 shows the difference when using the Ink-Saver Ring. The image prints evenly while using the same volume of ink – 25 grams in the cup.

    Another issue for most decorators is the waste associated with bi-component inks.  When using the Ink-Saver Ring, less ink can be mixed and more ink can be used, resulting in less ink waste at the end of the day. Over time, this adds up to significant cost savings for any print shop.

    The Ink-Saver Ring is available for all Engineered Printing Solutions’ cup sizes, as well as for other vendor’s closed cup systems.

    For information about Engineered Printing Solutions’ standard pad printers, industrial ink jet, custom solutions, consumables and other auxiliary equipment, visit www.epsvt.com, email info@epsvt.com or call 1-800-272-7764.