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September 1, 2003

6 Min Read
Web exclusive: Decorating

CER’s four-axis CNC-controlled hot stamp press, Quadrax, was recently introduced in the U.S. by Acromark. The machine can be set up to run flat dies, heated rollers, or a screen print head.

The wide array of decorating technologies and machinery on display at NPE 2003 was impressive, presented on a variety of products ranging from cosmetic packaging, key chains, and food containers to currency (the euro has a foil security strip developed by Kurz). Here are some highlights:

  • Pad Printing

    For that rare occasion when pad printing in a horizontal direction is required, Deco Tech is offering two new MS Series machines that have pad rotation. Typically the machines are used inline in automated production systems.

    TampoPrint’s newest machine is the Concentra 60/90-4. The four-color line is equipped with a free programmable PLC control for individual programming, and has the possibility of storing up to five different settings for quick changeover. The machine can also be converted between cup sizes 60 and 90.

  • Foiled Again

    With a simulated-wood foil that’s giving trees a complex because it looks so real, Kurz Transfer Products has added to its already extensive line of foils, which range from ultrafine lettering to metallic finishes. The company’s inmold decoration (IMD) technology allows complex, multicolor designs for applications such as mobile phone lenses and covers. The company also offers injection molds and IMD foil feeding devices to complete the package.

    A multicolored heat transfer system from Webtech allows a customer to use bright metallics and holograms, in addition to the traditional satin, matte, or gloss. Multi Color Foil (MCF) offers single-step hot stamping of up to 13 colors with the combination of metallic gold or silver.

    The Markem 4000 Series drop on demand white ink jet marker offers a higher print contrast than direct laser markers and requires less maintenance than CIJ markers. It can be used for printed circuit board marking (directly above).

    United Silicone has upgraded its .5-ton, 1-ton, and 2.5-ton standard hot stamping and heat transfer decorating machines. In the .5-ton, the pneumatic foil feed system was replaced by a more precise electric system. Other changes on all the machines include a replacement of the standard die mounting plate with a quick-change die holder and an improved head guide system to ensure accurate positioning throughout the head stroke. The three machines are also equipped with a new controller.

    A four-axis CNC machine by CER can be equipped to hot stamp around the periphery of shaped parts, and has a shape reading laser that is controlled using a Windows-based program and touch-screen interface to allow hot stamping of differently shaped parts without extensive reprogramming.

  • It’s All in the Mold

    Serigraph recently launched a new program, IMD1, to provide complete inmold decorating services, from engineering through to injection molding. According to the company, IMD1 is designed to help customers with cost, production logistical issues, and environmental concerns.

    Stackteck is offering equipment for inmold labeling that provides high-quality graphics, versatility for small production runs, and simple changeover to another label.

    Proell introduced a new solvent-based, two-component screen printing ink, NoriPET, for use with second surface inmold decoration technology and membrane switches of polyester film. The company says that the ink system is “extremely flexible,” because it is highly temperature resistant for injection molding directly onto the surface of the ink and shows good adhesion between printed film and injected resin.

  • Making their Mark

    Matthews Intl. Corp.’s new Coditherm digital thermal transfer printer is the only printer of its kind, according to the company, that can print directly on objects made of rigid or semirigid materials, or with uneven, porous surfaces.

    Baublys has added some lower-cost laser markers to its product line. The Image and Accent systems are offered in 1064-, 532-, and 355-nm wavelengths. The systems are suited for most materials and come with proprietary software to create alphanumerics, barcodes, 2-D codes, logos, and serial numbers.

    Markem Corp. introduced its 4000 Series Drop on Demand white ink jet marker. The marker jets highly opaque white ink for high print contrast at 600-dpi resolution. Unlike direct laser marking, the 4000 Series is a nonintrusive direct marking process.

    The E-comeleon 3-D decorating process is a post-molding process that applies high resolution, full-color digital images onto 3-D products. Ideal for customized decorating, the process is semi-automated and has low capital equipment requirements.

    Genmar Holdings Inc. displayed a new Vec Shield finish at the show on two of the company’s new 2004 Four Winns boats. The Vec Shield process comprises several new materials and processes including an alloy plastic sheet utilizing resins from GE Plastics. The process replaces the open-faced molding process with a computerized, closed-mold system.

    Graphics International Group specializes in labeling systems for 3-D containers. The company offers turnkey labeling systems that can be mounted to equipment like the OMSO Novax M, which enables customers to screen print and label inline.

    The Coditherm, a new digital printer developed for automatic and direct thermal transfer printing from Matthews International, was introduced at the show. According to the company, the printer is the only digital thermal transfer printer able to print directly on objects made of rigid or semirigid materials, or those with porous surfaces. The printer is suited for marking on plastic boxes, bags, and containers.

    The VEC (virtual engineered composite) molding system, shown directly above, is a closed mold process in which the finished hull (lower) emerges as the VEC cell opens and the upper mold section rises from a closed position. The finish incorporates a thermoplastic shell using materials like Spartech WeatherPro G. At top is the finished product with the new VEC shield finish.

    The AlphaJet C4 ink jet printer from Metronic allows four printing heads to be used in a single-line operation. The printing units and control units are independent of one another, so additional printing units can be controlled and synchronized by a single master unit.

    Hunkar Laboratories Inc. demonstrated its new wireless automated and semiautomated label application systems. The Hunkar System 1-CL model has feed speeds of 1200 in/min, no-stall dispense rates of more than 300/min, and an on-board memory for 10-label configurations. The Hunkar TR-1000/1500 is designed for a wide variety of PC-based labeling programs, prints in real time instead of batch mode, and supports labeling that must rapidly change from product to product. The Hunkar TR-200/2500 is a thermal transfer printer that integrates with almost any existing hardware, and utilizes a one-pass carbon ribbon and a smooth-base label stock.

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