Pad printing is another of the secondary and finishing manufacturing operations some businesses utilize with their finished goods and products. Pad printing is used when you need to transfer a 2D image, logo, or text onto a 3D object that may not be perfectly flat. This type of secondary and finishing operations can be used on a wide range of materials, including:
- Cloth Materials
Pad printing can be seen on a wide range of finished goods, such as:
- Keys on a Keyboard
- Ink Pens
- Key Chains
- Golf Balls
- Coffee Makers
- Washing Machines
The best way to think about pad printing? It is like taking an ink stamp, putting the stamp into ink, and then pressing the stamp on the item or object.
Pad-printing processes are straightforward and not overly complex. Regardless of what type of pad-printing machine you will use, the processes will be the same.
Step 1: Create the design you want to print.
Creating the design requires using some type of graphic design application. You can use the app to create your corporate logo, text, or other images. Once you are done, save the file.
Step 2: Use a die-cutting machine to create your “stamp.”
You will transfer the image file you saved to the die-cutting machine. This machine will etch the design into a metal stamping plate, called a cliché. Laser engraving or laser etching can be used to make the cliché.
Step 3: Load the cliché into the pad-printing machine.
The cliché will be used to transfer the image using ink onto the desired products.
Step 4: Load the machine with the products you want to pad print.
Make sure the products are positioned in the proper place. It is a good idea to test one product first to verify its offset position is correct. If not, make adjustments after printing and test again.
Step 5: Start the pad-printing machine.
If you have a manual machine, then you will do the printing processes by hand. If you have an automatic machine, then the machine does the processes for you.
The cliché is filled with ink. The pad moves over the cliché and lowers and transfers the ink and image onto the pad. The pad raises upward and then moves over the product.
Next, the pad is pressed down onto the product and the image is transferred onto the project. The product is removed from the machine and should be allowed to dry if necessary.
Step 6: Verify everything is to your specifications and requirements.
This step is a quality check to ensure the image or text you stamped onto the product meets your standards. If not, make necessary adjustments and test again. Repeat these steps until you are happy with the end results BEFORE mass production.
Advantages of Pad Printing for Businesses
The primary advantage of pad printing is it makes it possible to print images and text onto unusually shaped products that are not entirely flat. Another advantage is you can pad print onto just about any type of material.
Clichés can also range in size from very small to large, depending on the size of the product and how big you want the image to be. Additionally, you can create complex images that use multiple colors.
For further information about pad printing secondary and finishing manufacturing operations for your products, please feel free to contact Laszeray Technology, LLC at 440-582-8430 today!