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Greg Shulman
By Greg Shulman
Sunday, August 5, 2012 - 14:49

GMN Oregon has stepped into the future with the purchase of a new Microprint CNC-Controlled Pad printer. This machine is capable of multiple pad printing hits—in multiple colors and locations on a part—in one single set-up.

The Microprint has very few manual adjustments, and includes a touch screen user interface, as well as a specialized system which automatically adds thinner to mixed inks to maintain a set viscosity level. This feature will allow this machine to run the same job all day without an operator having to maintain the viscosity by hand.

Since the machine is CNC controlled, saved programs for specific parts will allow for quick set ups with little to no tinkering in order to stamp in the correct location on the part.

In comparison to the machine the Microprint is replacing, a manual 1-up machine, our former pad printing operation took seven separate stations for individual print areas and colors on a part that we regularly produce. Each station entailed around 60-90 minutes of set up, and around 30 seconds of cycle time per part. This made the grand total pad print cycle time for one of these parts about six or seven minutes, with up to 10 hours of set-up time. With the Microprint, only one 30 minute set-up is needed, and total cycle time is 20 seconds per part. What a difference, indeed!

Watch this clip of the printer in action.

Cynthia Schulte
By Cynthia Schulte
Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 10:46

Insert in-mold decorating The ideal strategy for decorating high-wear applications is Insert In-mold Decorating (IMD).  The process offers unmatched durability, design flexibility and allows complex 3-D parts to be decorated with ease.

The process begins by printing on the back of the overlay with a logo, text or graphic.  Then the overlay is formed and fabricated into the exact three-dimensional shape of the part. Finally, the insert is mounted in a mold and plastic is injected behind the film, completing the component.

Because the graphics are printed on the back of the overlay, the ink is protected from wear or damage, making this an excellent process for parts subjected to severe environmental conditions. Applications requiring unique design or decoration including selective back­lighting and forming smooth complex surfaces are also ideal candidates for the IMD process.