1. The Pad
First we take a look at the Syringe Pad Printing Machine. The current commercial status of pad printing was gained in the 1960’s from the transfer pad. It was constructed with silicone rubber. This ingredient allowed the machines to print on three-dimensional surfaces. They are available in a variety of shapes and hardness’s. Its job is to pick up the ink image out of the cliché plate. It then acts as the carrier and transfers the image to the part.
2. The cliché
The cliché plate plays a critical role in this process. The cliché is specially manufactured using a photo-etching process. The standard style that is used is constructed of steel and has a life expectancy in excess of one million cycles. When deciding to use steel or temporary clichés one must first consider the volume and print quality
3. The ink
When it comes to inks there are a large selection that are specially produced for pad printing. The printing process is very unique with these machines and almost all of the clichés are etched to a depth of about one thousandth of an inch. Due to this very shallow etched depth the ink deposited within this space will have to be highly pigmented to achieve the correct opacity.
Sometimes thinners are also included with the ink to control the thickness and to facilitate the inks tackiness. This is an important factor when transferring an image.
4. The Machine
There are many machine designs when it comes to the types of pad printing machines. The three most common designs include the conventional open inkwell design, the rotary gravure process and the ink cup system. Throughout the marketplace, many variations can be found due to the custom nature of company’s needs. These machines can be altered to an infinite range of shapes, substrates and production runs, that’s what makes pad printing machines so versatile and successful.