Printing benefits from laser cutting â€“ precision plates in a matter of seconds
Produce burr-free metal plates for pad printing quickly and at low cost
Pad printing is a common printing method which is particularly suitable for printing plastics and is therefore used widely in the promotional product industry. It is an indirect intaglio printing process. Normally the print image is exposed using an offset film on the substrate, the so-called printing plate. The plate is then washed out because the parts pressing on to it form recesses in the plate. The printing process uses plastic or steel plates depending on the size of the print run. Steel plates are etched for this printing method to produce the recesses for the printed image.
During the actual printing process ink is applied to the plate and then wiped off with a blade. The ink remains in the recesses. The pad made of silicon rubber then picks up the ink and transfers it to the print material. The benefit of this printing method is the plasticity of the pad which means that even curved surfaces can be printed without any problems. This method is used, for example, to print syringes, toys, keyboards, ballpoint pens or in the automotive supply industry for printing wiper blade control stalks and indicator stalks.
No time-consuming washing or etching printing plates thanks to the laser
This printing method can now be made much more efficient with lasers. The print image can be immediately transferred to the plate regardless of whether it is a plastic or a metal plate. The process of washing or etching is not required which therefore eradicate a complete stage in the process plus the materials required for it. Errors in the print image caused by inadequate exposure or poor washing are no longer possible â€“ the laser plate is completely accurate and delivers clean prints. Since plastic plates suffer relatively fast wear, steel plates can also be made using lasers within picoseconds, meaning no loss of time. And the printing quality benefits from laser engraving: the laser can leave a micro-structure made of tiny points within the engraving â€“ which would not otherwise be possible. These points significantly improve ink distribution and thus help to deliver a perfect result.
Are you interested in making printing plates with a laser? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.