Pad printing is used on a lot of industries that includes medical, automotive, promotional, apparel, electronics, appliances, sport equipment and toys. Pads are three dimensional objects typically molded of silicone rubber. They function as a transfer vehicle that picks up ink from the printing plate, and then transferring to the thing to be printed upon.
Examples of pad printing are the printing of labels on the keys on a keyboard or the logo of a toy manufacturer on a Frisbee. The unique properties of a silicone pad allow it to pick the image up in a variety of surfaces such as a flat, cylindrical, spherical, compound angle, textures, concave surfaces or a convex surface.
In presses that uses pad printing with Computer Numeric Control (CNC), the substrate or a material that can be printed on, such as paper, film, plastic, fabric, cellophane, or steel, is stationary and the silicone pads are programmed to print one image at a time.
With a press that uses Computer Numeric Control, the substrate is stationary and the pads are all programmed to one image at a time to achieve a multicolor print.
Though the robotic actions of these presses that uses Computer Numeric Control seems rather complicated, it allows simple setting procedures that enable several programs to be inputted into the machine. All actions are controlled by servo-motor drives giving a very smooth and highly controllable printing action, also giving stroke lengths to be infinitely variable to the dimensions of the machine. Manufacturers even claim that using presses with pad printing capability that uses Computer Numeric Control gives considerable energy savings to the industry.
The Computer Numeric system of control can be built on standard machines or modular assemblies that can be produced to suit any application. The degree of complexity is regulated only by the imagination of the designer of the product/s and the number of modules he wishes to use to complete his desired quota.
All of the elements of component manipulation can be achieved by combining with multiple closed cups, pad cleaning, varying pad-stroke lengths, alternative pad shapes and a lot more. This type of system is often used where items must be printed in line with other assembly processes, or for complex multiple prints on different surfaces.
The flexibility of a Computer Numeric Controlled press comes close to producing the ideal machine for a particular application. Although a CNC press is substantially more expensive than that of a conventional pneumatic press. If the workload can justify the use of a CNC press for the increase in investment, then the CNC press is well worth considering.
Although it is wise to not be carried away by the current technology at hand, it still must be a capable printer.