It is a printing system based on the transfer of ink from a flat surface, the cliché, to another surface that can be flat, concave, convex or the combination of all of them thanks to a buffer, made with a synthetic elastomer, that adapts Perfectly to irregular shapes.
The pad printing, which can be used on any medium, stands out by the definition of typographic details and is usually applied to sectors such as electronics, mobile telephony, automotive, printing sports equipment, packaging, etc. Swiss master watchmakers used pad printing to print watch beads in a handmade way.
A mechanic engraver came up with the idea of automating the process and built the first pad printing machine which, via a lever operated by the operator, The cliché, swept it with the blade, pressed the tampon on its surface and finally moved the image on the sphere.
The compresses are three-dimensional objects normally molded of silicone rubber. They function as a transfer vehicle, picking up the ink from the printing plate, and transfer it to the part (substrate). They vary in shape and hardness depending on the application.
There are three main groups: "round cushions", very narrow cushions called "bar cushions", and various shapes (square, rectangular, etc.) called "bread cushions". Within each group there are three size categories: small, medium, and large size pills. It is also possible to custom design the pads to meet special requirements.
The ink is used to mark or decorate the pieces. It comes in different chemical families to match the type of material to be printed.
Note printing inks are "solvent based" and require mixing with additives at the time of use. It usually dries to the touch in seconds, although complete drying (curing) can take a much longer period of time. There are many ink options available in convenient and time saving ways, but for some substrates you will need to use the type of ink that best adheres to the surface.
They are used to contain the desired artwork "image" engraved on its surface. Its function is to keep the ink in this engraved cavity, allowing the platform to collect this ink as a film in the shape of the work, which is transferred to the substrate.
There are two main types of printing plate materials: photopolymer and steel. Photopolymers are the most popular, offering a good do-it-yourself option. These are typically used shortly to produce mediums. The steel ones come in two options: from medium steel to long and thick steel runs for very long runs. Both types of steel plates are usually processed by the plate supplier because it involves the use of specialized equipment.
It is in which the ink is placed and mixed with the retardant or the slimming agent. After mixing the ink, the tank is placed inverted on the plate. The tampon printing machine has supports that hold the tampon printing plates so that they remain firm and that the movement of the ink does not move them.
When the pad printing machine operates, the holders move the inkwell on the plate with horizontal movements; One of "ida" and another of "return" to its original position. These movements have two purposes that are fundamental in the operation of the machine. The first "out" movement serves to inhale the plate while the second "back" movement acts as a blade to remove excess ink on the plate, making it unnecessary to use a Doctor Blade.