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The Unstoppable Duo- the Helix® and the AutoFlame360

January 17th, 2017 | Author: Jessica Makrinos

The Helix® by Inkcups combines speed and quality. This industrial rotary inkjet printer flawlessly prints single or multi-colored images on straight and tapered cylinders. Its patented software places 7 picoliter drops of ink precisely along the cylinder at extremely high speeds. The best way to ensure full adhesion is to cure the substrate prior to printing. Curing can be done using primers or by flame treating the bottle. Common practice has seen that flame treating results in the best adhesion.

How does flame treating work?

Certain substrates (polypropylene, polyethylene, etc.) have low surface tension limiting the adhesion of inks. Flame treating manipulates the surface tension, increasing the movement of molecules and allowing ink to settle into the substrate. But it’s not as easy as flame and print. There are a number of factors to monitor. When starting up your flamer, you must make sure your flame is blue. This means the ratio of fuel to air is gas lean, thus oxidizing. An oxidizing flame will correctly manipulate your substrate’s surface tension. Additionally, you must monitor the time the substrate is spent under the flame.

How can this be easily done?

As explained above, there are many factors you will need to monitor constantly. Keeping a flame steady may be easy, however manually turning a bottle 360 degrees will not work. The easiest way to monitor this and make sure it is done correctly is to use some sort of tool to do so. Inkcups now offers the AutoFlame360 which automates this process. The AutoFlame360 boasts 8 palettes each with its own vacuum for securely suctioning bottles. Once the bottle reaches the flame, the palette turns 360 degrees allow the flame to evenly heat the whole bottle. At the end of the process, the hydraulics system pushes the bottle into the feeder.

AutoFlame360 Process by Inkcups

 


How a Self-Cleaning Pad Printer can help you

January 11th, 2017 | Author: Jessica Makrinos

Pad printing technology has taken the industry by storm but as with anything, there is always room for improvement. Although this process can print on almost all substrates (plastic, silicone, cotton, etc.), there are a few external factors that prevent a clean print. To combat this issue, many companies have introduced a pad printer that incorporates a cleaning mechanism. Here are a few ways a pad cleaning pad printer can help you:

  1. Removes environmental debris from pad
    • In some production facilities, mainly apparel factories, there is a lot of excess “sediment” in the air. Since it is everywhere, it can also make its way to the pad thus leaving impressions of this external debris on your substrate. Using the pad cleaning function, your pad is cleaned after every print.
  2. Removes silicone ink from the silicone pad
    • Silicone ink sticks to a silicone product after it is cured but some ink will still stick to the pad pre-curing. If you do not clean the pad, new ink will be applied on top of this ink and cause a misprint. Currently, pad printing techs will clean the pad after a few cycles, but a pad cleaning pad printer can automate this whole process. You can program it to clean the pad after a number of prints or after every print.

Inkcups has utilized their extensive knowledge in pad printing and applied this technology to their B100 pad printer to bring the B100-PC. The B100-PC utilizes all Inkcups supplies- Versacup©, ink, plates, etc. but brings automation to the forefront. This revolutionary machine prints one color images up to 4.25 inches tall and is capable of using photopolymer, steel and laser plates.

Inkcups B100PC


Our Newest Products will be Showcased at the 2017 PPAI [Press Release]

December 30th, 2016 | Author: Jessica Makrinos
New products at Inkcups

Inkcups will be presenting new technology at the 2017 PPAI

 

Inkcups Now, Corp. (Danvers, MA) are featuring the most groundbreaking pad printing and inkjet technology at the 2017 PPAI Expo in Las Vegas, NV January 10-12. Located at booth #6955, Inkcups will show numerous machine demonstrations and will have our expert team available for any questions. Don’t miss out! This years’ line-up of state-of-the-art industrial printers include:

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No Minimum Order Quantities for Supplies

December 12th, 2016 | Author: Jessica Makrinos
No minimum order quantities

Buy any amount!

 

 

At Inkcups, we tailor our equipment, supplies and services to fit the needs of our customers. We never put unfair minimum order quantities on our products because we know you will enjoy the high quality supplies we provide and we are confident in our strong customer relationships. Going along with this philosophy, we would like to re-announce that our supplies (plates, cups, inks, etc.) have no minimum order quantity! Buy 1, 2, 5, 500 or more!

For more information, call (978)646-8980


20% off our Ring Removal Tool!

December 1st, 2016 | Author: Jessica Makrinos
Inkcups Ring Removal Tool

60mm Ring Removal Tool

It’s that time of the year again! This month’s deal is 20% off 53mm, 60mm, 90mm, 120mm, 135mm and 150mm ring removal tools. Our ring removal tool makes replacing your ring a breeze! No need to send the cup to the manufacturer for replacement due to chipping, wearing or breaking, do it in your own facility. This tool is only for Inkcups manufactured ink cups and will not work on any other ink cups.

For more information about this promotion please visit: http://www.inkcups.com/promotions/Default.aspx and scroll to the bottom OR contact us: (978)646-8980


108 Ways you can Print with the Helix®

November 22nd, 2016 | Author: Jessica Makrinos

The Helix® by Inkcups is a revolutionary cylindrical inkjet printer ideal for straight and tapered drinkware, cosmetic bottles and industrial products. It is able to print on a number of different materials seamlessly and in a multiple styles. Add a spot varnish to make your artwork really pop!

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Inkcups Now coadyuvando al crecimiento de las empresas mexicanas de la confección

November 9th, 2016 | Author: Jessica Makrinos

Tagless Printing

Inkcups Now Corp., fue fundada en 2001 por Benjamin Adner quien ya tenía 10 años de experiencia en la Industria, especialmente en Autoroll Machine Corp., como Gerente de Producto del área de Maquinas de Tampografía. En el sótano de su casa en Swampscott, MA, Ben se centró en el mercado de la tampografía y fue justo ahí donde diseño y posteriormente patentó la Copa de Tinta universal compatible con casi cualquier equipo de tampografia en el mercado. Ben se concentró en lanzar al mercado las Copas de Tinta Versacup®, Copas de Tintas genéricas, y Anillos de Cerámica también genéricos, comenzando un marcado crecimiento.

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The Idiosyncrasies of Printing Silicone Products

October 13th, 2016 | Author: Jessica Makrinos
Silicone Ink Article for Inkcups

Inkcups was featured in Specialist Printing Worldwide where our ink expert outlined the ins and outs of printing on silicone

Joe Shairs, the Ink Technician/Compliance Coordinator at Inkcups Now, offers application options and tips- via http://www.specialistprinting.com/

There are plenty of items made of silicone around us. Among the very popular products that companies want to personalise nowadays are cellphone covers and credit card wallets (which people attach to the back of their cellphones), swim caps and wrist-bands for different causes.

There are also medical products made from silicone, such as prosthetics, masks and implants, which may need to be painted or marked. Another application is marking the silicone keypads used in aircraft instrument panels.

DECORATING OPTIONS AND INK TYPES

There are very few ink systems available on the market for silicone decoration. It seems that the only thing that sticks to silicone is … silicone. So all the available ink systems that I’ve seen so far are essentially liquid silicone, designed to be screen- and/or pad printed  and  requiring heat curing.

Most screen- and pad printing companies are accustomed to dealing with solvent-based or UV-curable inks. Silicone-based  inks are very different, and I would like to share some considerations and tips for handling them successfully.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR PAD PRINTING

Unlike solvent-based inks, silicone-based inks always remain wet – that is until they are cured in an oven with high heat. There are several implications that concern pad size, pad cleaning, depth of plate etch and multicolour printing.

PAD SIZE

It’s normal to  have  residual  ink on the  plate after it is doctored . Solvent-based  residual ink will usually dry right away, before the pad could pick it up and transfer to the product. But silicone-based ink will not dry – so you need to select the smallest  possible  pad that  can  pick up your  image  (and  not touch  the  residual ink).

PAD CLEANING

Silicone sticks to silicone, and there is a downside to that; the ink wants to stick to the silicone  printing pad. With solvent-based  ink, you get complete  release of the ink almost all the time. But with silicone  inks, you  need to clean the pad after every four or five prints, otherwise print quality will suffer. You can wipe the pad with a lint-free paper towel/cloth or tape the pad off with sticky packing tape. (Some pad printing machines are equipped with a cleaning station, and you can program the pad to ‘print’ onto the tape and get cleaned, as often as you need. We at lnkcups have pad printer models with  cleaning stations.)

DEPTH OF PLATE ETCH

Silicone inks tend to be more transparent than solvent-based ink. Plus, as mentioned, the silicone pad can’t release all the ink. So the  plate etch needs to be very deep to avoid potential problems with image opacity . The traditional depth of etch for printing onto promotional products is .001 inch. With silicone ink, we  recommend  .0015″  or  even  .002″.

ADVANTAGES OF SCREEN-PRINTING

I like to see our customers screen-print on silicone instead of pad print, for a few reasons. First of all, you lay down more ink so the opacity of the print is never an issue. Second, there  is  no danger  of overprinting  (accidentally  picking up residual ink and depositing it around the image). You have a screen with dots, and whatever comes through the dots, is your  image.

Another big advantage is the option of printing in batches. Similarly to the loading templates that we offer for ink-jet printing, some of our customers have developed templates for screen-printing. They use the templates to put ten to 20 of the same product in the correct spots and print them with one screen at the same time, which dramatically  increases productivity.

SPRAYING

Silicone ink can also be sprayed through an air gun. This is what is done for covering silicone products such as face masks and medical items with skin-tone colors. lnkcups offers special thinning oil to enable this application.

AVOIDING HEAT AND FRICTION WHILE DECORATING

Things to avoid with silicone ink during printing are extra friction and heat. In a hot environment, the ink will get more viscous (thick). Conversely, low temperatures prolong the pot life of silicone ink.

When screen-printing, the squeegee speed may create excessive friction over the screen, and the ink may jelly up in the screen and start to set. This mostly concerns high volume producers that run production at very high speeds. You can’t avoid friction completely, but you should slow the squeegee down. (When pad printing, the ink cup speed does not affect the ink negatively.)

PLATINUM-BASED VS TIN-BASED SILICONE

Silicone can be made on the base of platinum or tin. Silicones with different bases are not compatible, and platinum-based ink will not stick to tin-based product.

Most silicone products that our customers encounter are made with platinum-based silicone (out of hundreds of applications, there have been only two where the product turned out to be made of tin-based silicone). If you are planning to decorate a silicone product, you may need to check product composition with the supplier.

HEAT  CURING TIPS

How much heat and time is needed to cure the product depends on how big the graphic is and how much ink you are laying down. For SI silicone ink that we offer at lnkcups, we recommend starting with six minutes at 124 degrees C (255 degrees F). Some customers will be able to use a little less heat and time – but you will need to test your particular product and image internally. In my experience, wristbands require less heat/time and swim caps, more. If your product is coming out of the oven and the ink is smudging off, it needs more heat and/or time. When cured properly, the ink becomes an integral part of the product.

You want to aim at the lowest heat and shortest time that does the job, not only for productivity reasons but also to avoid exposure to formaldehyde , which would pose health risks. Liquid silicone starts producing formaldehyde when heated to a certain temperature. For our SI inks it is 149 degrees C (300 degrees F). It is crucial that you ask your silicone ink provider what that temperature is for their ink formulation.

MULTICOLOUR PRINTING CONSIDERATIONS

Most people print one-colour images onto silicone. Multicolour jobs become very cumbersome because you have to completely cure one colour in the oven before printing another. If the registration of the second colour needs to be very precise, it adds another layer of challenge, especially with pad printing, where your tooling fixture becomes critical. With screen-printing, I’ve seen customers achieve good registration by using templates.

 SI INK SYSTEM FROM INKCUPS NOW

Our SI is a platinum-based two-component system. It consists of ink and catalyst (hardener). The pot life of SI is much more user-friendly than that of solvent-based inks. Once you add the hardener, you have 24 hours or more to use that ink (solvent-based ink, once mixed, lasts for six to eight hours). To extend pot life even more, some of our customers store the mixed ink in the refrigerator overnight and in this way use the sa me batch for over two days.

SI is a very safe product. It has little to no odour . It passes compliance tests such as CPSIA with flying colours. In addition to numerous variations of promotional products, SI is actively used in medical applications, such as marking breast implants and colouring artificial skin to make it look natural. SI comes in 18 stock colours. We also offer a twelve-colour mixing system with a calculator for colour matching so the customers can create Pantone colours in-house. Technicians like myself are standing by to answer any questions and help you be successful with printing on silicone – or virtually any other substrate for that matter.

 

To download the full article, click here

 


Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class 1 Certification Renewal!

September 29th, 2016 | Author: Jessica Makrinos
sb series, compliance

SB Series ink passed compliance test

 

 

We are pleased to announce our renewal of the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 Class 1 certification by the Hohenstein Textile Testing Institute for our Sapphire® SB series of ink! Class 1 certification is the strictest to obtain as it is tested and successfully proven non-harmful for contact to babies.

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What to Consider when Choosing the Correct Pad Printing Ink

September 22nd, 2016 | Author: Jessica Makrinos

Choosing the Correct Pad Printing Ink

We’ll start with how pad printing inks are made. Unlike typical ink manufacturers, we supply our ink excluding the solvent. The benefits of this method include getting more ink per can and not having to guess how much solvent is already in the can- you can add as much as you’d like.

Now that we have that out of the way, ink ready for print includes:

Pigment: supplied in powder form- this gives the ink its color and opacity

Solvent: enables the resin and pigment mixture to be transferred to the substrate during printing

Resins: forms the finished ink

Additives: improves flexibility, flow and pigment stability

Understanding all of that, here are a few things to consider when choosing the correct ink for your substrate:

1. Determine what your substrate is made of:

One of, if not the most important factor in determining what kind of pad printing ink you need is to understand what your substrate is made out of. Different inks adhere to different substrates so skipping this step and ordering an ink without doing research will probably result in a failed print. Luckily, most companies will ask you right away what you are trying to print on or have you send in the substrate to do adhesion testing.

what plastic is made of

You may have noticed this text on your plastic bottles, containers, etc. This explains what that specific plastic is made out of.

2. Type of abrasion or chemical resistance:

If you are planning on using certain chemicals to clean your substrate, you will need to go with an ink that can withstand such abrasion. For example, if your substrate is going to receive cleaning with alcohol, you will need an ink that can stick without peeling or discoloring. Additionally, if you are printing on an item that will need to be placed in a dishwasher, you will need to take this into consideration. Dishwashers are the harshest on prints because you are combining detergent, alkali and hot water.

3. Gloss level:

Another component of choosing the right ink is deciding if you would like to have a glossy look or a matte look.

4. Drying Speed:

Drying speed or evaporation rate is only a factor if you require your products to be packaged and shipped immediately or if the materials need to be stacked.

5. Specialized Applications- Silicone:

Ink used for printing on silicone is tricky. Not only does it have to adhere well to the substrate, it also must pass a flexibility test- being able to be stretched and bent without cracking. These inks are usually cured to ensure the best durability.

6. Medical Grade:

For applications where the ink may be ingested, it is important to use an ink that does not contain any heavy metals, among other restrictions. All toxicity levels are strictly controlled.