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Inks Overview at Inkcups

June 15th, 2018 | Author: Garrett Upson

            At Inkcups, we strive to deliver the finest quality products. From ground-breaking printing equipment, supplies and solutions to customers in the promotional, apparel and industrial markets worldwide, our goal is to be leaders in the printing industry. To achieve the level of success we have had and want to continue, we need to be unremittingly creative with our product lines. Our production quality and compliance teams work with particular attention to detail on printability and appearance to ensure all products are made to specification and are easy to work with. This overview can be viewed by anyone who is interested in or is already familiar/owns any of our ink products. Our goal is to make our customers and potential customers more educated about our inks through this informative overview.

For those who own any of our tagless products or are looking to purchase any of our tagless printing machines, particularly our pad printers, having quality ink will make a major difference when printing on any application. But why use pad printing? Why use our Sapphire® inks? We will explain it all. Before we get into our ink product line, this overview will serve as an introductory about how pad printing will make a difference when using our inks compared to alternative printing methods such as screen printing or heat transfer for example.

In addition, we would like to highlight all of the ink services that Inkcups provides such as color mixing, matching, and adhesion testing. These services will be most beneficial to anyone who has or is thinking about printing on various items using our inks. This overview will also cover the importance of using auxiliaries when using certain inks. We will lastly want to ensure that our customers will feel comfortable using our inks knowing that our inks are safe and reliable based on our achievements with compliance.

Pad Printing:

Pad Printing has been around since the beginning of the 20th century and has been widely used for various applications such as printing promotional products, automotive and industrial parts, medical equipment, sporting goods, toys, and more. Since 2008, pad printing has become the gold standard for Tagless garments and footwear production. The process for pad printing  is a printing method that uses a silicone print pad to pick up ink from an etched cliché (plate), and transfer it to a part. The idea of pad printing is to lay a thin layer of ink onto the plate which leaves a soft touch and most importantly, cuts down the per-label cost. Inkcups offers an extensive line of pad printers that consist of 1, 2, 4 and 6 color seal cup models that are designed to meet a wide range of printing needs.

But why use pad printing and inks over traditional methods of printing such as heat transfer for example? While heat transfer can only put markings on a garment’s surface, pad printing inks such as SB ink for example, will infiltrate and douse the textile which in turn will lengthen the life of the tag. Along with an enhanced life of the tag, pad printing allows an image to be easily modified in-house which enables cost-effective short run production. However, with heat transfer, labels have to be bought by the thousands which is not nearly as time and cost effective as pad printing. Whether you are starting to use pad printing technology or are experienced, all of our pad printing machines, including the compact tabletop models, have robust compression capability and come with the VersaCup®, our patented universal ink cup.

On to the inks! At Inkcups, we offer a substantial line of inks that will meet pad printing needs. This is where our Sapphire® ink line comes into play. With Sapphire® inks, choose from over eight types of inks that fit your printing needs and numerous colors. Take a more in-depth look below!

Sapphire® Series Inks

  • BA Series: Our BA Series ink is a high gloss, easy to use all-purpose, and fast drying pad printing ink. This ink sticks to a wide range of applications and has outstanding scratch resistance once it dries to a particular substrate. Print on items such as pens, injection molds, wood, packaging and more!Read more about our BA Series here!


  • BT Series: Like the BA Series, our BT Series ink is high gloss, easy to process, and an all-purpose pad printing ink. It also, has exceptional abrasion resistance and adheres to a wide range of products that are ideal for both pad printing and screen printing. Print on translucent plastics, ice packs, medical containers and more! Read more about the BT Series here!


  • SB Series: The SB Series is a special pad printing ink that adheres to apparel and rubber like applications. The exclusive flexibility, high gloss and opacity of the ink makes it the ideal choice for rubberized and soft touch items. Print on apparel, stress balls, soft PVC, sporting goods and more flexible materials! Read more about the SB Series here!


  • CG Series: With the CG Series, print on glass, ceramics and metals. The print looks opaque and has a satin gloss. This series offers excellent adhesion and dishwasher resistance, has rapid cross-linking and improved resistance with a heat cure after printing. Print on glass bottles, stainless steel mugs, light bulbs and more! Read more about our CG Series here!


  • J3 Series: Looking for a glossy, quick drying, and multipurpose pad printing ink? J3’s high opacity and superior resistance to adhesion and chemicals such as alcohol, acids and alkali make it the ideal choice for industrial applications and vinyl. Print on medical devices, cosmetics, containers and more! Read more about our J3 Series here!


  • MB Series: The MB Series is the “go to,” high gloss pad printing ink with excellent adhesion to tough substrates which makes it perfect for Medical applications. The ink is an easy to use, fast curing opaque ink with superior mechanical and chemical resistance to alcohol, acids and alkali on metals and hard plastics. Print on promotional products, hard hats, coated materials and other difficult applications. Read more about the MB Series here!


  • PN Series: Our PN Series is a specialty ink designed for printing on untreated polypropylene where it can print on both metal and plastics. PN is a high gloss, fast drying ink that adheres very well to most polypropylene substrates. The ink has excellent abrasion resistance and can withstand 50 alcohol wipes without hardener and 100 wipes with hardener. Print on promotional products, Frisbees, Tupperware and more. Read more about the PN Series here!


  • SI Series: What is unique about the SI Series is that it is our only ink solely designed to print on silicone rubber parts. Applied by either screen or pad printing, SI ink is opaque, glossy, flexible and particularly resistant to abrasion. Where other solvent based inks could pose a problem, SI allows you to print on promotional products, wrist bands, buttons for controllers and more silicone products! Read more about the SI Series here!


Comprehending Our Sapphire® Inks:

The Sapphire® ink line is run by Inkcups pad printing machines which print images onto a wide range of surfaces. We provide numerous variants of inks, contingent on the color, grade or surface preferred. But what does this mean? How can you know or understand which color, grade or surface you want to use based on the eight Sapphire® inks? Our inks are recognized using a formula that articulates the exact details of each ink. They are branded by two letters followed by a sequence of numbers and/or letters. The first two letters indicate the ink series. The series shows the characteristics and functions of the ink. Based on the description mentioned above, the SB series ink works best on rubbery and textile surfaces which is important in determining what type of ink to purchase. The same goes for any ink series so you know exactly what each ink is capable of.

Next is observing the ink number/letter sequence. Standard colors are written in the arrangement XX 1##, with the XX signifying the series and the ## displaying the color number. For example, the ink SB 165 is one of the many variations of inks we offer as it is the black standard color in the SB series. Standard colors are ready to be printed with no mixing required. With mixing colors, they are written in the form XX ##, so the ink SB 60 is a white mixing color. Mixing colors are made specifically to be mixed with other inks to create custom colors. Another form is our high density inks, which are written as XX 1##HD, meaning the ink SB 160 HD is a white high density ink in the SB series. High density colors are more opaque than standard colors, which leaves a more solid finish. Our method of classifying pad printing inks allows for a simple way to determine which ink to use for a certain product and allows the customer to ensure the highest quality of results.

Color Matching:

In addition to our eight series of inks, Inkcups’ easy to use, cost effective and fast Sapphire® color matching system, gives you the flexibility to produce any color, anytime! We offer 12 different colors that allow you to mix and match pad printing/screen printing inks and to create both standard Sapphire® color as well as any popular numerical color shade. This process is very simple and beneficial if you are looking to color match. Simply identify the chosen color you are looking to create as well as the quantity, then our spreadsheet will calculate the mixing formula for you. It’s that easy!

Harmony Color Mixing:

Some customers may prefer not to make PMS colors themselves, which is totally okay! Inkcups provides same-day color mixing services. We offer customers the option to provide us with either the color number (from any of the popular numerical scales) or send an imprinted product to be color matched. This method is simple and by utilizing our color mixing card and color calculating spreadsheet, our customers have to simply choose their desired color and enter the quantity of ink they need. From here, our spreadsheet will show which of the 12 main Sapphire® mixing colors are needed and in which quantities.

Adhesion Testing:

Another benefit of Inkcups pad printing services is our complimentary adhesion testing. You may be asking, why would someone want to have their product tested through this method? If a customer of ours has a product that is difficult to print on through pad, screen or inkjet printing, we offer free adhesion testing that will detail exactly what series of ink is right for them. The ink technicians at Inkcups will then test multiple inks and test for abrasion resistance to confirm the ink meets the adhesion needs of the product.


How can using auxiliaries be beneficial to your printing needs? Auxiliaries are used to support all aspects of printing, pre-press and post press operations. From solvents, to hardeners, to primers, they all play a big role to provide the best process control and improved production output. To start is the hardeners. Inkcups carries 4 separate hardeners, the 1000-H, 1000 HGL, 1000 HN and the 1000 HNX. Each provide different functions. For most of the Sapphire® series inks, the hardener used is the 1000-H. A hardener’s main function is to increase adhesion and chemical resistance.

Looking at solvents, Inkcups carries nine various solvents that are used for fine tuning inks to any printing situation. They have been specially prepared to reduce evaporative variations, deliver process balance and improve manufacturing output. Depending on the environment/climate of where the solvent is curing, makes a big difference when drying. For example, an ink that has solvent applied will evaporate at different speeds in a warmer climate as opposed to a frigid climate. To slow evaporation rates, Inkcups also providers retarders. We also, supply custom ink solvents that our chemists are able to prepare that meet unique process demands. A quick look at our nine solvents are listed below:

  • Type M
  • Type MS
  • Type SB-M
  • Type G
  • Type SB-MS
  • Type EB
  • Type S3
  • Type SI-S
  • Type F

An ideal time to use one of our solvents would be once a hardener is applied to one of the series of inks. Sticking with the SB series for example, once the 1000H hardener is applied, the mixture should be thinned to a printing thickness with 10% – 30% SB-M or SB-MS by weight. Adding solvent will make the ink less viscous (sticky) and dry slower.


Safety is most important, especially when using ink. Our customers who use our inks will feel confident knowing that all of our inks they are using are certified and compliant with industry standards. Through Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), all of our Sapphire® ink products are non-toxic and compliant with all current US regulations as well as European toy safety (EN-71) and RoHS regulations. Every one of our Sapphire inks have certificates from Bureau Veritas and other independent laboratories confirming the absence of lead, restricted phthalates, carcinogenic and dangerous substances as demanded by The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (also known as CPSIA) and The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (also known as California Proposition 65). The MB and J3 series are Class VI certified, meeting strict medical safety standards and can be applied to devices in direct contact with the human body. The Sapphire SB series ink is also certified by Oeko-Tex and Bureau Veritas to not contain Azo dyes, restricted metals and PVC. In addition, the SB ink is certified by NAMSA to not cause skin irritation. Tests by Govmark Inc. demonstrated that the ink withstands at least 50 industrial washes.

To Conclude:

In conclusion, we hope that you find this overview of our inks and the many processes associated with them insightful and helpful. Whether you are new or experienced handling inks, this overview is ideal as it covers all of the areas you need to be familiar with when dealing with Inkcups’ inks.

How the SI Series Works For All Your Silicone Needs

June 15th, 2018 | Author: Garrett Upson


Silicone spatula and swim cap!

We all know of products that are made out of silicone material. From medical and promotional products, to rubber parts and buttons, there are many different silicone applications one can print on. But what about the type of ink to use when printing on these materials? Virtually all inks in the printing industry and certainly at Inkcups, can print on a wide range of applications but yet, there are very few inks in the industry that are available for silicone decoration. Prints on wristbands for example, go through a myriad of wear and tear on a person’s wrist. As they are used for an extended period of time, the image is consistently stretched when taken off or put on. So what is the solution? The answer is Inkcups’ SI Series ink. Here at Inkcups, we possess over eight assorted types of inks and plenty of colors. With our Sapphire series, our inks can print on several products ranging from promotional products, metals, plastics, etc.

As mentioned, Inkcups possesses a specialty ink produced in-house, labeled the SI Series. What separates the SI series from all of other inks we offer? This ink Series is our only ink exclusively aimed at printing on silicone applications. The SI Series ink can be utilized by either screen or pad printing processes and the finishing product produces an opaque, supple, smooth and scratch resistant appearance. SI also, comes in 18 stock colors and we also offer a twelve color mixing system with a calculator for color matching. This method allows customers to be able to create Pantone colors in-house. This specialty ink is a platinum based, two-component ink that is comprised of ink and catalyst (hardener). The pot life of the SI Series is much more user friendly than other solvent based inks. The great benefit of the pot life of SI ink is that the customer has 24 hours or more to use that ink which is significantly higher than the 6-8 hour life for other solvent based inks.

SI Series cannot be used to print on any other applications except silicone making it the perfect ink for any looking to print on silicone products. Print on items made of silicone rubber including:

  • Oven mitts
  • Wristbands
  • Swim caps
  • Buttons
  • Touch pads
  • Remote controls
  • Phone cases
  • Credit card wallets (which people attach to the back of their cellphones)
  • Spatulas, and more!

Silicone Credit Card Wallets (Back of phone)

For those of you wondering, how do we achieve the appealing finish to each of our silicone products using the SI Series? The process is simple. We mix the ink, print and then cure the ink and you can too! Once the SI Series is fully cured, you will notice that the ink will have a very high resistance to abrasion and be very flexible so whether you bend or stretch the product, the print will not break.

Unlike our other solvent based ink product lines, the SI Series remains wet until it is dried and cured in an oven. Silicone ink is normally heated for six minutes at 124 degrees C (255 degrees F). However, if you are printing in-house, certain products can vary with curing time. For example, a wrist band takes less time to cure than say a swim cap based on the size of the products so it depends on the product you are printing on. It should also, be noted that the SI Series ink is a harmless product with little to no odor. It passes compliance tests such as CPSIA with flying colors, so the advantages are paramount with the SI Series ink!

Techs from Around the World Visit Inkcups for Tech-summit

June 14th, 2018 | Author: Garrett Upson

Inkcups expert Luis Gúnera (middle) shows employees the secret to successful pad printing


This week from June 11th- June 13th 2018, at the Inkcups headquarters in Danvers, MA, we were thrilled to host our Tech Summit. Over the course of the week, we welcomed and trained our employees on new products such as the new Brite White tagless printer and the latest laser plate-maker, the CobaltONE.

Travis Griffin, who is the Customer Care Department Manager at Inkcups was excited to share that our employees who were involved in the Tech Summit were located from diverse locations that include “Hong Kong, Mexico, Guatemala and California.” He summed up that our abroad employees experienced a terrific and informative event hosted by our Danvers, MA technicians.

During the three-day training event, our abroad employees came out of the training seminar with a better understanding of Inkcups pad printers specifically the Brite White. They were also trained to use standard pad printing techniques that entail learning to print on promotional products. Furthermore, they were be taught to understand our Cobalt series laser plate engravers and inks. With all of the information they attained, they will use their new skills on tagless products back in their homelands where our international and country wide offices are located. We would like to thank them for attending the Tech Summit and the Inkcups headquarters!

Inkcups Wraps Up Busy Trade Show Schedule with Expo Publicitas

May 29th, 2018 | Author: Garrett Upson

Expo Publicitas


Our fifth and final trade show, Expopublicitas, in the month of May took place in Mexico City, Mexico from May 23rd-25th. Expopublicitas has been the most successful  Marketing and Advertising trade show in Mexico and Latin America for over 17 years! They have appealed to many industries including the media, marketing, digital signage, digital marketing, visual merchandising and lastly, small and wide format printing industries.

Due to its popularity and offerings of innovative trends and solutions heading into 2018, it is no surprise Expopublicitas attracts over 500 companies annually. We were able to showcase our inkjet machines and tagless pad printers to over 20,000 domestic and international visitors! We would like to thank all of our visitors who attended the show and visited our booth.

If you missed out on Expopublicitas or want to learn more about the products displayed at the show, click here!


Amazing Drinkware Designs



Inkcups to Display Tagless T-Shirt Printing Equipment at Expo Publicitas

May 21st, 2018 | Author: Garrett Upson

From May 23rd-25th, we are continuing our busy trade show month by heading south of the border to Mexico City for Expo Publicitas! At Expo Publicitas, we are sending four of our top tagless t-shirt printing equipment for visitors to observe, (three tagless printing machines and one inkjet machine to be exact). These include our B100-PC, Brite White, ICN-2200-PS, and the X2.

For over 17 years, Expo Publicitas has been the most significant Marketing and Advertising trade show in Mexico and Latin America. From media, marketing, digital signage, digital marketing, visual merchandising and lastly, small and wide format printing, it is no surprise Expo Publicitas attracts over 500 companies annually.

Due to its popularity and offerings of innovative trends and solutions heading into 2018, make this show so great. We cannot wait to showcase our inkjet machines and tagless pad printers to over 20,000 domestic and international visitors!














Tagless T-Shirt Printing Equipment:

B100-Pad Cleaner

  • The B100-Pad Cleaner (PC) guarantees the best print quality with an automatic pad cleaning system, patented VersaCup ink cup assembly, and tool-less set up. This 1-color pad printer is perfect for apparel, promotional, electronic, medical, tagless and industrial environments. This pad printer is also, the most flexible, adept and cost efficient tabletop printer in the pad printing market.

Brite WhiteNew!

  • Introducing our latest t shirt pad printing machine is the Brite White! This tabletop pad printer is shifting the way the tagless industry prints making it more efficient and easy to use. With the Brite White’s new technology, it can print highly opaque white or light-colored ink straight onto dark substrates without losing opacity. The Brite White works tremendously for printing on dark sports fabric and fleece.


  • Presenting the ICN-2200-PS! This pad printing machine is a fast and high volume, 2-color sealed-cup pad printing machine. Print Images up to 3″ (80mm) in diameter! It is equipped with a heavy-duty dual-position air-filled pad-slide mechanism. The pad slide simplifies part fixturing and pledges perfect second-color printing on tagless garments, promotional products and other applications.
Flatbed UV Printer:


  • The X2® flatbed UV printer is comparable to its counterpart the XJet but the difference is the machine’s smooth flatbed design. The print area for the X2® allows for a 20″ x 24″ (500 x 600mm) in only 90 seconds! The machines design allows for continuous printing 24 hours a day and is flexible as the contraption handles parts up to 6″ tall.



Brite White







FESPA Global Print Expo a Big Success for Tagless Printing, Industrial Inkjet Printers and Laser Plate Maker Products

May 21st, 2018 | Author: Garrett Upson

FESPA Berlin

Last week from May 15th-May 18th we attended FESPA Global Print Expo 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Our Inkcups team that attended the show (above) did a fantastic job displaying our tagless printing machines, laser plate makers, and industrial inkjet printers. This show is Europe’s largest exhibition for screen and digital wide format print, textile printing and signage. We were thrilled to have a large turnout of visitors who had the opportunity to experience our latest products and innovations in addition to the 700 exhibitors at the show! 

We would like to thank all of our visitors for attending FESPA Global Print Expo 2018!

Inkcups Hires Asia Sales Manager Helen Chan, in Garment Tagless Printing Market

May 21st, 2018 | Author: Garrett Upson

We are pleased to announce the hiring of Helen Chan to the Inkcups team! Helen will be reporting to Global Tagless Director Matthew Yates, working as a Sales Manager in our Asia office in Hong Kong. Our Asia sales office offers solutions for garment tagless printing on t-shirts, hoodies, underwear, and other clothing. Over the years, Inkcups has further expanded their presence in Asia. We have added more distributors that cover over 9 locations including warehouses throughout.

Along with managing our staff throughout Asia, her central responsibilities will consist of evolving and preserving sales operating plans. These areas will include target accounts, forecast, sales strategies, tactics, and resource requirements. Helen will also, be building, improving, and managing sales channels in Hong Kong. This will allow her to maximize business potential in these respective territories.

Prior to joining Inkups, Helen was employed at Kornit Digital where she worked as a Sales Manager. During her time at Kornit, Helen supervised distributors’ behavior, supported and encouraged distributors’ marketing events/trade shows and built customer relationships.

Furthermore, she established and monitored sales plans for distributors’ and also, directed sales activities. She lastly, was responsible for new market development and new distributors’ recruitment. Prior to Kornit Digital she worked at industrial equipment supplier, Avery Dennison.

Inkcups Continues Busy Trade Show Season with FESPA Berlin

May 8th, 2018 | Author: Garrett Upson

It is that time of year again as Inkcups is in line for another busy May as we are heading to our second trade show of the month in Berlin, Germany. FESPA 2018 Global Print Expo is the leading specialty print show in Europe as the show offers new product advances and possibilities in the specialty printing industry. From May 15th-18th, we are thrilled to join over 600 global print manufacturers and suppliers in Berlin. Check out our list of ground breaking products heading to FESPA 2018 as we are looking to showcase our wide range of pad printers, laser engravers, inkjet machines and our rotary inkjet printer, the Helix!

Attracting more than 18,000 participants from over 125 countries, visitors come to FESPA with the intention of planning their next investment in the printing industry after observing the hundreds of pioneering product launches, innovative solutions, and phenomenal content.

Featured Products:

Rotary Inkjet Printer:


The Helix!

Our Rotary Inkjet Printer, the Helix® has transformed the inkjet printing business making it the best option to print customized images on drinkware, cosmetics, straight-walled and tapered cylinders and more. The process of using this rotary inkjet printer is user friendly. Simply upload the chosen image, select the amount for production and print straight to the product with user-friendly software.

Industrial Inkjet Printer:


If you are looking for an inexpensive and efficient UV LED inkjet printer, then look no further with our Industrial Inkjet Printer the XJET! Capable of running short run and long run industrial printing, the XJET is essential for printing in the Promotional and Industrial Printing markets. The machine high production capabilities combines the best XY flatbed scanning system features that include high-quality graphics and the ability to change quality settings.

Flatbed UV Printer:


Similar to the XJET is another Flatbed UV Printer, the X2®. The main difference between the two printers is that X2® has a sleek flatbed design. The print area for the X2® allows for a 20″ x 24″ (500 x 600mm) in only 90 seconds! The X2®’s model can handle nonstop printing 24 hours a day and is also flexible as the machine operates parts up to 6″ tall!

Laser Plate Maker:

Cobalt 2000

The Cobalt 2000 is the most affordable Laser Plate Maker Inkcups has to offer as the machine is designed for both large and small printing facilities. The Cobalt 2000’s innovative pad printing plate maker was developed internally by Inkcups engineers. The machine contains Patent Pending WFC Technology that enables the etching of precise, fine line graphics quickly and easily. Depth is also, continuously reliable with up to four images per plate.

Pad Printer:


The B100 is a high speed, dynamic, single color sealed cup Tagless Printing Machine and presents a myriad of distinctive features and capabilities. The B100 pad printer has been one of our best-sellers for 1-color printing of plastic parts, promotional products, medical and electronic devices. In addition, thousands of B100s equipped with Tagless garment fixtures are installed and working at apparel factories.

Inkcups Ready for NPE 2018

April 30th, 2018 | Author: Garrett Upson

On May 7,th 2018 we will be showcasing our products in sunny Orlando Florida, at the National Plastics Expo (NPE).  This trade show is the largest and world leading plastics show to date as it is constructed and trademarked by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS). Contributors to the show consist of buying teams from over 100 countries and more than 20,000 companies, bringing together the total global plastics supply chain and the full range of end-user markets. NPE contains companies that will benefit us such as companies specializing in bottles and containers, medical devices, packaging, appliances, and more! We are very eager to display our pad printers, laser engravers and inkjet machines at NPE from May 7th- 11th .

To give you a sample of what we will be presenting at NPE, check out our in-depth list below that will include an assortment of our top-quality machines. Look for us at booth S14035.


X5-T Printing on a Cooler

X5-T New!

At the 2018 PPAI trade show in Las Vegas, we unveiled the X5 UV flatbed printer. This revolutionary machine’s advanced features and print head technology make it one of the fastest, direct to shape digital printer in the industry. What is new about the X5-T is that the machine is taller than the previous X5 and can now print on items up to 20 inches tall! Promotional products, industrial products, cooler lids, plastic molded housings, toys, appliances, and signage are only scratching the surface of what products the X5 is capable of printing on.






The Helix®


The Helix® has revolutionized the inkjet printing industry making it the top option to print custom images on drinkware, cosmetics, straight-walled and tapered cylinders and more. Winner of 2 Golden Pyramid Awards, this direct-to-object cylindrical printers is great for short-run production and personalized items.







Automation on the XJET 800


The XJET800 is an automation-ready industrial inkjet printer designed for high volume production. See the automation capabilities LIVE at NPE, where we will be picking and placing products from a system engineered in-house.







The New Cobalt ONE!

Cobalt ONENew!

The Cobalt One is a newer laser plate machine and is a much improved as well as upgraded version of previous Cobalt machines. Although small in size, the Cobalt ONE has many features including an integrated computer system, a USB 3.0 port to effortlessly upload artwork and a compact footprint that allows the machine to fit in small spaces which is much different from any other laser plate etching machine on the market.






Cobalt 2000

Cobalt 2000

The Cobalt 2000 is the most affordable plate maker Inkcups has created as the machine is engineered for both large and small printing facilities. The Cobalt 2000’s innovative pad printing plate maker was developed internally by Inkcups engineers. The machine contains Patent Pending WFC Technology and enables the etching of precise, fine line graphics quickly and easily. Intended for the AccuLaze® laser plate material, depth is continuously reliable with up to four images per plate.








The B100 is a high speed, dynamic, single color sealed cup pad printer which presents a myriad of unique features and capabilities. This pad printer has been one of our best-sellers for 1-color printing of plastic parts, promotional products, medical and electronic devices. In addition, thousands of B100s equipped with Tagless garment fixtures are installed and working at apparel factories.








Holding 150mm ink cups which allow for printed images up to 140mm in diameter, the ICN-150 is a very well-built and large pad printing machine for Inkcups. The machine’s distinctive independent pad/ink cup stroke, allows easy loading of large parts and print cycle being successfully perfected for the sharpest quality images. The ICN-150 produces images using a 1- or 2-color printer and creates precise, accurate graphics due to the machines outstanding pad compression capability. The ICN-150 is also, furnished with an automated pad cleaning unit.











The ICN-2200L is a heavy duty 2 color sealed cup pad printer with a linear conveyor. The linear conveyor is ideal for situations where future production volumes are unknown or are likely to increase. The machine can print 1800 impressions per hour for 1 color or 1000 impressions per hour for 2 colors. The ICN-2200L also has an XYR micro-adjust plate holder, allowing the user to get accurate prints every time. The machine is fast and simple to use.



How Candles Can Be Used For More Than Just Burning

April 9th, 2018 | Author: Garrett Upson

Candles are possibly one of the most pleasant and inexpensive items available to anyone. They infuse a home with color and fragrance that can create a special and satisfying atmosphere. A candle’s distinctive sense of calm and well-being will have guests, friends or family notice once they walk into a room. Candles have been around for several years as necessity, however, over the years, they have turned into a go-to gift.

Candle Types:

A candle contains primarily wax and a wick along with colorants, fragrances and minor additives. There are a variety of candles in the world today. The basic candle types are tapers, votive, pillars, sticks, jar or container candles, tea lights, gels, liturgical, floating candles, outdoor candles, novelty candles, utility candles, and birthday candles. Although modern technology has introduced greater efficiencies and quality control in candle-making, most candles are made through the timeless process of placing a cotton wick into wax, which is then molded, dipped, extruded, pressed, rolled, drawn or filled into a desired shape and size.

However, candles have a very long history dating back to the Ancient Egyptians where they used wicked candles in 3,000 B.C., but the ancient Romans are generally credited with developing the wicked candle before that time by dipping rolled papyrus repeatedly into melted tallow or beeswax. Candles have evolved over time from using them to light homes and street lights, to using them as decorative items. In the Middle Ages, Europeans introduced beeswax candles, then colonials discovered spermaceti oil coming from whales. In the 19th century, Europeans extracted stearic acid from animal fatty acids to make stearin wax and in 20th century, candles started to trend toward being used in more ornate ways.

Candle Industry:

The candle market has grown exponentially over the years dating back from the 1800 and 1900’s to more recently. Candle sales in the U.S. are estimated at roughly $2.3 billion a year, but this does not include accessories such as candlestick holders. When looking at the industry as a whole it amasses over $3.2 billion in sales annually on average. However, the candle market looks to make a surge in the coming years. From 2017-2021, analysts at the National Candle Association (NCA) predict that sales will grow by 5.88%. Candles are also, a highly optional purchase and sales are greatly influenced by economic climate depending on what season it is. For example, 35% of sales occur around the Christmas/holiday season. Non-seasonal business, accounts for approximately 65% of candle sales. Candles are also, mainly purchased by women who account for over 90% of sales!

Safety Standards:

There are also industry standards that the NCA has created to ensure product quality, safety and corporate responsibility with candles. The current national industry standards for candles have been developed, balloted and published through the ASTM International standards organization. The NCA’s role in the development of candle standards dates back to 1997. In response to increased reports of candle fires, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) asked the NCA to lead an ASTM subcommittee to develop consensus standards for improving candle fire safety. The ASTM Subcommittee on Candle Products was created, which includes members of the NCA, the CPSC, fire officials, safety organizations and other interested parties. They came up with key standards that candles must obtain when they are produced. Three of the top key ASTM standards for candles consist of:

  • Cautionary Labeling Standard- This standard sets forth specifications for the warning label that cautions consumers to always burn a candle within sight; to keep candles away from things that can catch fire; and to keep candles out of the reach of children.


  • Heat Strength of Glass Containers Standard- This standard establishes scratch test and temper specifications for the proper annealing of glass containers used for candles, as well as thermal shock differential requirements.


  • Candle Accessories Standard- This standard sets forth specifications for the fire-safety manufacture, labeling and testing of candle accessories (e.g., candle rings, candle burners, candle holders).

Main Players in Candle Business

There are more than 400 candle manufacturing companies in the United States as well as scores of craft producers who make candles for local or noncommercial use. From specialty or gift shops, to department and home décor stores, or to mass merchandisers, there are several options to purchase candles.

Candle Trends

Candle shoppers are very particular when it comes to what they want in a candle. The most important factors that people look for include scent, color, shape and price. Over time, trends and uses for candles have changed as mentioned earlier. Candles used to not be just for decorative needs but a necessity to light houses, shops and street lights. Electricity was not available for a very long time so candles were needed for people to be able to have access to light. Now, people mainly use candles for their decorative needs especially with home décor. For example, approximately one in five women say they use candles to decorate the yard, patio or other exterior areas, as well as the interior of their home. Consumer demand for home fragrance products has helped feed a massive economic boom in the candle industry as sales have grown at a rate of ten percent or more each year starting in 2000. The market for luxury candles is creating an overall growth in the home fragrances market as well. Candles come in all types of shapes and sizes as well as scents. Furthermore, social media is helping drive the home fragrance candle market, creating a surge in Internet sales.

Consumers purchasing candles know what they want from size, shape, price, etc. However, looking at the most impactful piece affecting candle purchases today is fragrance. Three-fourths of candle buyers say fragrance is “extremely important” or “very important” in their selection of a candle. Nine out of ten candle users also, say they use candles to make a room feel comfortable or cozy so one can get a good sense of what a consumer is looking for in a candle.

In addition to their preference in candles, approximately three-fourths of candle consumers say they typically burn candles for 4 hours or less per sitting and the majority of U.S. consumers use their candles within a week of purchase. People using candles also, frequently display them in the living room (42%), followed by the kitchen (18%) and the bedroom (13%). Candles are lastly used as very popular gifts for events or celebrations as both men and women consider candles to be an always acceptable and appreciated gift. Candle purchasers say they view candles as an suitable gift for the holidays (76%), as a house warming gift (74%), a hostess/dinner party gift (66%), a thank you (61%) and as adult birthday gifts (58%).

Candle Decoration

However, a major trend occurring in the candle decoration market today is customization and personalization. What can truly augment a customers’ desire for a product is their ability to customize the product for an event or for an individual. In today’s business environment, customization is bigger than ever, and even the largest of companies now customize their products. M&M’s will customize their candy, Nike lets customers pick the colors and designs on their sneakers, and Inkcups has made it simple to customize an individual mug, coaster and apparel items.

Aside from home décor, candles can be customized and used at events such as weddings, baby showers, graduations etc. For weddings, many brides can look to offer favors of candles that match their wedding colors or have a customized label on the jar featuring information that is personalized to the wedding couple. Personalized pictures and many other prints can be printed right onto the label as well. For graduations, layered candles can be used with school colors. Layered candles are excellent because multiple fragrances are offered in the same candle. Layered candles can also, be made in both pillars and containers.

Package innovations with candles can give customers a reason to purchase certain candles or even reuse the packages after the candle has been burned. There are many ways to reuse candles and they can get expensive as well. If one spends $60 (or more) on a single candle, it would make sense to enjoy that luxury purchase for as long as they can. Even after the candle has been burned, the appealing glass container it came in can still be used to beautify or even organize a home. After scooping out the remaining wax from the container and cleaning it, there are endless possibilities for these jars/containers. From using them as a utensil holder, crafting supply holder, planting a flower, or just to hold your toothbrush, consumers can now have the option to reuse their candle jars in many different forms.

Printing on Candles

Candles are also getting more decorative when it comes to their labels. That’s right, many people can surely remember candles they bought that had a dull label or even no label on the container or jar for example. Today, companies have adopted various forms of customizing labels onto the candle jars and containers using stickers, pad printing, screen printing or sublimation.

Cylindrical screen printing is one way to imprint glass candle containers. It is a unique process where the screen moves onto the glass, rotating the vessel while the squeegee is stationary. The glasses are printed one color at a time and then sent through a 400 degree oven. When properly cured, the screen printed glasses adhere to the glass. Pad printing is used for smaller imprints as well as imprints on the lids of the jar candles and the travel candles. This type of printing allows the user to perform complex designs on uneven surfaces. The pad picks up a design from an engraved cliché and places the design on the imprinted substrate. Additionally, sublimation is a multi-step process where images and artwork can be printed on a variety of substrates including glass, ceramic, or glass. Usually, the image is taped onto the item it is being printed on, pre heated and then fully heated (sublimated) onto the candle.

A new type of technology that is being introduced into the market is the ability to inkjet print directly onto a substrate. This type of candle decoration allows one to create fully customized candles in seconds. Not only does the ink cure right after printing, but the process is direct-to-shape.

Candles have a very long history and have gone from being a necessary tool for people hundreds of years ago to an ornamental product today. There are many ways to market candles to customers with artwork personalization, fragrances, shapes, and sizes. There will always be a need for candles as customers look to use them in a variety of ways including events, holidays, gifts or celebrations. The candle industry looks to continue its success in the coming years and with new innovative options to print on, scents, sizes, shapes, etc., candle lovers will be very pleased with where the industry is headed.