Screen printing is a method used to transfer ink onto a part. The advantage to using screen printing technology is that you can print 360 degrees around a cylindrical shape in one application. You can print items as small as a lipstick container and as large as a 5 gallon pail. You can print on flat surfaces as small as a match box or as large as a billboard sign. You can print on oval surfaces as small as a bottle of nail polish or as large as a shampoo bottle.
WHAT IS SCREEN PRINTING?
Screen printing is a wet process where ink is squeezed through a fine mesh material onto the part to be decorated.
First a film positive is made of the artwork, this film is then laid over a fine mesh material which has been tightly stretched and fastened to a frame. The mesh material has been coated with a light sensitive emulsion and the film and screen are then exposed to a mercury vapor light. This exposure hardens the emulsion on the screen creating a solid barrier. The portion of the screen that was covered by the film positive remains soft and is washed off the screen with a pressure hose and water.
The completed screen now allows ink to pass through this washed out area while preventing ink from passing through the hardened emulsion. This washed out portion of the screen is now an exact duplicate of the artwork to be placed on the part.
The screen is then mounted in the screen printing machine and clamped in place. A fixture is mounted under the screen which is designed to hold the part to be printed in the correct location. The part is then placed in the fixture and ink is added to the screen. The ink is squeezed through the screen with a rubber squeegee while the part is moved under the screen, allowing the ink to be placed on the part.
FLAT SCREEN PRINTING
In the case of a flat part, such as a ruler or CD case, the part remains fixed as the ink is squeezed onto the surface. Mystic has several semi-automatic screen printing machines capable of printing items as long as 24 inches. By changing screens and re-registering the part, multi-color print applications can be achieved.
CYLINDRICAL SCREEN PRINTING
Mystic has fifteen semi-automatic screen printing machines and two automatic machines capable of printing single and multi-color images on cylindrical parts. All our machines are equipped with inflation systems that allow us to inject air into the bottle while it is being printed. This enables us to print on soft sided bottles made of polypropylene or polyethylene. These machines are excellent for printing on items such as round cosmetic containers, syringe barrels or glass bottles.
OVAL SCREEN PRINTING
All of our screen printers have been fitted with special tooling which allows us to print on oval applications. As in our cylindrical screen printing, we have inflation devices that allow us to print on soft sided bottles. We can print either single or multi-color applications depending on your requirements.
HIGH VOLUME AUTOMATIC SCREEN PRINTING
For those large run jobs, Mystic has a three station, high speed machine capable of printing on ovals or rounds up to three colors at a rate of three thousand pieces per hour. This machine is also equipped with two pressure sensitive labeling heads which provides us with the flexibility of printing and labeling in the same application.
We have the ability to print on almost any substrate including:
- Plastic – Including polypropylene and polyethylene
- Metal – Including stainless steel and powder coated aluminum
We also provide in-house flame treatment of materials when needed. We use UV and solvent based inks as well as specialty inks used to print on glass, polypropylene and polyethylene parts.
We can also print on many shapes including:
- Cylindrical / Rounds