Multi-color Screen Printing on Cylindrical Products

Multi-color screen printing your cylindrical products may seem daunting at first but is much easier when you break the process down into parts. First you need a precision screen printing machine for your multi-color screen prints. There are two options for multi-color screen printing, one of which is using solvent based inks and the other includes UV technology. There are two machines that you may use; semi-automatic or fully automatic machinery. Semi-automatic screen printing machines will require precision machining for registration of your multi-color design. There are several tooling options for retaining your registration to maintain the multi-color design. SA offers mechanical pointer tooling,motor driven registration and optical registration. The mechanical pointer allows you to align  an indent or any identifier on a part with a pointer on a fixture. The mechanical motorized tooling requires a notch on the bottom of the bottle for multi-color printing. The notch will register with the product prior to every print. The optical registration system rotates your product until it comes in contact with a printed point on the product.

The semi-automatic machine will require you to change your screens in between color changes. The SA screen printing machines not only have high machining tolerances for color registration, they also offer screen registration options to make your multi-color printing as simple as possible. An automatic screen printing system is a larger investment than a semi-automatic press but it performs the whole process of multi-color screen printing and are especially useful for high volume production since automatic systems can combine different process into one procedure – pretreat, register prior to print, UV cure and register prior to print.

Multi-color Screen Printing with Solvent Based Inks

Your cylindrical products may have issues with adhesion of ink. Solvent based inks are the best in industry for screen printing without any requirement for pretreatment, which will require you to increase your budget. There are solvent based inks that can dry within a few minutes. Ideally, you would have a larger order quantity if using solvent based inks for multi-color screen printing. This would mean that your newly screen printed products would have time between colors to cure. Solvent based inks are not environmentally friendly and can have VACs. If you are making a food product and have the ink wafting in the air, you will want to invest in an air filtration system. SA can put an add-on for the printer to take in the ambient solvent smell. Solvent inks must always be added to the screen and the printer must always be printing to avoid the ink drying to the screen. Heat drying will improve on the cure time significantly when between prints.

Multi-color Screen printing with UV Inks

UV inks by themselves are not good for adhesion but are ideal for multi-color screen printing. This is because they cure almost instantly. The only take away is that this method for multi-color screen printing will add to your budget. You will need to invest in UV curing and flame treatment equipment. SA has made the process of using UV much more affordable with the Bottle Treater, which combines flame and UV into one machine. If your cylindrical products are glass, they will require flame for adhesion promotion. The flame treatment will take place prior to the print and UV curing will happen afterwards. UV inks are the way of the future and stay in a fluid stay. You will no longer have to worry about the ink drying to the screen. In fact, you can leave the ink on the screen over night without an issue.