Plastics Decorating - April May 2017

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TODAY’S DECORATING & ASSEMBLY SOURCE

2017 APRIL/MAY

Diving into Inks: Digital, Analog, UV-Curable Decorating & Assembly TopCon Scheduled in June The Future of Plastics Education Effect of Base Materials on Plastics Welding



Contents April/May 2017

COVER STORY Materials

page 32

Diving into Inks: Digital, Analog, UV-Curable

Consumer demands, changing substrate compositions and equipment technology advances add challenges for inks used in industrial plastic decoration.

DEPARTMENTS

FEATURES Preview

SPE Decorating & Assembly TopCon Partners with IMDA for Technical Education Event, June 18-20

Focus

The Future of Plastics Education

page 6 page 8

Plastics engineering programs face staffing and funding challenges, but employment opportunities abound for graduates.

Ask the Expert

Ultrasonic Plastics Welding: The Influence of Base Materials

page 18

Exact material properties and design requirements of plastic welding influence the weldability of polymers.

Solutions

Guide Enhances Safety for Nonscientist Users of UV-Curable 3D Printing

Viewpoint Association Process Highlight

page 46 page 15 page 16

Tech Watch

page 25

Product Industry Calendar Marketplace Supplier Quick Links

page 26 page 38 page 55 page 56 page 58

(Hot Stamping/Heat Transfers) (CDigital’s Digital Heat Transfers)

page 28

RadTech International North America has developed a safety poster aimed at nonscientist users of UV-curable 3D printing equipment.

Strategies

Five Traits of Great Business Leaders

page 36

What makes one person an outstanding business leader and another an average employee?

Technology

Dual-Purpose ‘Laser Additives’ Drive Marking and Welding of Polymers

page 42

Novel chemical additives achieve high-strength hermetic seal weld joints and indelible opaque marking contrast.

Trends

UV-Curable Single-Pass Inkjet Printing of Plastic Parts

page 48

Read Plastics Decorating at plasticsdecorating.com or download the Plastics Decorating app.

UV-curable inkjet printing on a plastic part creates challenges in ink selection, pretreatment, ink spread management and more.

April/May 2017 www.plasticsdecorating.com 3


VIEWPOINT A recent study found 80 percent of respondents believed an in-person conference to be more valuable than a webinar or online meeting. Comments from the study participants pointed to the variety of educational opportunities available at conferences, with many presentation topics and workshops rather than just the one subject addressed in most webinars. Respondents also valued the ability to network with peers multiple times throughout an event, and they pointed out that conferences often include exhibits or tabletops, which allow attendees to encounter new vendors and suppliers that may be able to help their businesses. In today’s digital world, where people are on their computer or smartphone constantly, an in-person conference provides a way to interact face-to-face and take a break from “digital overload.” I have highlighted the important benefits of an in-person conference as we move closer to our SPE Decorating & Assembly Topical Conference (TopCon). The event will run in conjunction with the In-Mold Decorating Association (IMDA) Symposium and will take place June 19 and 20 in Lincolnshire, Illinois. We are very excited about this event, with opportunities to network, a strong programming lineup and a Supplier Trade Fair. More than 20 papers on new technologies in plastics decorating, assembly and in-mold decorating/labeling will be presented, and we also have added eight new workshops where attendees can discuss topics in decorating and assembly in small groups. This issue of Plastics Decorating contains a full programming list for the upcoming TopCon (pages 6 and 7). We also took a look at plastics engineering education around the country in our Focus article, and SPE Decorating & Assembly Division Board Member Ken Holt evaluated the influence of base materials in ultrasonic welding in the Ask the Expert feature article. Newer technologies are addressed, including UV-curable single-pass inkjet printing and dual-purpose laser additives. I certainly hope you will join us in June at the TopCon. I am very confident you will come out with new information to help your business grow. I look forward to seeing you there!

Jeff Peterson, Editor-in-Chief, jeff@petersonpublications.com

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April/May 2017

ISSN: 1536-9870 Published by: Peterson Publications, Inc.

2150 SW Westport Dr., Suite 101 Topeka, KS 66614 (785) 271-5801

Website: www.plasticsdecorating.com Email: publish@petersonpublications.com Editor-in-Chief Jeff Peterson Managing Editor Dianna Brodine Assistant Editors Nancy Cates Lara Copeland Technical Editor Scott Sabreen, The Sabreen Group

Art Director Becky Arensdorf Graphic Designer Kelly Adams Sales Director Gayla Peterson Circulation Manager Brenda Schell

Plastics Decorating is published quarterly. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any manner without written consent from the publisher.


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2017

TopCon TopCon&&Symposium Symposium

SPE &IMDA Decorating Decorating & Assembly & Assembly Division Division

The The Best Best Source Source for for Technical Technical Content Content Related Related to to Plastics Plastics Decorating Decorating and and Assembly Assembly June 18-20, 2017 June 18-20, 2017 Lincolnshire Marriott Resort • Lincolnshire, Illinois Lincolnshire Marriott Resort • Lincolnshire, Illinois

www.plasticsdecorating.com/topcon/2017 www.plasticsdecorating.com/topcon/2017 SCHEDULE SCHEDULE OF OF EVENTS EVENTS

Sunday, June 18 Sunday, 2-6 p.m. June 18 Registration 2-6 p.m. Registration 6-8 p.m. Welcome Reception 6-8 p.m. Welcome Reception Monday, June 19 Monday, 7-8:30 a.m.June 19 Registration, 7-8:30 a.m. Registration,Breakfast Continental Continental and SupplierBreakfast Trade Fair and Supplier Trade Fair General Session – All Attendees General Session – All Attendees 8-9 a.m. 8-9Keynote: a.m. Understanding and Using Keynote: andTrends Using EmergingUnderstanding Aesthetic Design Emerging Aesthetic Design Trends Bill Dorr, Design Concepts Bill Dorr, 9-9:30 a.m.Design Concepts 9-9:30 a.m.Structural Electronics (IMSE) In-mold In-mold Structural Electronics (IMSE) for Multifunctional Smart Surfaces for Multifunctional Smart Surfaces Ron Haag, TactoTec Ron Haag, 9:30-10 a.m.TactoTec 9:30-10 a.m. and Flame Treatment How Plasma How Plasma and Flame Treatment Improves Decorating and Assembly Improves Decorating and Assembly Adhesion Adhesion Ryan Schuelke, Enercon Industries Ryan Schuelke, Enercon Industries

Decorating Breakout Session Decorating Breakout Session 10:30-11 a.m. 10:30-11 a.m.for Automotive UV Paints UV Paints for Automotive Applications Applications Phil Kim, Peter Lacke North America

Phil Kim,a.m. Peter Lacke North America 11-11:30 11-11:30 a.m. SuperChrome PVD Coating SuperChrome PVD Coating Michael Brazil, Vergason Technologies, Inc.

Michael Brazil, Vergason Technologies, Inc. 11:30 am-Noon 11:30 am-Noon Breakthrough Additives Enhance Breakthrough Additives Enhance Plastics ‘In-Line’ Laser Marking, Plastics ‘In-Line’ Laser Marking, Superior Contrast, Quality and Speed Superior Contrast, Quality and Inc. Speed Scott Sabreen, The Sabreen Group, Scott Sabreen, The Sabreen Group, Inc.

Assembly Breakout Session Assembly Breakout Session 10:30-11 a.m. 10:30-11 a.m.Welding Technology for Ultrasonic Ultrasonic Welding Technology for Light Weight Structures Light Weight Structures Udo Starke, Herrmann Ultrasonics

Udo Starke, 11-11:30 a.m.Herrmann Ultrasonics 11-11:30 Instanta.m. Bonding of Plastics Using Instant Bonding of Plastics Using Adhesive Technologies Adhesive Technologies Diva Evans, Henkel Adhesive Technologies Divaa.m.-Noon Evans, Henkel Adhesive Technologies 11:30 11:30 a.m.-Noonof Ultrasonic Welding Optimization Optimization of Eastman UltrasonicTritan Welding TM Performance of TM Performance of Eastman Tritan Copolyester Copolyester Brett Jones, Eastman Brett Jones, Eastman

IML Breakout Session IML Breakout Session 10:30-11 a.m. 10:30-11 Brand a.m. Authentication in 2017 and the Brand in 2017 and the Role ofAuthentication In-Mold Decorating Role of In-Mold Decorating Bob Travis, Ink Works Printing

Bob Travis, 11-11:30 a.m.Ink Works Printing 11-11:30 a.m. IML-T Worldwide Production Systems IML-T Worldwide Production Systems Jim Swim, VP and GM, Illig LP Jim a.m.-Noon Swim, VP and GM, Illig LP 11:30 11:30 a.m.-Noon Alternative Label Handling Strategies Alternative Label Strategies Derek Williams, CBWHandling Automation Derek Williams, CBW Automation

IMD Breakout Session IMD Breakout Session 10:30-11 a.m. 10:30-11 a.m. Case Studies Dispatches: Dispatches: Case Studies from the Front from the Front Marshall Paterson, Advanced Decorative Marshall SystemsPaterson, Advanced Decorative Systems

11-11:30 a.m. 11-11:30 a.m. Machine and Automation for IML Machine Automation for IML and IMD and Applications and IMD Applications Juergen Giesow, Arburg Inc. Juergen Giesow, Arburg Inc. 11:30 a.m.-Noon 11:30 a.m.-Noon Design Considerations for IMD Design Considerations Appliance Applications for IMD Appliance Applications Dan Haas, Serigraph Dan Haas, Serigraph

Noon-1:30 p.m. Buffet Lunch and Noon-1:30 p.m. Supplier Buffet Lunch and Trade Fair Supplier Trade Fair General Session – All Attendees General Session – All Attendees 1:30-2 p.m. 1:30-2 p.m. Digital Inkjet Technology into Integrating Integrating Digital Inkjet Technology the Industrial Manufacturing Process into the Industrial Manufacturing Tim Scully, Engineered PrintingProcess Solutions Tim Scully, 2-2:30 p.m. Engineered Printing Solutions 2-2:30 p.m. and In-Mold Electronics IMD/IML IMD/IML and In-Mold Electronics Design Considerations for Durable Design Considerations for Durable Products Products Paul O'Hearn, Profile Plastics Paul O'Hearn, Profile Plastics

IMDA Symposium & TopCon Workshops IMDA Symposium & TopCon Workshops (See workshop box for full (Seeprogramming workshop boxlist.) for full programming Session 1: 2:45-3:30 p.m. list.) Session 1: 2:45-3:30 Session 2: 3:45-4:30 p.m. p.m. Session 2: 3:45-4:30 p.m. 4:30-6 p.m. Networking Reception 4:30-6 p.m. Networking and SupplierReception Trade Fair and SupplierAwards Trade Fair 6:30-10 p.m. Symposium 6:30-10 p.m. Dinner Symposium Awards Dinner Keynote: Product Messaging Keynote: Product Messaging Development Related to IML/IMD Development Related John King, APIS Group to IML/IMD John King, APIS Group


Tuesday, June 20 Tuesday, 7-8:30 a.m.June 20 Continental Breakfast 7-8:30 a.m. Continental and SupplierBreakfast Trade Fair and Supplier Trade Fair Decorating & Assembly Breakout Decorating & Assembly Breakout 8:30-9 a.m. 8:30-9 a.m.Films for Unique Part In-Mold In-Mold Films for Unique Part Decorating Decorating Mike Kerr, Nissha USA, Inc. Mikea.m. Kerr, Nissha USA, Inc. 9-9:30 9-9:30 a.m. Dynamic Hold Capability Utilizing Utilizing Dynamic Hold Capability of Servo-Driven Ultrasonic Welders of Servo-Driven Ultrasonic in Studying Cooling Phase Welders of the in Studying Cooling Phase Ultrasonic Welding Processof the Ultrasonic Alex Savitski,Welding Dukane Process

Alex Savitski, 9:30-10 a.m. Dukane 9:30-10 a.m.Decoration: Inks and Product Product Decoration: UV Curing Methods Inks and UV Curing Methods Jennifer Heathcote, Phoseon Technology Jennifer Heathcote, Phoseon Technology

IML and IMD Breakout IML and IMD Breakout 8:30-9 a.m. 8:30-9 IML a.m. Mold Technology for Single IML Mold Technology for Single Serve Applications Serve Applications Jordan Robertson, StackTeck

Jordan Robertson, StackTeck 9-9:30 a.m. 9-9:30 a.m. The Benefits of Digital Printing in the The Benefits of Digital Printing in the IML World IML World Jim Murphy, Xeikon Jim Murphy, 9:30-10 a.m. Xeikon 9:30-10 a.m. of the I-IML Packaging The State The State of the America I-IML Packaging Market in North Market in North America Jon Knight, Treofan Jon Knight, Treofan

IMDA Symposium & TopCon Workshops IMDA Symposium & TopCon Workshops (See workshop box for full (Seeprogramming workshop boxlist.) for full programming list.) Session 3: 10:30-11:15 a.m. Session a.m. p.m. Session 3: 4: 10:30-11:15 11:30 a.m.-12:15 Session 4: 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

NEW Interactive Workshops NEW Interactive Workshops » Direct Digital Printing on Molded » Direct Digital Printing on Molded Product vs. Screen-Printed IML Product vs. Screen-Printed IML Plastics » Beyond PP: IML/IMD for Other IML/IMD for Plastics »» Beyond BenefitsPP: of Running FullOther Production » Benefits of Running Full Production IML-T IML-T » Part & Label Geometry for Injection » Part IML & Label Geometry for Injection IML » Processes for Achieving Chrome » Processes Surfaces for Achieving Chrome SurfacesSurface Treatment Up Close » Plasma » Plasma Surface Treatment Up Close (live demonstration workshop) (live demonstration workshop) » Hybrid Adhesives vs. Traditional » Hybrid Adhesives vs. Traditional Epoxy Adhesives Epoxy Adhesives » Comparing Heat Staking Technologies »» Comparing Heat Staking Technologies Choosing the Optimum Assembly » Choosing the Optimum Assembly Method (panel discussion) Method (panel discussion) » Ultrasonic Welding » (live Ultrasonic Welding demonstration workshop) demonstration » (live Where Does Digital workshop) Inkjet Fit with » Where Does Digital Inkjet Fit with Part Decoration Part Decoration » Hot Stamping/Heat Transfers » Hot Stamping/Heat Transfers (workshop on tooling, dies, foils (workshop on tooling, dies, foils and part design) and part design) Note: Workshops are concurrent, Note: Workshops concurrent, and attendees areare able to attend andany attendees are able to day. attend two workshops per any two workshops per day.

DATES DATES & & RATES RATES Registration Registration Early Bird Rates end on May 21. Early Bird Rates end on May 21. Early Bird Rates Early BirdIMDA Ratesmembers $460 SPE and SPE and IMDA Nonmembers members $460 $560 Nonmembers $560 After May 21 After May 21 members $505 SPE and IMDA SPE and IMDA Nonmembers members $505 $605 Nonmembers $605 Accommodations Accommodations The group hotel rate of $168 is The groupthrough hotel rate $168 is available Mayof30. available through May 30.

TO TO LEARN LEARN MORE MORE Find additional information, Find additional information, including links for registration including links for registration and hotel reservations, at and hotel reservations, at

plasticsdecorating.com/ plasticsdecorating.com/ topcon/2017. topcon/2017.

Register Register today! today!


FOCUS

The Future of Plastics Education

Plastics engineering programs face staffing and funding challenges; graduates enjoy multiple employment opportunities by John Kaverman, president, Pad Print Pros, and Nancy Cates, contributing writer, Plastics Decorating

E

nthusiasm for the future of the industry and a near-100 percent graduate placement rate – tempered by the reality of reduced academic funding – are among the strengths, opportunities and challenges shared by faculty and college students as they prepare to enter the plastics industry workforce. Graduates of institutions from Massachusetts to Kansas to Washington look forward to full employment with opportunities for career growth. While not every program could be profiled, an overview of what’s happening at campuses across the country is presented here.

Ferris State University According to Robert Speirs, professor and plastics engineering technology program coordinator at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan, program enrollment has grown from 118 to 217 students over the past five years. Graduates earn a bachelor of science degree in engineering

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technology. They are some of the most highly recruited among the on-campus enrollment of about 10,000, but the program has been forced to limit incoming freshman to 50 students due to funding limitations. Ferris State’s plastics engineering technology program was founded in 1982 to fill the industry’s need for technically trained personnel.


We want to advance the decoration aspect of the industry, and our graphic arts department now is looking at a packaging major or minor emphasis that will deal with printing and decorating on plastics. – Pittsburg State University Students also are active with the Society of Plastics Engineers, and alumni with ties to SPE’s Decorating and Assembly Division have ensured Ferris State students have the opportunity to receive training in decorating and assembly topics. “In 2015, the Decorating and Assembly Division was considering ways to provide a scholarship, but was stuck on how to be sure the donation would be used for a decorating and assembly discipline. When the idea of donating a new pad printer to Ferris State arose, it was a perfect fit. The machine was purchased at cost from Innovative Marking Systems, and I provided installation and training,” explained John Kaverman, Ferris State alumni and guest lecturer.

In 1998, the National Elastomer Center, a 28,000-square-foot facility, was built to house state-of-the-art labs, classrooms and faculty offices. Today, the program is one of only five of its type in the country and the largest in the United States. The National Elastomer Center also houses the university’s rubber engineering technology program, the only one of its kind in the world. Students serve two paid internships in industry for a minimum of 10 weeks each. During these internships, students gain invaluable experience that enables them to become “go-to” employees once they enter the workforce. They also make connections that can last long after graduation. One thing that makes the Ferris State program so popular is the university’s long-standing relationships with multinational corporations and organizations, according to the department website. The program’s partnership with Wittmann Battenfeld is one example: Two Wittmann robots and control software upgrades are consigned to the university in return for Wittmann’s access to conduct regional training sessions at the facility. A 28,000-square-foot facility houses labs, classrooms and faculty offices at Ferris State. Photo courtesy of Ferris State University.

The machine is used as part of a Plastics Decorating and Assembly course, a requirement for fourth-year students. The course provides students with a basic knowledge of secondary operations such as pad printing, hot stamping, ultrasonic welding, adhesive bonding, hot-gas welding, hot air/cold staking and packaging. Students get several hours of hands-on machine time for every hour of lecture. Other corporate donors to Ferris State include Bekum America (blow molding), Milicron and BOY Machines (molding machines), Chase Plastics and BASF (materials), and General Motors and JW Speaker (molds). The Ferris State program reaches out to industry professionals and alumni in the form of the Plastics Industry Advisory Board. The board, which meets at least annually, reviews enrollment and graduation criteria, as well as course outcomes, to help the university stay current with industry trends. Penn State Behrend Industry professionals and alumni also are an important component in the successful plastics engineering program at Penn State Behrend, Erie, Pennsylvania, according to Jonathan Meckley, program chair and associate professor of engineering.

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“Other programs are typically more evenly split on all of the processes, but our program is primarily focused on injection molding,” Meckley said. “That’s the one thing that sets us apart. Local industry came to Penn State and told us that’s what they wanted to see.” About 200 students are enrolled in the program at the 4,700-student Erie campus. Meckley said enrollment has been stable for the past three years or so but is cyclic in nature. They aren’t actively recruiting because of two vacant faculty positions. Despite the vacancies, Meckley said faculty members regularly present various continuing education classes, pulling from the local area and as far as the West Coast. “Assembly, welding and some decorating are covered in some of the courses,” Meckley continued. “We used to have a technical elective that focused more on adhesives, plastics welding, pad printing and the like, but we don’t have the ability to put on that type of elective with faculty vacancies. They are mentioned in the courses, but there’s not a lot of depth.” Meckley said the students receive thorough instruction on all the manufacturing components: one-third materials, one-third processing and one-third design. “It’s very hands-on, and every class has a lab. The students understand the correct way

to approach manufacturing when they graduate. The course includes a ‘senior design’ or research experience, and students may do some plastics manufacturing research as undergrads, so that helps prepare them.” Shawnee State University The 12 candidates for plastics engineering technology degrees this spring at Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, Ohio, are being wooed by more than 20 prospective employers. “For all practical purposes, we have 100 percent placement,” said Larry Miller, department chair. “Our program is growing, with about 60 currently enrolled as majors. The plastics industry is the largest in Ohio, and we offer the only four-year plastics degree in the state.” Miller concedes that tight budgets have affected some components of the program. “In education today, we are getting pressure to reduce the number of hours we teach. It’s very difficult to offer classes in the secondary processes (adhesives, plastics welding, pad printing, etc.). We do a little bit of those in our other classes.” The budget outlook may be improving, since the program is gearing up for a $1.2 million capital investment to remodel facilities and update systems. In addition to typical recruitment, the program hosts “Plastics Day” in early December. “We invite 60 to 70 high school students from around the state who want to learn more about the industry,” Miller explained. “We have sessions on part and mold design, 3D printing, and a session with students running equipment to demonstrate processes. “Our kids are hands-on,” Miller continued. “Students participate in internships all over the state. We also contract work to do testing for companies that don’t have the appropriate facilities and participate in research and development work.

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“We try to work closely with industry and have an advisory board of about 15 to help us,” Miller concluded. “Our grads are in management positions all over the state and across the country at plastics manufacturers and other businesses – Honda, Stanley Electric, GE, Procter & Gamble. We have a good alumni network.” Pittsburg State University Graduates are the best recruitment tool for Pittsburg (Kansas) State University’s engineering technology program, according to Bob Susnik, professor in plastics engineering technology. “They go out in industry and are successful, and the word passes on. Our advisory council members are alumni and friends. Three of our four faculty are alumni.”



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Susnik said the program has grown from its beginning in 1971. “I graduated in ’79 with a master’s degree and worked in industry before coming back in ’88 to teach. We had 80 or 90 students in the program at that time, but grew to 150 or so,” he explained. “Then there was a downturn, and by the mid-’90s, a lot of jobs were going overseas. But, we’ve come back and are up to 70 students, an increase of about 20 students in the last six to seven years. Right now, the job market is crazy. We can’t supply enough graduates. “Our strength is probably in processing,” Susnik continued. “We do injection, extrusion and blow molding, and we emphasize hands-on with a lot of oneon-one instruction. In our general plastics class, we cover hot air welding, adhesive bonding, vacuum bagging and surface preparation. We have a blow molder and three extruders.”

Pittsburg State University serves 70 students in its plastic engineering technology program. Photo courtesy of Pittsburg State University.

At Pittsburg State, Susnik emphasized the success of collaboration within departments. “Our graphic arts department used to make adhesive stickers we could put on Frisbees that we made in the class. Now we have flame treatment and silk screening equipment to treat and silk screen the graphic designs and pad print them on the discs,” he said. “We want to advance the decoration aspect of the industry, and our graphic arts department now is looking at a packaging major or minor emphasis that will deal with printing and decorating on plastics.” Western Washington University Prospective students west of the Rockies might look to Western Washington University in Bellingham, where the plastics and composites engineering program includes about 40 students, with stable enrollment for the past few years. “We provide industry-ready graduates from the only accredited plastics engineering program west of Kansas,” said Nicole Hoekstra, professor of plastics and composites engineering. “Our well-equipped labs ensure graduates are proficient with production-scale processing equipment, quality assurance strategies and characterization techniques. “Because we do not have graduate students,” Hoekstra continued, “all undergraduate students participate in research projects with faculty members. The majority of these research projects have industry partners from Washington, Oregon and

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California. There are only four accredited programs in the US that offer instruction in thermoplastic processing. WWU PCE is the only one in the West.” Hoekstra emphasized that the program is hands-on, teambased and lab-intensive. All junior and senior year courses have multiple smaller lab projects or a single 10-week project to reinforce concepts discussed in lecture. “WWU PCE is a unique combination of manufacturing engineering and polymer chemistry,” Hoekstra said. “Students learn how processing, material structure and properties influence each other. They are introduced to secondary operations early in the curriculum, first to assembly processes, decorating processes, and surface treatments as juniors. Throughout the rest of the curriculum, assembly processes, decorating process, and surface treatments are discussed, along with relevant manufacturing processes or material properties. For example, students learn painting for the first time when they apply gel coat to a foam composite mold. They have access to secondary operations, such as powder coating, two paint booths, ultrasonic welding, hot stamping, laser etching and plasma treatment. Additionally, students learn how secondary operations affect properties by utilizing instruments such as spectrophotometer and contact angle goniometer. They look at adhesion strength and surface roughness (profilometer, digital and electron microscopes). Many research projects with industry partners include secondary operations.”


WWU graduates, like those in other programs, have multiple job opportunities, Hoekstra said. “Currently, there is more demand for our students than we have available in our program.” University of Wisconsin-Stout The plastics engineering program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout is a fundamental engineering program with courses in statics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, circuits and devices, according to Adam Kramschuster, the program director and associate professor. “The program is focused on materials science, processing and engineering fundamentals. UW-Stout’s plastics engineering program has excellent materials characterization and processing equipment,” Kramschuster continued, “and multiple student and industry projects are performed to evaluate processing effects on material performance, as well as to investigate new process control/monitoring systems for injection molding.”

opportunities available in the plastics industry, and therefore it can be difficult to pique their interest. However, once students visit and understand the opportunities in the field and see the equipment, they are often highly interested.” A hands-on approach is taken with prospective students, Kramschuster said. “They have the opportunity to meet with a program faculty to discuss the curriculum, as well as typical projects students work on. This can be done on individual tours or during the multiple ‘Campus Preview Days’ hosted each semester. In addition, UW-Stout runs camps and handson activities.”

About 80 of the 9,300-plus students on UW-Stout’s Menomonie, Wisconsin, campus are enrolled in the program.

Most graduates are recruited into medical device manufacturing, which prevails in the region, Kramschuster concluded. “The majority of our students work in the contract injection molding industry, especially medical molding, though we have had students obtain careers at consulting firms and large tech/ medical OEMs as well, and multiple extrusion companies. At the same time, a wide variety of companies that deal in plastic part design, plastic materials or plastic processing have expressed interest in hiring our students or have already done so.”

“Our program is relatively stable,” Kramschuster said. “Most 17-year old high school students don’t understand the

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Employment opportunities in the plastics engineering field have led to growing interest in programs across the US, but universities often face funding and faculty challenges. Photo courtesy of Ferris State University.

University of Massachusetts Lowell The program at University of Massachusetts Lowell was founded in 1954 and offers a BS or five-year BS/MSE in plastics engineering, a more traditional MS program, a PhD in engineering with plastics option and a certificate in plastics engineering technology. “UMass Lowell is fortunate to have a well-established plastics engineering program with a large alumni network and industry base,” explained Program Director David Kazmer, chair of the Department of Plastics Engineering. “We currently have students from across the US but also Italy, Germany, India, China, Singapore and other nations.” The program annually awards approximately 50 to 60 students bachelor’s degrees, 30 master’s degrees and 10 doctorates. “Our program has been growing significantly, likely due to increased interest in manufacturing as well as excellent career placement,” said Kazmer. “Our program has an excellent coop pipeline, with most students getting six to 12 months of experience before they graduate.” Current initiatives include nano-manufacturing, medical devices, flexible electronics, high performance composites and

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Our program has been growing significantly, likely due to increased interest in manufacturing as well as excellent career placement. – University of Wisconsin-Stout recycling. UMass Lowell’s program is the oldest and largest ABET-accredited plastics engineering program. “From a curricular perspective, our diverse faculty provide coverage of all four areas: polymer chemistry, product design, polymer processing and characterization,” Kazmer said. “Thus, we close the feedback loop from conception to realization. In addition, we have eight lab courses in the undergraduate program that address pad printing, assembly, welding and other secondary processes. We also have full master’s-level elective courses related to coatings, adhesives and coloration.” n


ASSOCIATION Letter from the Chair It’s hard to predict the future. It also is hard to know the best plastic decoration process to achieve the outstanding appearance and performance your customers have come to expect. In the next few months, you will have the opportunity to learn about and compare the leading technologies for plastic decoration. Last year was exciting because of all the advances in the tools and technologies of plastic decoration and assembly. The capabilities and complexity of the tool set for plastic decoration and assembly are growing dramatically, but, so also are the stresses – the aggressive environment – that decorated parts must survive. It’s hard to predict the future, but history gives us some important clues as to what will drive upcoming warranty and should drive the material and process choices we must make. A number of years ago, hand sanitizers became popular. These were seen as a way to reduce flu and colds. As a result of their increased use, coatings failures increased and compounders improved their materials to meet the new stress. That was followed by an increase in sunscreen use and then the introduction of biodiesel fuels (fatty acid methyl esters) in Europe. Each change was driven by the people’s reasonable behavior in response to a change in our world (concern about sun damage to skin or the desire for renewable energy) and each resulted in field problems, followed by technology advances. So, what is next? Recent articles outline the increase in birth defects caused by mosquito-borne Zika virus. The mosquito that carries Zika has been identified in 129 California cities, and there are documented cases of mosquito transmission in Texas and Florida. Lyme disease, a tick-borne disease, is expected to be increasingly prevalent in the Midwest and Northeast this year. The expected response will be increased use of insecticides – including the use of those that are increasingly aggressive, with 100 percent DEET, and many new ones that are untested for their impact on coatings or plastic. Materials such as IR3535, 2-Undecanone or catnip oil now are commercially available. The decoration industry’s response should be preemptive. What coatings and finishes are very chemically resistant? Now is a good time to learn the answer or answers. A multitude of conferences are available, but most of them have a fairly narrow focus on one technology or group of technologies. While these are very useful for you to develop skill and contacts in a specific batch of plastic decoration or joining, they tend not to provide the knowledge you need to select the best technique among all of those available. With more options, it becomes all the more important to know what is available and the advantages and limits to each technology.

Two opportunities await this summer. The first opportunity will be the SPE Annual Technical Conference (ANTEC), in Anaheim, California, May 8 through 10. This is the largest annual technical conference in the United States for the plastics industry, with 2,500 attendees, more than 600 paper presentations and an exhibitor floor. The second is TopCon (Topical Conference), presented by the Decorating and Assembly Division, which focuses on the technology and application of the latest global innovations and trends. It is of interest and applicable to all companies performing decorating and assembly processes in their manufacturing environments, such as automotive, packaging, electronic/communication, medical and consumer goods industries, as well as others. The conference dates are June 19 and 20. The TopCon will be two days of papers exclusively on plastic decoration and assembly and will be held at the Marriott Lincolnshire in the Chicago area. We will once again be holding a joint conference with the In-Mold Decoration Association (see a detailed program on pages 6-7). This joint conference will provide an exceptionally broad selection of experts in all fields of plastic decoration and assembly, as well as papers on a broad range of innovative technologies and focused workshops on both plastic decoration and assembly processes. It will be one of the best opportunities this year to learn about and compare the technologies available to you. Learn more at the Society of Plastics Engineers website, www.4spe.org, or by contacting paul.a.uglum@delphi.com. Paul Uglum Delphi Electronics and Safety Chair, SPE Decorating & Assembly Division

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April/May 2017 www.plasticsdecorating.com 15


PROCESS HIGHLIGHT

Hot Stamping/Heat Transfers CDigital 410.646.7800 www.cdigital.com CDigital, Baltimore, Maryland, recently developed a f ilm and adhesive system for low-pressure, digitally printed heat transfers formulated specifically for vertical pad stamping and vertical roll-on application equipment. This newly created adhesive and film system allows product decorators to expand their capabilities with existing equipment and provides the opportunity to offer full-color decoration on a wide range of products with low order minimums and no setup fees. CDigital heat transfers provide 1200dpi CMYK+white full-color image quality, along with variable data capabilities and fast turn times. CPS Resources, Inc. 704.628.7678 www.cpsresources.com T h e C R 15 0 - A f r o m C P S Resources, Indian Trail, North Carolina, is capable of applying 360° hot stamp or heat transfer images onto cylindrical parts at a speed of 90 parts per minute. It features two bowl feeders, supplying parts to two hot stamp units with a built-in vision quality control system. Perfect for lipstick tubes, pens, syringes and more. Digital Decorations, LLC 978.463.0416 www.digital-decorations.com T he DIGIT R A N ® T U f rom Digit al Decorations, LLC, Salisbury, Massachusetts, is a versatile, semi-automatic heat transfer machine for the decoration of flat, cylindrical and tapered articles. It was developed for the application of photo-realistic images in any quantity on a wide range of printable items with quick changeover times. The high level of adjustability, product and film registration, as well as its safety features, make this machine easy to operate. It can be used to decorate cups, tubes, shells, caps and more. Hot Stamp Supply Company 877.343.4321 www.hotstampsupply.com The Low-Press Transfer (LPT) process and equipment from Hot Stamp Supply Company,

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Winchester, Virginia, is for applications of multicolor printing in a hybrid hot stamping/pad printing process. Hot Stamp Supply offers the capability to print on varied surfaces with its unique process. IDS Division – Trans Tech, United Silicone 716.288.7698 www.itwids.com IDS Division, Lancaster, New York, has numerous United Silicone-branded machines in the field, providing hot stamping for the bodies and lids of roll-off carts – both new and refurbished. Its largeformat machines (US40, US75 and US120) have been designed specific to this market, utilizing C and E frame formats to accommodate the stroke, throat depth and forces required to achieve consistent high quality images. Infinity Foils, Inc. 913.888.7340 www.infinityfoils.com The line of plastic foils from Infinity Foils, Lenexa, Kansas, is specially formulated for hot stamp decorating with adhesion-, scratch- and chemical-resistance. They are available in the most popular shades in a wide range of releases and feature exceptional brightness, color uniformity and resistance properties. The plastics hot stamping foils are uniquely selected for optimum performance: They cut clean and release well. With formulations developed to work on the widest variety of plastics, Infinity’s hot stamping foils are perfect for all types of applications. Infinity Foils also is the exclusive distributor for Nakai plastic foils. Nakai has highquality foil, and its products dovetail within Infinity Foils’ line of premier foils. Kurz Transfer Products, L.P. 704.927.3700 www.kurzusa.com Digital heat transfer technology from Kurz Transfer Products, L.P., Charlotte, North Carolina, provides customers with all the benefits that digital printing offers, including unlimited design capabilities, highquality printing, wide workability window and more. One of the key advantages to customers and consumers is the ability to incorporate variable data directly into the heat transfer artwork. Adding QR codes, serial numbers, custom barcodes


and other unique variable information now is possible, creating a personalized experience with the decoration. Trekk Equipment Group 636.271.1391 www.trekkequipment.com Trekk Equipment Group offers a wide range of standard and custom-designed hot stamping and heat transfer decorating equipment packages, all of which include an industry-best five-year warranty. The equipment lines provide the capability to address all types of vertical press, peripheral and roll-on decorating applications. Equipment packages can be designed to include bulk style infeed systems, slide tables, rotary tables, high-speed servomotor control packages, material handling systems, customdesigned equipment features, fully automated production cells and real-time product vision inspection with accept/reject part separation.

Webtech, Inc. 609.259.2800 www.webtech-hts.com Webtech, Inc., Robbinsville, New Jersey, supplies the decorating industries with a full complement of hot stamping foils and security products. Its library of woodgrains and pattern foils is extensive and offered in various configurations, from foils to laminates, with top coats that are steel wool-resistant. The in-house design and engraving departments can turn around new patterns or prepress in one week. Webtech’s rotogravure, flexo and silkscreen presses offer heat transfer and therimage labels, up to seven colors. A turnkey decorating system of foils and hot stamping equipment also is offered. n

Proud to support its member companies. IMDA • www.imdassociation.com • 480.415.3379

April/May 2017 www.plasticsdecorating.com 17


ASK THE EXPERT A resource sponsored by SPE’s Decorating & Assembly Division

Ultrasonic Plastics Welding: The Influence of Base Materials by Ken Holt, senior applications engineer, Dukane, IAS

O

ne of the most common questions in the plastic welding industry is, “Can you weld this type of plastic part?” What follows is typically a discussion regarding the part’s material, final application, requirements and design state. If the plastic is a commonly used thermoplastic and the design is per common industry design practices, the answer is typically yes. We then dive deeper into the exact material properties, as well as the design requirements, of ultrasonic plastic welding before going further. This article is meant to be a primer for the “weldability” of polymers, and my intention is to provide real-world observations on what is typically seen in the industry and, in layman’s terms, how these materials work. I have worked thousands of applications and have a great deal of successful experience, but some applications have required design changes, and some needed material changes to work well. At the end of this article is a list of materials and a loose ranking as to which materials are good and which are problematic – and may require special design details. For all the topics we’ll be discussing, the reader is urged to get more factual, preferably published, information on the subject for a deeper understanding. Beware of the “they do it on another continent, so we should be able to do it here” mentality. Get the facts first. The best text I have come across for all things plastic welding is the “Plastics and Composites Welding Handbook,” published by Hanser and edited by a group of experts in the field (David Grewell, Avraham Benatar and Joon Park). The ISBN number is 1-56990-313-1. I’ve used this book, recommend it strongly and will reference it throughout this article. Springs in my material? I’ll assume the reader has a basic understanding of the ultrasonic plastic welding process, but if not, most ultrasonic welding equipment manufacturer’s websites have a section devoted to a description of the process. A very basic and simplified description of this type of welding is that it is the application of high frequency, reciprocating and mechanical vibrations, under force, acting on one plastic part and driving it against the other part. The force and vibrations are being introduced perpendicular to the weld joint or joining line.

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Material properties determine the ability of plastic to convert vibrational energy to heat, which melts parts. Photo courtesy of Dukane.

These vibrations melt the interface and cause molecules to flow between the two parts. The interface between the parts is the most important design detail, capable of “making or breaking” the success of the welding process. There is much more to it than that, but a complete description is outside the scope and intention of this article. A good article recently was written in this publication by Brian Gourley of Sonics & Materials, Inc. in the July/August 2016 issue: “Five Factors Influencing a Successful Ultrasonic Weld.” I appreciate simple analogies when explaining technical matters and would like you to consider this as we progress: we have a hammer to swing at a spring. The stiffer the spring


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ASK THE EXPERT

The chemical formulas for polystyrene and polypropylene are shown.

the less energy we need to apply to impart energy through the spring and into the material underneath. More energy is transmitted through the stiffer “spring.” A stiffer spring – higher spring constant (k) – would be analogous to a material with a high stiffness or storage modulus, which is able to transfer the vibrations with little attenuation of the vibrations. That is to say, the vibrations introduced on one end go through the plastic part with little attenuation. Polycarbonate is a good example of such a stiff material. Conversely, a spring with a lower k will attenuate/absorb much more of the vibration and transfer less through the part. Polypropylene is a good example of this. Think of this as we progress, and you’ll soon understand why styrene is much easier to weld than polypropylene. Can it melt and flow? Another factor that influences our discussion is the ability of the plastic to convert this vibrational energy to heat, which is what we really need to melt the parts. This is related to a property of materials called loss modulus. The higher this number, the more heat that can be produced at the weld area. Alas, the loss modulus seldom is listed on material data sheets. But we know which materials work well, as we’ll discuss. It’s somewhat more difficult to find information about the final properties to be considered: how well a material will “wet out” and flow, and how the molecules of the two parts to be welded

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intermix or entangle themselves. This is somewhat related to the melt flow property. This behavior is what produces the ultrasonic weld’s strength. Material considerations So, we reach the purpose of this article: to communicate what we in the industry see as commonly used materials, what works well and what to avoid. Plastics come in two basic types: thermosets and thermoplastics. Ultrasonics cannot process thermoset materials because they do not melt and reflow when heated. So, check those off the list. Thermoplastics, on the other hand, can be melted and reflowed/ formed; hence, the standard injection molding, extrusion, thermoforming and similar processing techniques. Most thermoplastics can be welded using ultrasonic welding if certain critical design criteria are met. Weld joint designs are readily available from industry resources or books specific to ultrasonic welding designs. The reader is urged to consult on what would work well for the particular application. Thermoplastics themselves come in two types – either amorphous or semicrystalline – and these categories pertain to the molecular structure within. Is it a random structure (amorphous), or is it more orderly (semicrystalline)? Both families come in a wide variety of types and grades that


are tailored to the specific requirements of the end use. For example, a PP (polypropylene) can come in grades made for extrusion, injection molding or a number of other processes, as well as grades made for a specific end use. Each has its own unique properties, and these properties can be changed and/ or increased with the use of additives. Generally speaking, amorphous polymers are easier to weld than semicrystalline polymers, due to their stiffness.

Most additives are fine for ultrasonic welding if they are used properly and are distributed through the parts in a homogenous matrix. High concentrations of any additives are problematic.

What’s inside? Most additives are fine for ultrasonic welding if they are used properly and are distributed through the parts in a homogenous matrix. High concentrations of any additives are problematic. Some additives, (such as flow enhancers) and lubricants can indeed be problematic if they are not properly distributed or at a proper concentration: They affect the heating and flow of the materials in welding.

molding parameters should ensure a resin-rich surface. Glass, talc and minerals cannot be melted with ultrasonic welding. Typically, a hotter mold surface will cause the surface of the part to be resin rich. Again, many articles have been written regarding this subject, and the reader is urged to do further research.

Colorants, while they do change the required weld parameters, are not overly problematic. Slight changes in welding parameters are typically all that is required when a color change is made. Reinforcements, such as glass or talc, can increase the stiffness of semicrystalline materials to an extent that they become more weldable. Care must be taken with glass, and

The “listing” I have compiled a short list of the most common polymers welded and their relative ease of welding. These are seen in the industry regularly. A huge number of types of plastics is on the market, but these can be distilled into a somewhat manageable number below by looking at the “basic” types.

April/May 2017 www.plasticsdecorating.com 21


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ASK THE EXPERT

Amorphous Materials General notes: • Stiff, with a higher storage modulus. • Large softening range and range of Tg (glass transition temperatures) and have larger processing windows. • Engineering grades hold tight tolerances to avoid dimensional changes. • The easier flow (higher MFI) gives better flow; i.e., more wetting occurs. • More freedom of design from a geometrical standpoint, far field /near field.

Amorphous Materials Listing of commonly seen types of amorphous materials and their ability to weld, with 1 being easiest and 8 being most difficult. 1. Acrylic (pmma) 2. Styrene 3. ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene – a mixture of SAN and rubber) 4. SAN/NAS/ASA (various mixtures styrene, nitrile and acrylic) 5. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) 6. PC (polycarbonate) 7. PSU (various polysulfones) 8. PEI (polyetherimide)

Semicrystalline Materials General notes: • Less stiff, lower storage modulus. • Commonly reinforced to stiffen and hold better tolerances. • Can’t typically hold as tight a tolerance without such reinforcements. • Higher melt temperatures, and specific melt temperatures rather than Tg, necessitate a tighter parameter set. • Typically require more amplitude than amorphous due to the lower storage modulus. • Near field only – horn must be directly over joint and less than 6mm vertical distance. • Some flow very fast when melted necessitating higher weld velocities. • Shear joints are more applicable.

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Semicrystalline Materials Listing of commonly seen types of semicrystalline materials and their ability to weld, with 1 being easiest and 7 being most difficult. 1. PA (nylons) – Many types, 6/6 easiest, frequently GR for automotive under hood. 2. PP (polypropylene) 3. HDPE (high density polyethylene) 4. PBT/PET (various types of polyesters 5. PEEK (polyetheretherketone) 6. PPS (Polyphenylene sulfide) 7. Fluoropolymers/ UHMW HDPE (ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene) – very difficult, if not impossible, to weld as they take so long to flow and dissipate that the surface becomes damaged. Most crosslinked polymers cannot be welded well.

Finally, the reader is cautioned about mixing materials, as compatibility between various types may not be possible. Again, consult industry information. I wanted to give the uninitiated a brief, but comprehensive, view of the most common polymers used in industry, why and how they weld, and some insight into why a certain material is easy or difficult to weld. Readers are urged to get much more information than this to make any decisions on a specific project, but we are eager to make you successful. n Ken Holt has been involved in the plastics industry for more than 30 years, 24 of which have been focused on the welding of plastics using ultrasonic welding technology. He has worked for Dukane in many aspects of the field of joining, including the development of applications using this technolog y, plastic part design to optimize welding, ultrasonic Holt tooling design, process development and education about the process. He is a senior member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, is a board member of the Decorating and Assembly Division and has presented papers regarding ultrasonic welding technology at many of that society’s technical meetings. Currently, Holt is a senior applications engineer at Dukane, IAS, focused on both servo welding technology and the support of Dukane’s automotive customer base. For more information, visit www.dukane.com/us.



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TECH WATCH

CDigital’s Digital Heat Transfers by Lara Copeland, contributing editor, Plastics Decorating

D

igital heat transfers from CDigital, Baltimore, Maryland, provide businesses the opportunity to apply digitally printed labels on products made from different materials (e.g., plastic, metal and glass). The digital heat transfer process allows for quick production runs of large and small orders on products in various shapes and sizes and in a wide assortment of colors. The manufacturing process for CDigital's digital heat transfers, as explained by Director of Sales and Marketing Eric Steinwachs, requires “the customer-supplied image to be pre-pressed for orientation and spacing on the web while eye-marks are added for registration purposes in production.” Following this step, the image is sent by a computer to the print engine and then the printed transfer film is flood coated with a substrate-specific adhesive. He continued, “If required, the roll is processed one more time to be slit down into rolls of the correct width.” The best applications for digital heat transfers are “multi-colored, short-run, quick-turn projects,” Steinwachs acknowledged. However, there are times when a more traditionally printed transfer makes more sense than digital. Taking several factors into consideration – everything from the shape, size and surface of the print area to the total number of parts that need to be printed – will help determine what type of heat transfer or other printing process should be utilized. Some other points to bear in mind include the type of base material to be printed, the end use of the product, the tests required of the printed image to pass quality, the type of printing environment and the desired cycle rate. Much like any process, digitally printed heat transfers have limitations: Projects requiring a metallic finish, such as gold or silver foil, would not be a good fit for digital printing. Additionally, if the area to be printed has a heavy texture or is hard to reach, or if the materials are soft touch or flexible, other options may be more suitable than digital heat transfers. Utilizing digital heat transfers offers advantages over more traditionally manufactured heat transfers. For instance, there are no setup charges because the images are sent electronically to the print engine. “This eliminates the need for screens, plates, cylinders or color matching charges,” Steinwachs clarified. The fast turnaround time allows for quick samples, short lead times, lower inventory requirements and better response to customer requirements. “In most cases, digital heat transfers are shipped two days after receiving the artwork,” he continued. Furthermore, digitally printed heat transfers are

an ideal short-run solution because they eliminate the need for ancillary print items. Customers have the ability to order several SKUs or different designs for the same product without making changes to the printing process: Images also can be provided in a requested order so the artwork changes in midstream without interfering with production. Digital heat transfers also offer variable data or personalization. “Since the image is sent to the print engine every time an image is printed, it allows the image to be unique or personalized. The variable data can be used for barcoding, serialization, lot codes or security numbering.” A pad transfer machine has been developed to apply the digital heat transfers. Typically, pad transfer equipment applies lowpressure heat transfers, which require a fraction of the force while applying the same size image. “This opened the door for a hybrid machine using pad printing pads and a heated platen,” Steinwachs said. This machine, in combination with digital heat transfers, features several of the same benefits provided by both pad printing and heat transfer. “You get the flexibility of the pad conforming to various shaped parts while applying a preprinted multicolor image in one pass. This eliminates the need for custom countered dies and molds for various shaped parts. The flexible pad will also make up for greater part variation while still applying perfect images,” he added. Technical details CDigital uses a Xeikon 3500 press to print the digital heat transfers. The machine is capable of printing up to 1200dpi. To produce the image, the printer uses a toner-based 4-color CMYK process plus white (cyan, magenta, yellow, black and white). Artwork is required to create the image. The preferred file types include AI, EPS or PDF, as well as TIFF or PSD files. Additional information is required: the type of material to which the heat transfer will be applied and type of equipment used to apply the heat transfer. For new projects, testing before producing production quantities is recommended. While as few as one image can be printed, the typical run size ranges between 1,000 to 25,000, and even up to 1 million pieces. n

April/May 2017 www.plasticsdecorating.com 25


PRODUCT Systematic Automation Announces Printer for Cylindrical Products Systematic Automation, Inc., Farmington, Connecticut, announces its Model F1-DC for printing on cylindrical products. The precision system allows for multicolor printing. Featuring quick and easy product changeover, its simple de sig n a l lows for u nsk illed labor. It offers approximate throughput of 3,600pph (depending o n a r t i c l e). I t s pneumatic system cannot overload, burn out or become obsolete. For more information, visit www.systauto.com. Inkcups Now Introduces UV Inkjet Printer Inkcups Now, Danvers, Massachusetts, introduced the XJET800 UV inkjet printer. It can print a 31.5x23.6" area in less than 2½ minutes and offers the latest in print head tech nolog y. It h a n d le s p a r t s up to 10" tall. The XJET800 allows for continuous printing with the patented loading system (Patent No. 9221281 B2). The conveyor belt can be integrated easily into most automation systems. For more information, visit www.inkcups.com. Herrmann Ultrasonics Adds Two Safety Features Herrmann Ultrasonics, Bartlett, Illinois, introduced two features to ensure more safety when changing welding tools within the production process. First, an RFID reader has been integrated into the tooling to guarantee that the right tool is installed for the production. The ultrasonic welding system automatically associates the correct parameter setting for parts to be welded with the installed tooling. Medical device manufacturers will benefit from this new feature as it adds production security. Adding a second level of security is the integration of an optical sensor. Before each ultrasonic welding process, it verifies that the correct part in terms of shape and color has been placed into the fixture. If the system recognizes a mismatch, it locks the process,

26 www.plasticsdecorating.com April/May 2017

alarms the operator or puts the system on hold. Both features can be easily integrated into the HiQ series ultrasonic welding machines, the HiQ DIALOG and the HiQ VARIO, without adding external hardware or software. For more information, visit www.herrmannultrasonics.com. 3M Introduces Composite Assembly Adhesives 3M, St. Paul, Minnesota, introduced 3M™ Scotch-Weld™ Multi-Material Composite Urethane Adhesives DP6310NS and DP6330NS to its portfolio of structural adhesives. These adhesives have universal application and the ability to effectively lightweight assemblies for trucks, buses, RVs, specialty vehicles and passenger rail, and other markets including sporting goods and panels. They are engineered to create durable bonds, with minimal surface prep, between medium- to high-energy surfaces such as carbon fiber, fiberglass, reinforced plastics and painted or unpainted metal. They offer low odor and are available in two versions with varying handling times to fit the scope of assembly. For more information, visit www.3m.com.

Apex Machine Reveals New Digital Printing Systems Apex Machine Company, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, introduced new digital printing systems, the S-11-DI and the Digapex™. The S-11-DI is the next generation of 3D print solutions – a high-speed digital/high-speed digital offset printer for plastic components. It provides full turnkey loading and unloading; precise placement accuracy for higher resolution, clean lines and additional detailed definition; and on-demand printing and short turnaround times. Additionally, it can coexist, along with FlexApex® and dry offset print process, to offer different platform options. Part of the Digapex™ digital printing system is the DB1000 Digital White plus 4-color process printer series. It is designed to handle a variety of flat parts that can be loaded onto a continuous motion belt for transport through a pretreatment station (where required), a base coat white and UV pinning station (optional), a full 4-color CMYK print station and a UV curing station with automatic unloading. Additionally, the DRT2000 printer series is designed to handle of a variety of flat parts that can be loaded onto pallets for transport via a continuous motion, fully programmable, magnetic linear rail system (Racetrack). For more information, visit www.apexmachine.com. Amada Miyachi Releases Fiber Laser Series Models Amada Miyachi America, Inc., Monrovia, California, announced the release of four new higher-power models to


the LF Series family of fiber laser welders. The addition of the new models will address thicker materials or increase processing speed for a given application. The LF Series fiber laser is offered in power levels ranging from 250 watts to 1,000 watts in the same form factor and with the same features. These fiber lasers are ideal for micro spot welding, seam welding and precision cutting. They are good choices for medical spring attachment and medical component assembly, as well as battery tab welding. The new models incorporate the most recent enhancements to the LF Series, including a new chiller updated to accommodate laser engines with up to 1kilowatt of average power. For more information, visit www. amadamiyachi.com. Engineered Printing Solutions Announces Cylindrical Object Printer Engineered Printing Solutions, East Dorset, Vermont, introduces the Roto-Jet. This custom inkjet printer, designed specifically for cylindrical objects, is capable of printing 2,000+ items an hour with full cylindrical CMYKWWV wrap. This system will

accommodate any cylindrical object from 1.5" in diameter to 6" and up to 10" in length. The entire system is controlled by servo motors that also will allow the printing of both straight-walled or tapered cups. For more information, visit www.epsvt.com. KAO Collins Releases New Ink KAO Collins, Cincinnati, Ohio, introduces Omni (TWK290603) – a water-/solvent-based ink that prints and adheres to nonporous substrates. The Omni ink combines Max technology with innovation to wet many stocks that previous Max versions could not. Omni requires no or little drying – depending on the substrate – and once completely dry, is water- and alcohol-rub fast. Along with the targeted AQ coated stocks it was designed to use, it wets out polycarbonate and PVC plastics. For more information, visit www.kaocollins.com. n

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April/May 2017 www.plasticsdecorating.com 27


SOLUTIONS

Guide Enhances Safety for Nonscientist Users of UV-Curable 3D Printing by Nancy Cates, contributing writer, Plastics Decorating

PROPER HANDLING OF UV CURABLE 3D PRINTING RESINS

Ultraviolet (UV) curable resins for 3D printing/additive manufacturing cure rapidly when exposed to UV light. As with all chemicals, UV curable resins must be handled in a safe manner. This fact sheet is meant as a general guideline for the handling of UV curable resin materials (photopolymers) used in 3D printing systems such as stereolithography (SLA), digital light processing (DLP) and UV inkjet.

CONSULT MANUFACTURER DOCUMENTATION

USE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT [PPE]

Consult Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) provided by suppliers of UV curable resins as the primary safety and handling documents.

Wear appropriate chemical-resistant gloves (nitrile or neoprene) – DO NOT use latex gloves.

3D printers have built-in safety features that are designed to prevent operator exposure to uncured photopolymers and UV wavelengths – do not try to change or disable these features.

Use safety glasses/goggles with UV protection.

FOLLOW GOOD HOUSKEEPING PROCEDURES DURING SET UP

Avoid placing a 3D printer over carpeted areas or use a barrier to avoid the possibility of carpet damage. Do not expose UV curable resin to heat (at or above 110°C/ 230°F), flames, sparks or any source of ignition. 3D Printers and uncured, open resin vats should be stored and operated in a well-ventilated area.

Wear a dust mask when sanding or post-finishing parts.

Tools that may be contaminated with the material should be cleaned prior to reuse with window cleaner, or plenty of denatured or isopropyl alcohol, followed by a thorough washing with soap and water. Keep work area clean.

AFTER PRINTING Wear gloves when handling parts directly from the printer. Wash the parts before post-cure using a manufacturer’s recommended solvent, such as isopropyl or rubbing alcohol.

If UV curable resin comes in a sealed cartridge: - Inspect the cartridge before loading it into the printer - Do not use a cartridge that is leaking or damaged. Dispose of it according to local regulations and contact the supplier.

Post-cure using UV light as recommended by the manufacturer should follow the wash before the printed object is handled without gloves.

If the UV curable resin is in a pourable bottle, carefully pour the liquid from the storage bottle into the printer tray, avoiding spills and drips.

Ensure that all 3D printed objects are fully post-cured by exposure to a UV light source after forming, in accordance with the printer manufacturer’s recommendations.

PRACTICE PERSONAL HYGIENE Do not eat, drink or smoke in work area. Remove jewelry (rings, watches, bracelets) prior to handling uncured UV curable materials. Avoid direct contact with any UV curable resins or contaminated surfaces, including any parts of the body or clothing. Do not touch the resin without wearing protective gloves and do not get it on your skin. Wash hands, face or any body parts that may contact UV curable resin with mild skin cleanser and soaps after handling – do not use solvents. Remove and wash contaminated clothing or jewelry; do not reuse any contaminated personal items until properly cleaned with detergent. Discard contaminated shoes and leather goods.

PREPARE FOR DISPOSAL

Use absorbent rags to clean spills immediately. Clean any contacted or exposed surfaces to prevent contamination. Clean with window cleaner, or a denatured or isopropyl alcohol, followed by a thorough washing with soap and water.

KNOW FIRST AID PROCEDURES Flush contaminated eyes or skin thoroughly with plenty of water for 15 minutes. Wash skin with soap and plenty of water or waterless cleaner if needed. If skin irritation or rash occurs, seek qualified medical attention. If ingested, do not induce vomiting. Seek medical attention immediately.

STORE CORRECTLY

Fully cured resin can be disposed of with household items. Cure unreacted UV curable resins by leaving them in sunlight for a few hours or expose them to a UV light. Partially cured or uncured resin waste may be classified as hazardous waste. Please check your state’s website for disposal of chemical waste. Do not pour into the sink or dispose into the water system. Clean-up materials containing UV curable resins should be isolated in sealed, labeled containers and disposed of as hazardous waste. Do not pour these materials down the drain or into a water system.

www.radtech.org

CLEAN UP WORK AREAS

Keep UV curable resins sealed tightly in their containers, out of direct sunlight and within the temperature range suggested by the manufacturer. A small headspace of air is needed to keep the resin from gelling. Do not fill resin containers to the top of the opening. Do not pour used, uncured resin back into new resin bottles. Do not store uncured resin in refrigerators used for food and beverage storage.

The information provided in Safe Handling of UV Curable 3D Printing Resins is believed to be current at the date of publication. The guidelines found in this Guide may not cover all applicable legal requirements. RadTech is not responsible for the conditions of use of particular 3D printing systems. It is the user’s responsibility to determine the safe conditions of use of a particular 3D printing system. The guide is offered in good faith and is believed to be reliable; however it provided neither warranties not representations for any of the products it mentions. RadTech disclaims any and all liability for the damages incurred directly or indirectly through the use of this document. Nothing contained herein should be considered a recommendation to use any particular company’s product. Contact your checmical and equipment supplier for additional information. © 2017

28 www.plasticsdecorating.com April/May 2017

I

ncreasingly, 3D printers are being used in non-laboratory settings by those anxious for an opportunity to try new technology. While many different technologies are used in 3D printing, UV-curable 3D printing is one of the easiest ways to print high-quality objects with superior resolution. It often is the preferred choice for those accustomed to the precision and quality offered in production-quality plastics molding and decorating equipment. From creating protot y pes for decorating and assembly testing to building one-off f ixturing, 3D-printed products have a variety of applications in the world of plastics, and many facilities have purchased one or more machines to “see what it can do”– often without adequate preparation. It’s just a printer – right? No t s o, a c c o r d i n g t o M i ke Idacavage, vice president for business development at Colorado Photopolymer Solutions. “There are multiple concerns and a variety of areas that require people to be cautious,” he warned. “This is active chemistry.” Finding the appropriate way to address that concern has been in the pipeline for a couple of years at RadTech International North America, an association focused on the development and use of ultraviolet and electron beam processing. In January 2015, a group including Idacavage, RadTech Executive Director Gary Cohen, Senior Director Mickey Fortune and others began talking about how the


organization could provide information to end users who are not scientists and might not be aware of the environmental or safety hazards. The result of the group’s efforts is a set of recommendations entitled “UV 3D Printing Safe Handling Guide.” The guide was introduced earlier this year at uv.ebWEST and the RadTech Annual Winter Meeting in San Francisco, California. “We were discussing that this technology is going to consumers who might not be aware of how to safely handle the materials, and we felt it was our ethical responsibility to publish a fact sheet or poster telling users how to do that,” Idacavage said. “We wanted to do something before the technology became too common and someone was injured from not handling the equipment or materials correctly. That was our motivation.” The group began developing the environmental health and safety (EHS) guide by considering what consumers would need to know to safely work with the technology. The next step was to ensure it could be read and understood by someone who did not have a background in chemistry or related science.

They need to understand their responsibility to keep leftover fluids out of the water system and realize that the local municipality might classify partially cured or uncured resin as hazardous waste. Additional feedback on the text and design then was obtained from RadTech members before the material began to be more broadly distributed in early March. Now that content and design are finalized, the EHS guide is available for download on the RadTech website at www.radtech. org. Distribution will continue through RadTech’s contacts with printer and resin vendors. n

“I was shepherding it through development,” Idacavage continued, “and got feedback from other RadTech members along the way. Then, we took it to a more consumer-level audience. The reaction was ‘Why didn’t I have this when I first bought the machine?’ That told us were on the right track. “They (end users) need to understand the chemical hazards and the ways they can be handled safely – that it’s not like handling the benign items in the kitchen. It’s important for them to know they need to use appropriate gloves and goggles, to keep food and drinks away from the area, how to clean up any spills and how they can handle and treat the materials with respect. They need to understand their responsibility to keep leftover fluids out of the water system and realize that the local municipality might classify partially cured or uncured resin as hazardous waste.” In addition to soliciting feedback from end users, content developers also checked with a few vendors of the consumables and obtained positive responses. Several vendors indicated an interest in providing the EHS guide to their customers. After a few more tweaks, the developers decided they needed to provide the information in a format that was graphically pleasing as well as simple to follow. They set up a competition with some graphic arts students at the University of Iowa. “We had worked with that group before to develop some UV-curing posters with good results,” Idacavage said. “We gave them the basic information for the EHS sheets in December with a January 2017 deadline.”

April/May 2017 www.plasticsdecorating.com 29


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MATERIALS

Diving into Inks: Digital, Analog and UV-Curable by Dianna Brodine, managing editor, Plastics Decorating

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onsumer demands and technology advances in both equipment and substrate materials add challenges for inks used in industrial plastic decoration. Ink developers are in a constant scramble to meet end-user needs for scratch resistance, weatherability, color fastness and more. Add in advanced decorating equipment with faster throughput capabilities – which require faster ink drying times – and a substrate base with varying percentages and types of additives, recycled content and performance characteristics … well, let’s just say inks are in the spotlight. Whether intended for use in digital printing applications, more traditional analog screen or pad printing applications or with ultraviolet (UV) or electron beam (EB) curing, today’s inks need to meet more requirements than ever before and handle a wider variety of applications. Application variety From interior automotive components and medical syringes to cellphone cases and food containers, plastics are everywhere – and each of these applications have specific requirements for heat resistance, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, solvent resistance, ability to withstand extreme weather conditions and color fastness. Marabu, a manufacturer of screen, digital and pad printing inks, as well as liquid coatings, detailed some of the challenges in these areas1: • Automotive applications place high demands on printing inks: they must be resistant to extreme climatic chamber tests; must be highly opaque; must exhibit resistance to sweat, abrasion and cleaning products; and adhere well to polycarbonate. • Bottle crates and transport containers of PE (polyethylene) or PP (polypropylene) often have a long lifetime and are subject to high chemical and mechanical stress during this period of time. Additionally, there are often extreme climatic conditions. • Printed designs on audio, electronic and household devices must withstand chemical, thermal and mechanical stress day in, day out. • Safety is the most important factor in terms of labelling medical products. Therefore, printing inks must be sterilization-resistant and follow specified guidelines of sensitive products. Apart from this, ingredients must not immigrate into the human body.

32 www.plasticsdecorating.com April/May 2017

• Technical markings on audio, electrical and household products must be resilient in the face of heat, exposure to chemicals and general wear and tear. Icons, scales and other markings on electrical switches, nameplates and dials are important sources of information and guidance. In addition, new applications emerge – and thrive – with incredible speed. A few years ago, the wearables market was a blip on the radar; now, consumers with Apple watches and Fitbits abound. IDTechEx’s most recent report on wearable technology predicts an “increasingly diverse market for wearable devices will reach over $150 billion annually by 2026.”2 The daily use stressors for the decorators for these products – headphones, fitness trackers, medical devices and others – are immense: chemical resistance to hair products; scratch resistance for items that, when worn on the wrist, are banged against counters, desks and walls; and water resistance for sweaty fitness device users. Not only does wearables decoration need to withstand multiple challenges to its lifespan, but it also requires a high degree of quality. “Printed wearables are held in hand by consumers and subject to very close visual inspection. Alphanumeric text may be six points or smaller. To avoid visible artifacts and ensure readability, high-resolution printing is required,” according to Scott Sabreen, president, The Sabreen Group.3 Substrate and contents Environmental and chemical factors aside, the substrate itself creates difficulty for ink adherence: a wide variety of grades and formulations exist, all with different levels of additives, plasticizers and recycled plastic content. “More and more plastics are being produced by regrinding scrap or older material,” said Chuck McGettrick, North American sales manager for Marabu North America. Then, the type of product itself can interfere – is the product to be decorated flexible or rigid? Is the surface flat, curved or textured? If the product – for instance, a container – has been pretreated, how long ago was the pretreatment process done? If the containers have been sitting in storage in a warehouse that isn’t climate controlled, the pretreatment may be less effective – or not effective at all. All of these affect the ink and its ability to adhere. “One of the most common occurrences we’re asked to problemsolve is adhesion,” explained McGettrick. “This is seen in both solvent and UV applications. The main issue, more often than


not, is the surface tension of the substrate. This is where proper pre-treatment is needed to ultimately allow the ink to adhere to problematic and low-surface-energy substrates.” Jack Knight, global business development director, Rigid Packaging, for INX International Ink Co., concurred: “Surface tension and adhesion are issues we face when ensuring an ink performs to the customers’ requirements.” However, Knight mentioned that the product exterior isn’t the only challenge to inks: “When looking at food containers, we need to be mindful of the regulations governing the raw materials approved for these to insure public safety.” As plastics are increasingly used in the packaging applications, both in rigid and flexible film formats, the contents of a container become the focus. Will the packaging hold a liquid or solid product? What outside forces (extreme temperatures, long periods of time on a shelf) will the product come in contact with frequently? Is there a risk of product contamination, if the ink should leach through the packaging barrier? Then, as Knight mentioned, ink adherence is no longer the primary concern, but rather safety regulations for the food and medical industries.

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Technology changes In addition to adhesion concerns and the wide variety of applications ink must adapt to, updates to equipment, graphics and ink formats add another layer of complexity. “With the advances that have been seen in the graphics area with HD images, the inks need to be fast curing with low dot gain to insure the designer's vision is captured as intended,” Knight explained. “With the speed of the printers increasing, the cure rates of the inks needed to be addressed as well." UV- and EB-curable inks often are the answer when faster cure times are needed. “The cure time with UV is much faster and almost immediate versus conventional solvent curing,” said McGettrick. “This helps with packaging a product almost minutes after it printed.” In addition, UV- and EB-curable inks have other advantages on products intended for use by a customer base concerned with sustainability and environmental issues. “UV inks are a great green alternative for the environmentally conscious individual vs. using conventional solvent or ceramic frit inks. UV inks require less energy output while in production, thus leaving a smaller footprint in the environment,” said McGettrick. “Curing with UV or LED light also is significantly more cost effective than running large ovens for curing solvent-based inks.” Ink formulations also much keep up with the changing equipment technology. “We’re seeing a migration toward digital printing, especially with membrane switches, glass and cylinder

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MATERIALS

printing,” said McGettrick. “Technology is changing in the ways that products are being decorated and the equipment is being built – it’s opening more doors and allowing people to print more quickly than they’ve traditionally been able to do.” “Digital is the hot topic for all rigid containers segments,” agreed Knight. Digital printing allows for customization and quick changes in graphics, text and appearance to meet changing consumer desires, but the trend has created challenges for inks. “Ensuring that all food regulations are met when formulating digital inks is key to having a product that can be used for this application,” he continued. However, digital isn’t the right solution for every situation. Screen printing and pad printing with analog ink technology still have their place, particularly when inks need to be applied to hard-to-reach areas. “Specialty inks for special effects and shaping of the packaging are things that the digital inks are still challenged by. The speed of analog technology and cost of digital conversions are the biggest factors that keeps many out of this arena,” said Knight. Adhesion challenges, an ever-changing substrate base and rapidly advancing technology mean decorators can find themselves in a bind when their customers demand a quick turnaround.

Environmental and chemical factors aside, the substrate itself creates difficulty for ink adherence: a wide variety of grades and formulations exist, all with different levels of additives, plasticizers and recycled plastic content. The solution for plastics decorators, as always, is to work closely with ink manufacturers to find the right solution for every application. n References 1. www.marabu-northamerica.com 2. Wearable Technology 2016-2026 Markets, players and 10year forecasts; James Hayward, Dr. Guillaume Chansin and Dr. Harry Zervos; July 2016, http://www.idtechex.com/research/ reports/wearable-technology-2016-2026-technologies-marketsforecasts-000427.asp 3. Industrial Inkjet Printing onto Wearables; Scott R. Sabreen, The Sabreen Group, and Dene Taylor, Ph.D., SPF-Inc.; Plastics Decorating, July/August 2015

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Multi-color fully servo-driven machine for decoration of multi-format plastic and glass containers Announcing OMSO ServoBottle 8 with 8 chuck groups up to 4 color screen Servo-driven axis movement – Prints up to 4 colors with accurate registration on multi-shape containers Quick change tooling – Eight station machine allows changeover from one bottle to the next in under 30 minutes. UV LED technology – Fast curing at up to 50% energy savings Rotary design – Add or remove printing heads for possible future digital or hybrid integration.

The SERVOJET machine is the new digital solution for tube decoration with innovative features which enhance quality, reliability and efficiency. Features include: • Version for soft and rigid tubes, full height print, up to 7 colors • Full digital system, advanced inkjet technology for 3D container • Precise surface treatment, full LED UV and final curing • Compact footprint, easy installation and operation

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STRATEGIES

Five Traits of Great Business Leaders by Dave Martin, Dave Martin International “The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” – Ray Kroc

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wo people can grow up in the same town; attend the same schools; hold the same social status; have parents with very similar incomes, beliefs and family values – yet one individual will excel in business far beyond the level of his peer. One will succeed; one will settle. One will rise; one will remain. One will control; one will conform. What is the difference? What makes one an outstanding business leader and the other an average employee? There are five traits that are common in uncommon achievers, and all five are actions and attitudes that set apart the individual of accomplishment and success. The best way to identify these traits and recognize them in yourself, your peers or your employees is to understand the actions that are a product of the characteristics. The following five actions and accompanying traits portray the exceptional manager and great leader.

1

The great business leader will BELIEVE. He believes in his mission, he believes in his plans and most of all, he believes in himself. Throughout history, the people who have achieved success are the people who have been sustained by a strong, unshakable belief in themselves. They believed in their own talents and abilities. They believed in what they felt called to do, and these great men and women believed in themselves – even though others around them opposed them or failed to support them. Their MINDSET was the greatest factor in determining their outcome.

36 www.plasticsdecorating.com April/May 2017

Each person has the power to choose what he will believe about his own potential and what he will think about his own life. Beliefs shape attitude, and one’s attitude determines whether or not life is seen as an ongoing series of obstacles or opportunities. The greats choose to believe in themselves and choose to have a positive mindset, anticipating and seeking out challenges, with the confidence and unwavering belief that they have the ability to win.

2

The great business leader will THINK big. He has the consistent habit of imagining a solution that has not been tried, of devising an explanation that has not been proven or of creating a result that goes against conventional thinking. He has the ability to dream and to move away from the expected into the realm of experiment and discovery. Whether this is a new battlefield tactic, a medical breakthrough or a fresh marketing strategy, the great leader is open to change and is willing to challenge what currently exists for the potential of a revolutionary discovery. Great business leaders are people of great IMAGINATION. They are pioneers, and they dare to dream. Discoveries and inventions are made because people dare to dream and intentionally think bigger than their current surroundings.

3

The great business leader will LOOK intently and with total focus. They have complete attentiveness on the results they are working to achieve. Focus equals direction. A person with driving focus is able to let go of everything that does not move him toward his goal. He can say “no” to extraneous distractions and does not let the opinions of those around him deter him from his purpose.


The average person tends to be busy rather than effective and stretched to the limits rather than focused. Great leaders have extraordinary FOCUS. They possess a clearly identified goal, and they move toward that objective with single-mindedness and intense concentration.

4

The great business leader will DO what he says. Great leaders have INTEGRITY. This means they will do exactly what they say they will do. Circumstances may change. New situations may arise. The agreement may no longer be beneficial. Nevertheless, the great leader will keep his word. He will not compromise his principles for convenience or advantage. Because of this, his people trust him – and, for a leader to be effective, he must have the trust of his people. The brilliant Albert Einstein summed up this trait well when he said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

5

The great business leader will STAND up, stand out and stand strong. The world does not pay you for what you know; it pays you for what you do. The world does not pay you for your dreams; it rewards your actions and achievements. Great leaders stand up and take action. Great leaders also stand out. They choose to not be average; they choose to be exceptional and extraordinary. And, great leaders stand strong and lead with COURAGE. Even in the face of doubt and uncertainty, knowing that failure may come, they continue to stand. They endure against the fear of criticism, the fear of failure and the fear of the unknown. Their courage is greater than their fear, and they prevail in the face of disappointment and setbacks, becoming outstanding mentors and leaders. So, what is the difference in the two people from the same town and same background? One chose to discover the characteristics of greatness, to develop and practice them and to make them part of his DNA. The other chose to be a spectator in the game of life. Great leaders believe. They think big, look with focus, do what they say and stand with courage. These traits and actions are neither acquired nor accomplished by accident. They are the products of diligent effort and concentrated purpose. Winning is intentional. Success is earned. And, great leaders are marked by their actions. n Dave Martin, Your Success Coach, is a world-renowned speaker and the international best-selling author of “12 Traits of the Greats” and “Another Shot.” For more than 25 years, he has been a mentor, inspirational speaker, coach and business leader. Using these experiences, Martin shares timeless truths, wrapped in humor and delivered with passion, teaching people how to pursue and possess a life of success. For more information, visit www.davemartin.org.

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INDUSTRY SPE Adds Industry 4.0 Forums to ANTEC 2017 Schedule The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), Bethel, Connecticut, announced it is adding forums to ANTEC 2017. On top of the 500+ technology sessions, plenary and keynote speeches, Industry 4.0 will attract those involved in the future control and connectivity of the plastic industry’s supply chain, and the Plasticity California Forum will bring together everyone concerned about the ecological impact of manufacturing, recycling and re-using plastic products. Also new this year is a Women’s Networking Breakfast, with a panel discussion to be held Tuesday morning, May 9. Other activities include SPE Awards and 75th Anniversary Gala; SPE’s global parts competition, “Plastics for Life”; and “The Plastics Race,” a scavenger hunt with a plastics twist. There also will be activities for students and young industry professionals. For more information, visit www.4spe.org/antec.

OMSO North America Expands Headquarters OMSO North America Inc., Erlanger, Kentucky, announced an expansion of its North American headquarters, intended to double the available floor space. The objectives include doubling spare parts inventory in the US, decreasing the manufacturing time of decorating tooling to 10 business days, expanding the new equipment exbibit area and adding staff. With the expansion and infrastructure investments, these goals were scheduled to be met in the first quarter of 2017. This is the first major investment since establishing OMSO North America in 2005. With the OMSO fleet rapidly expanding in the US, Canada and Mexico, it was crucial that the OMSO support facilities and personnel expand to maintain the service and support OMSO customers expect. For more information, visit www.omso.it. ISO Celebrates 70 Years The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) tuned 70 this year. In 1946, delegates from 25 countries gathered in London to discuss standardization and a year later, ISO became official. In 1947, the purpose of the organization was to facilitate the coordination and unification of standards developed by its member bodies, all of which were national standardization entities in their respective countries. The founders wanted the organization to be open to every country wanting to collaborate – with equal rights and equal duties. These founding principles still hold true today, and the ISO family has blossomed to include 163 members (as of December 2016) from almost every country in the world. Standardization

38 www.plasticsdecorating.com April/May 2017

has come a long way, and ISO International Standards, which now cover almost all aspects of technology and business, will continue to ensure positive change in an evolving world. For more information, visit www.iso.org. Branson Ultrasonics Welcomes New President Emerson Electric, Danbur y, Connecticut, announced the appointment of John Meek as president of Branson Ultrasonics Corp. In his new role, Meek has responsibility for overseeing the worldwide operations of Branson. He has 37 years of Emerson leadership experience and has been president of multiple businesses, including Fusite, Fisher Regulators, Chromalox and, for the past 13 years, a position as president, A mer icas for ASCO – automatic Meek switch, of Emerson Electric. For more information, visit www.emerson.com. Extol Appoints Sole Distributor Extol, Zeeland, Michigan, announced that CEMAS has been appointed as the sole distributor of Extol’s InfraStake product in Europe and South America. InfraStake is a patented infrared (IR) staking process that uses focused IR energy as the heat source. Through this distributor arrangement, European and South American machine builders and plastic parts manufacturers will have access to local sales and support for the InfraStake technology. For more information, visit www.extolinc.com or www. cemaselettra.com/en/. IIJ Announces New President Industrial Inkjet Limited (IIJ), Swavesey, Cambridgeshire, UK, appointed Graham Vlcek as president of its US operations. Vlcek has been in the inkjet industry since 2008, operating in engineering, product and technology management roles for companies such as ITW Trans Tech and Imaging Technology International. His roles at ACS Motion Control and In-Position Technologies provided sales experience in highly technical fields. The diverse background Vlcek and appointments have given him engineering and management skills, backed up by invaluable technical and sales capabilities. For more information, visit www.industrialij.com. 3M™ Spray Adhesives Surpass New Aerosol Regulations 3M, St. Paul, Minnesota, announced its range of low VOC spray adhesives are below the current VOC requirements and currently available to the market. 3M’s GREENGUARD™



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INDUSTRY

Certified and CARB Compliant family of spray adhesives includes: 3M™ Super 77™ CA Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive, 3M™ Hi-Strength 90 CA Spray Adhesive and 3M™ Foam Fast 74 CA spray adhesive. GREENGUARD Certification ensures a product has met comprehensive standards for low emissions of VOCs into indoor air. 3M’s low VOC products feature long tack, high peel strength and long bonding range. 3M™ Adhesive Remover – low VOC <20 percent and 3M™ Silicone Spray – low VOC 60 percent complement the portfolio. 3M low VOC spray adhesives also meet the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) and Lake Michigan Air District Consortium (LADCO) VOC requirements. For more information, visit www.3m.com.

40 www.plasticsdecorating.com April/May 2017

The Sabreen Group Announces 25th Anniversary The Sabreen Group, Inc., The Colony, Texas, announced its 25th anniversary. In 1992, the Sabreen Group represented a new voice in the field of secondary plastics engi neer i ng manufacturing. Inspired by his mother's values and business experience, Scott Sabreen started a consulting engineering company with meager funding. The company has grown into a global engineering firm that has provided state of the art technology solutions to more than 410 companies in 32 countries in the areas of laser marking/welding, surface pretreatments, bonding, decorating and finishing, and product security. For more information, visit www.sabreen.com. n



TECHNOLOGY

Dual-Purpose ‘Laser Additives’ Drive Marking and Welding of Polymers by Scott R. Sabreen, president, The Sabreen Group

D

ual-purpose laser additives blended into polymers during primary processing allow for marking and transmission welding of clear and opaque polymers. Novel chemical additives, including those that are FDA-/ medical-compliant, achieve high-strength hermetic seal weld joints and indelible opaque marking contrast. Laser marking and laser welding processes are noncontact, easy to control and eco-friendly. Designed for affordable, high-speed lasers and equipment, marking and welding of polymers meet the challenges of today’s complex applications. Product applications Clear, semi-transparent and opaque colored polymers, including nylons, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polycarbonates, polyolefins, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), styrenics and thermoplastic elastomers (TPUs) and thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPEs), are uniquely formulated using nonheavy metal, FDA-/European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)approved additives to achieve high-contrast marking quality, including laser welded products (Figure 1). Polymer clarity, spectral transmission and base physical properties are not affected. Noncontact digital laser marking replaces expensive adhesive labels and ink-chemical printing processes. The result is a cost-effective, environmentally friendly and superior aesthetic appeal.

a)

b)

1. Near Infrared (NIR) laser marking of clear and Figure opaque polymer products: a) white and black marking contrast on the same part (including grayscale shades) and b) opaque white contrast.

Laser marking surface reaction mechanisms The advancements achieved in formulating laser chemical additives for use with near-infrared (NIR) lasers (1060-1080nm wavelength) include their compatibility with ytterbium fiber, vanadate and Nd:YAG lasers. Most polymers do not possess NIR absorption properties without chemical additives. Polymers that can be marked by lasers are those that absorb

42 www.plasticsdecorating.com April/May 2017

laser light and convert it from light energy to thermal energy. Additives, fillers, pigments and dyes are used to enhance the absorption of laser energy for localized color changes. Vastly different formulation chemistries and laser optics/setup parameters are configured depending upon the desired marking contrast and functionality. Two common surface reaction mechanisms are shown in Figure 1. First, thermal chemical “carbonization” or “charring” can occur, where the energy absorbed in the substrate raises the local temperature of the material surrounding the absorption site high enough to cause thermal degradation of the polymer. The darkness or lightness of the mark is dependent on the energy absorbed, as well as the material’s unique thermal degradation pathway. By optimizing the laser setup, there is minimal surface carbonization residue. A second surface reaction, “foaming,” is a chemical change effected through use of additives that release steam during degradation, resulting in foaming of the polymer. During the foaming process, the laser energy is absorbed by an additive that is in close proximity to the foaming agent. The heat from the absorber causes the foaming agent to degrade, releasing steam. Through tight control of the laser-operating parameters, high-quality and durable light-colored “white” marks can be generated on dark substrates. A third reaction, laser energy (not shown), is used to heat/ degrade one colorant in a colorant mixture, resulting in a color change. An example is a mixture of carbon black and a stable, inorganic colorant. When heated, the carbon black is removed, leaving behind the inorganic colorant. These mixed colorant systems are dependent on specific colorant stabilities, and not all color changes are possible. Carbon black formulations are integral in laser welding. Laser additive chemistries for marking and welding Near-infrared laser additives improve the degree of contrast, which can be further intensified by changing the laser setup parameters. Polymers possess inherent characteristics to yield “dark-colored” or “light-colored” marking contrast. Some colorant compounds containing low amounts of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and carbon black also absorb laser light and can improve marking contrast. Each polymer grade, even within the same polymeric family, can produce different results. Additive formulations cannot be toxic or adversely affect the products’ appearance, physical or functional properties.


Compared to ink printing processes (pad/screen printing and inkjet), laser additives are cost-saving and can demonstrate 20 percent and faster marking speeds vs. non-optimized materials. Laser additives are supplied in pellet granulate and powder form. Granulate products can be blended directly with the polymer resin, while powder forms are converted to masterbatch. Most are easily dispersed in polymers. Based upon the additive and polymer, the loading concentration level by weight (in the final part) ranges between 0.01 and 4.0 percent. Both granulate and powder form can be blended into precompounded color material or color concentrate. The selection of which additive to incorporate depends upon the polymer composition, substrate color, desired marking contrast color and end-use certification requirements. For extrusion, injection molding and thermoforming operations, precolor compounded materials vs. color concentrate yields better uniformity. Hand-mixing should be avoided. Mold flow and gate type/location are important factors. Homogeneous distribution/ dispersion of laser additives throughout each part is critical to achieve optimal marking performance. Some additives contain mixtures of antimony-doped tin oxide and antimony trioxide that can impart a “grayish” tint to the natural (uncolored) substrate opacity. Other additives

can contain aluminum particles, mixed metal oxides and proprietary compounds. Color adjustments are made using pigments and dyes to achieve the final colormatch appearance. As commercially supplied, specific additives (also used for laser welding) have received FDA approval for food contact and food packaging use under conditions A-H of 21 CFR 178.3297 – Colorants for Polymers. For the European Union, there are similar compliance statements. Certification conditions are specific for polymer type, loading level threshold and direct or indirect contact. Further qualification of FDAapproved additives blended into a “final part” can achieve biocompatibility of medical devices. During the laser additive loading/colormatch chemistry, it is not uncommon for a finished product to contain less laser additive than the calculated amount. This problem almost always relates to nonuniform distribution during extrusion or molding. Simple adjustments to the molding machine, such as increasing the back pressure and screw rotation speed, will resolve most issues. Homogeneous distribution/dispersion of laser additives throughout each part is critical to achieve optimal marking performance. For extrusion, injection molding and thermoforming operations, precolor compounded materials

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TECHNOLOGY

vs. color concentrate yields better uniformity. Hand-mixing should be avoided. Mold flow and gate type/location are important factors. Principles of through transmission laser welding The term “through transmission” derives from the fact that the laser passes through the laser-transparent upper part to the surface of the laser-absorbent lower part, as depicted in Figure 2. Three stages are involved in Through Transmission Laser Welding (TTLW) of plastics. In TTLW, the parts are preassembled and clamped together to provide intimate contact between their joining surfaces. In this article, high-power diode lasers (λ= 800-1,000 nm) and solid-state lasers (Ytterbium fiber and Nd:YAG laser, λ=1,060-1,080 nm) are utilized. During the heating stage, the laser energy heats the laserabsorbent polymer at the interface, causing the part to expand, which increases the weld pressure. At the focus of the beam, the laser power is at its maximum and the part begins to melt at that point, creating a melt zone. This is the start of the second stage, the melding stage. Further expansion of the parts takes place, creating additional expansion with a corresponding increase in pressure. At this point, a small amount of welding has taken place. The welding stage is the final stage. Sufficient molten material is generated to create a real weld. There is a collapse of the melted material, similar to that of hot plate or fusion welding. For most applications, this is on the order of 0.13 mm (0.005 in). Typical weld times are on the order of one to eight seconds for most applications, although larger parts can run longer. There are

Material suitability is more sensitive with laser welding than with any other joining process. four principal TTLW laser welding processes: contour, mask, simultaneous and quasi-simultaneous welding. The two parts to be welded must have different optical absorption properties at a given weld length. The top, lasertransparent part must transmit as much of the wavelength as possible while the bottom, laser absorbent part must absorb as much as possible in a thin layer. This results in the most energy-efficient combination because a high amount of energy is absorbed at the interface and it can degrade the top part before the bottom part is soft enough to weld. Excessive reflectivity also causes an increase in the amount of energy that is needed for welding. Material suitability is more sensitive with laser welding than with any other joining process. Laser welding can theoretically weld all thermoplastics that are transparent to the laser beam. However, each polymer's ability to transmit light from lasers of the three principle wavelengths used in laser welding is different. Furthermore, the response of a given polymer to laser beams will be altered by the presence of fillers, additives and pigments. Materials with high absorption rates are ideal for the lower part in TTLW welding because they because absorb most of the energy at the weld interface and create a thin, heated surface layer that is ideal for laser welding. Materials with absorption rates in the middle ranges can be a problem because they absorb the laser energy through the thickness of the material, and that results in heating of the whole material thickness. These materials allow very little energy through; therefore, they are poor candidates for the top material in TTLW laser welding. Furthermore, they do not absorb very much energy at their top edge and, consequently, make a poor selection for the lower material. Filled materials have been welded with up to 50 percent glass, but not for hermetic seals. Principle advantages of TTLW include the following:

Figure 2. Through Transmission Laser Welding (TTLW). Image courtesy of SAE.

1. Noncontact welding. Laser welding uses a smooth, glass plate to hold the parts to be welded with a light clamping force of 100 lbs or less, and there is no contact with the welding instrument. Consequently, there is nothing to mar the surface of the welded parts, and there is no welding pressure required that could damage delicate parts.

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TECHNOLOGY

2. Subsurface welding. The weld occurs at the interface between the two parts. The weld is nearly invisible with transparent parts and completely invisible with opaque parts. The weld can be just below the surface or deep in the parts. 3. Precise welding. The size and location of the laser weld can be very precise, and no vibration is transmitted to the part to be welded. For those versions of the process that require relative motion between the laser and weldments, it is the laser that moves. Consequently, laser welding is the most precise of the welding processes. 4. Minimal heat-affected area. The weld spot is very small and the heat-affected area is quite contained. As a consequence, it is possible to weld very close to other components without affecting them, permitting welding of subassemblies with sensitive and fragile parts previously emplaced. Furthermore, distortion and degradation due to heat are extremely limited, and residual stress is reduced. 5. Ability to weld dissimilar plastics. Dissimilar plastics that meet the necessary criteria can be welded to each other. 6. No flash. In laser welding, the weld is totally enclosed and no flash is created that must be trimmed off. There are no loose particulates.

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7. Hermetic seals. Laser welding is capable of creating a hermetically sealed, gas-tight weld. 8. Energy efficiency. Relative to other welding processes, laser welding is highly energy efficient. This also means no excess heat is generated that must be removed from the workplace. Conclusion Dual-purpose laser additives incorporated into polymers yield superior marking contrast, line edge detail and speed. These additives optimize laser welding of similar and dissimilar thermoplastics. Advancements in affordable fiber laser technology have been instrumental. These benefits rapidly offset the incremental material additive cost. Optimized material-science chemistry for laser marking and welding requires expertise in polymers, colorants, pigments and dyes relative to solubility, particle sizes, threshold concentration limits, color match and regulatory certifications (GRAS, FDA Direct/Indirect Food Contact). Laser marking and TTLW of polymers meet the challenges of today’s applications. n References 1. Scott R. Sabreen, “FDA-Approved Additives Boost Inline Laser Marking,” Plastics Decorating Magazine, April/May 2015 2. Jordan Rotheiser, Specialist Consultant for The Sabreen Group Inc. Welding excerpts from Joining of Plastics, Handbook for Designers and Engineers, Third Edition, Jordan Rotheiser, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich, 2009 Scott R. Sabreen is founder and president of The Sabreen Group, Inc., an engineering company specializing in secondary plastics manufacturing processes – laser marking, surface pretreatments, bonding, decorating and finishing, and product security. Sabreen has been developing pioneering technologies and solving manufacturing problems for more than 30 years. He can be contacted at 972.820.6777 or by visiting www.sabreen.com or www. plasticslasermarking.com.

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UV-Curable Single-Pass Inkjet Printing of Plastic Parts by Paul Beliveau and Henry Mossell, FUJIFILM Dimatix, Inc.

F

ujifilm Dimatix’s Inkjet Technology Integration team worked closely with a team of end-user manufacturing engineers to develop and deploy 5-color (white, black, cyan, magenta and yellow) UV-curable inkjet printing on a 10'' by 12" ABS part. The challenges and solutions of ink selection, part pretreatment, creating an over-printable white base layer, pinning, managing ink spread and final cure are detailed.

Application A medical device manufacturer wished to replace an existing automated screen printing line with a high-throughput UVcurable inkjet print system. The surface to be decorated was a sheet of injection-molded, clear ABS approximately 10 inches by 12 inches. The medical device company needed to be able to produce about one million parts per year across a family of about 20 variants, each with unique images. The existing process printed the clear ABS with three colors. All devices were printed with white and black, creating windows with graduations. In addition, a unique spot color, which denoted designs within the family, was added to each device. As an inkjet application, the spot colors would be recreated in process color. In the device’s history, users had discovered that the screen printed white ink could be written on with a ballpoint pen, which had become a requirement for any replacement inkjet technology. Sampling With the participation of manufacturing engineers from the medical device manufacturer, two-color print samples were produced to establish basic feasibility of producing product with similar quality as the existing screen printing equipment. The samples were produced at 400dpi x 400dpi with two SG1024MA printheads printing white and cyan commercial UV ink (Formulation 1). By printing a 2.5-inch by 12-inch portion of the final application image onto the ABS panels, the team was able to confirm that the general appearance of the printed image was in line with the existing screen print process, the graduations were clear and accurate, and the white ink was able to be marked with a ballpoint pen. Although this test answered the most basic questions, it was done with very slow-speed equipment that was unable to be used to size the design correctly for full scale-up. Small Scale Testing A three-color, 5-inch-wide 400dpi system was built with a Honle UVAHAND250 between color one and colors two and three as a pinning lamp. Although the final system would utilize five colors

48 www.plasticsdecorating.com April/May 2017

Figure 1. Example of image quality achieved in early samples (photo from full-scale system print) that highlights the graduation marks and general print quality

(white, black, cyan, magenta and yellow), only three were tested, as this was the maximum ink thickness expected in creating the target colors from the process colors. A 5-inch, 300 wattsper-inch cure lamp was used to final cure the printed samples. A 3DT Multidyne corona treater was used to pretreat the ABS panels under test. The printing was completed on a linear slide with a top speed of 40ips (inches per second), 80 percent of the final target print speed (see Figure 1). A block diagram of the print process being modeled in the test is shown in Figure 2. The system was used to determine the equipment sizing. By varying the time to cure of a single white layer of ink, the time


required for the ink to spread into a single continuous film was determined. By varying the speed of the test panels under the pinning lamp, the required pinning energy was determined. The values from the small-scale testing are noted below. The values determined in the small-scale test were scaled to the target print speed of 50ips.

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Developed process 1. Corona treat the panels to >40 dynes/cm. 2. Scan the panels through the print, pin and cure zones at 50ips (250fpm). 3. Print white under all printed colors and any required white areas. 4. Allow the white ink to spread for 0.25 seconds before entering the pinning zone. 5. Pin with 62.5 watts per inch. 6. Print the remaining four colors, KCMY. 7. Cure with 600 watts per inch.

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Full system design Based on the results from the small-scale testing, a full system was constructed. The system consisted of five printbars, each with four SG1024MA printheads arranged to print 10 inches wide and two Honle medium-pressure mercury arc lamps. The print array was positioned over a precision linear slide provided by the manufacturing team of the medical device company. The slide had a location for the device to be loaded onto a part nest, followed by a short acceleration zone. The print system was supplied with treated parts from a 3DT Multidyne system arrayed to a width of 10 inches and integrated with a conveyor. Figure 3 shows an annotated view of the full-scale print array, which matches the list below. 1. White printbar 2. Zone for the white ink to spread into a film (14 inches) 3. Pinning lamp (300 watts/inch adjustable from 15 percent to 100 percent) 4. Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow printbars 5. Final cure lamp (600 watts/inch, adjustable from 15% to 100% output) 6. Alignment backplate 7. Printbar slides to provide access for maintenance

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TRENDS Full system testing The system was iteratively tested and adjusted to achieve image quality, adhesion and write-ability consistent with the existing automated screen print equipment. In all tests, the printed white layers could be suitably marked with a ballpoint pen; however, optimizing the adhesion and image quality often were conflicting efforts. Optimizing adhesion During the full system testing, the manufacturing engineering team for the medical device company requested an increase in the adhesion as measured by ASTM D-3359, Standard Test Methods for Measuring Adhesion by Tape Test. The desired result was a five on a five scale, with previous results averaging three on the five scale. The tape test consistently showed the weakest bond to be the white bond to the underlying ABS substrate, with no separation of the colors from each other or the white underprinted layer.

Figure 3. Annotated view of the full print array

As the adhesion achieved in the full system was consistent with the adhesion achieved in the small-scale test, the most likely route to improved

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TRENDS

adhesion was to explore inks with more aggressive adhesion; however, variations in the pretreatment of the medical device were tested before new formulations were explored, as changing the pretreatment would be more straightforward. Neither additional corona treatment, nor plasma treatment yielded any improvements. With pretreatment providing no benefit, several white formulations were tested for adhesion with the tape test after multiple passes under the final cure lamp. This ink screening led to the adoption of Formulation 2 being chosen as the white base to underprint the top layers of color, which remained Formulation 1. With the change in formulation, two cure factors affecting adhesion were analyzed. The two factors explored were variation in pinning lamp height from the substrate and pinning lamp intensity. (Final cure power in these tests was set at three passes at 25 ips under a 600-watt-per-inch Honle medium-pressure mercury arc lamp.) The tape test results from the variations of the two explored factors are included in Table 1. Examples of tape test results are shown in Figure 4. From the table and the photos, the importance of having the pinning lamp focused can be seen. Table 1. Effect of pinning lamp focus and intensity on adhesion of fully cured devices Focus Offset

Pin Lamp Power

Adhesion

-1 mm -1 mm -1 mm -1 mm 0 mm 0 mm 0 mm 1 mm 1 mm 1 mm 1 mm 2 mm 2 mm 2 mm 2 mm

15% 18% 20% 23% 15% 20% 23% 15% 18% 19% 23% 15% 18% 20% 23%

2, 3 2, 1 1, 5 0 5 5 5 3 2 1 0 3, 2 2, 1 2, 1 1, 0

Figure 4. Examples of tape test results

52 www.plasticsdecorating.com April/May 2017

Optimizing image quality The change in the white ink formulation had major effects on optimizing the image quality. The most challenging effect was a much-diminished ability to form a continuous film of white capable of being overprinted with process color. The first challenge encountered was that Formulation 2 did not spread as well as Formulation 1 had in prior testing. Two tests were run to gain insight into improving the spreading of Formulation 2: the contact angles of both inks were measured on samples of the ABS substrate, and pretreatment effects on spreading were investigated using the following procedure. For the substrate, multiple 1-inch-square pieces were cut from the cover of a single medical device. These pieces were treated with corona, O2 vacuum plasma, corona and isopropyl alcohol (semiconductor grade), or not treated at all. Prior to treatment, each sample also was lightly wiped with a clean room wipe to remove any surface contaminants prior to depositing inks on them. Both Formulation 1 and Formulation 2 white UV inks were deposited on the substrate. Three drops from each ink were placed on the same treated substrate and measured with VCA Optima. The results are recorded in Table 2. Table 2. Results of contact angle measurements Ink Form.

2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1

Treatment

None IPA Corona O2 Plasma Corona + IPA

None IPA Corona O2 Plasma Corona + IPA

Contact Angle

16.8 13.2 12.1 14.7 12.4 37.8 11.3 16.3 12.5 22

17.1 14.2 12.3 12.2 12 35.2 13 14.9 12.3 17.9

19.2 11.1 10.2 11.6 13.8 37.3 12.2 16.9 12.7 19.8

Mean

Std Dev

17.7 12.8 11.5 12.8 12.7 36.8 12.2 16.0 12.5 19.9

1.3 1.6 1.2 1.6 0.9 1.4 0.9 1.0 0.2 2.0

Although Formulation 2 achieved lower equilibrium contact angles for all comparison test conditions, which would normally suggest better spread, Formulation 2 did not produce continuous films for any of the treatment methods when printed at 50 ips. The inability of Formulation 2 to form a continuous film at the same speed as that of Formulation 1 suggested that the speed at which the two inks achieve equilibrium may be the key metric separating the performance of the two. The spread dynamics were not measured to confirm this hypothesis, as this level of understanding did not appear to further the goals for this project, since the spread dynamics was not a characteristic of the formulation that could be easily adjusted.


With the results of the effect of pretreatment on spreading collected and providing no path to forming a continuous film at 50 ips, an investigation into the amount of time required to sufficiently spread the ink was conducted. By printing a series of devices with a series of velocity profiles, it was determined a 100 percent increase in time to spread was required to produce a continuous ink film. The manufacturing engineering team of the medical device manufacturer evaluated the slower processing speed and determined that the change in speed did not affect the overall efficiency of the larger automation system. The reduction in print speed and the formulation change required revisiting the pinning energy required to provide a white underprint layer on which the process colors would spread properly and not dewet. To evaluate the correct pinning level, the cure intensity was varied, and the dot gain of the white ink was measured as a means of evaluating the level of cure achieved in the pinning process. As can be seen in Figure 5, the transition between fully fixed and partially mobile occurs between 18 percent lamp power and 15 percent lamp power. These numbers are paralleled by observation of dewetting of ink at 18 percent lamp power and spread of the ink at 15 percent lamp power, as shown in Figure 6. It should be noted that the decrease in process speed removed the adjustability of the pinning lamp, with the lamp being turned as low as possible to prevent over-pinning the ink.

The change in the white ink formulation had major effects on optimizing the image quality. The most challenging effect was a much-diminished ability to form a continuous film of white capable of being overprinted with process color. Summary In concert with the manufacturing engineering team of a medical device manufacturer, the creation of a single-pass, UV-curable inkjet print system was produced and tuned to print graphics consistent with an existing automated screen printing system being used for decorating the medical devices today. The effort progressed from basic sampling through small scale testing and to the testing required to tune the system. A request to increase the adhesion during the full system test required all aspects of the print process to be reevaluated, starting with specifying an ink with better adhesion properties. In addition, the spread of the new under-printed white ink

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TRENDS

CALENDAR May

• PLASTEC New England Expo, May 3-4, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston, Massachusetts, www.plastecne.com • The ABC’s of IML – a Basic Course, May 4, Doubletree Chicago North Shore Hotel & Conference Center, Skokie, Illinois, www.imdassociation.com • ANTEC® Anaheim, May 8-10, Hilton Anaheim, Anaheim, California, www.4spe.org

Figure 5. Chart of line width as a function of pinning intensity

• ETS Inc. Automotive Plastics Part Design Training Event, May 9-11, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, www.ets-corp.com • AWA IMLCON™ & IMDCON™ 2017, May 17-19, Sheraton Reston Hotel, Reston, Virginia, www.awa-bv.com/events

June

• PLASTEC East, June 13-15, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, New York, www.plasteceast.com • HBA Global, June 13-15, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, New York, www.hbaexpo.com • SPE Decorating & Assembly Division TopCon, June 18-20, Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, Lincolnshire, Illinois, www.plasticsdecorating.com Figure 6. Example of wetting at two lamp power settings

required the system to run at half the speed used in sizing all of the equipment, which necessitated careful evaluation of the pinning power required. n Paul Beliveau is a 20-year veteran of Fujifilm Dimatix, joining the company directly after earning a BS in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He has worked in design engineering, manufacturing engineering, quality engineering and system engineering. Henry Mossell also is a 20-year veteran of Fujifilm Dimatix. He began his career working for customer service and then moved through various duties within the company, most notably in applications engineering and in his current position as an electrical design/ systems engineer. For more information, visit fujifilmusa.com.

September

• PACK EXPO Las Vegas, Sept. 25-27, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, www.packexpolasvegas.com

October

• SGIA, Oct. 10-12, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, www.sgia.org

April/May 2017 www.plasticsdecorating.com 55


MARKETPLACE

For Marketplace advertising, email gayla@petersonpublications.com.

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56 www.plasticsdecorating.com April/May 2017

(For decorating and assembly service providers only – not available for suppliers to the industry.)

To learn more about how to place an advertisement in this section, call Gayla Peterson at 785.271.5801.


Video Vault With the growing demand for online streaming video, Plastics Decorating has created a medium on its website to allow our advertisers to display their most current videos featuring equipment and/or products.

Visit the Plastics Decorating Video Vault at

plasticsdecorating.com. Click the Video Vault link at the top of the home page.

April/May 2017 www.plasticsdecorating.com 57


SUPPLIER QUICK LINKS Assembly/Joining Equipment

Hot Stamping Dies/ Tooling

Branson Ultrasonics bransonultrasonics.com Page 37

Die Stampco Inc. diestampco.com Page 49

Decals/Labels

h+m USA hmusadies.com Page 34

Central Decal centraldecal.com Page 29

Decorating/Services

Hot Stamp Supply hotstampsupply.com Page 33

AMDEC Inc. amdecinc.com Page 57

IDS (ITW Trans Tech) itwids.com Page 5

Comdec Decorating Division comdecinc.com Page 57

Schwerdtle schwerdtle.com Page 51

Digital Decorations LLC digital-decorations.com Page 56

Hot Stamping Foils/ Heat Transfers

Digital Inkjet Equipment & Supplies

CDigital cdigital.com Page 41

Engineered Printing Solutions epsvt.com Inside front cover

CPS Resources cpsresources.com Back cover

Inkcups Now Corporation inkcups.com Pages 30-31

Hot Stamp Supply hotstampsupply.com Page 33

Innovative Digital Systems ids-digital.com Back cover

IDS (ITW Trans Tech) itwids.com Page 5

KBA-Kammann USA kba-kammann.com Page 47

Infinity Foils infinityfoils.com Page 27

Mimaki USA mimakiusa.com Inside back cover

Kurz Transfer Products, L.P. kurzusa.com Page 19

OMSO North America, Inc. omso.us Page 35

Webtech, Inc. webtech-hts.com Page 21

Hot Stamping/ Heat Transfer Equipment

In-Mold Decorating/ Labeling

CPS Resources cpsresources.com Back cover

Central Decal centraldecal.com Page 29

Hot Stamp Supply Company hotstampsupply.com Page 33

InkWorks Printing LLC inkworksllc.com Page 17

IDS (ITW Trans Tech) itwids.com Page 5

Precision Press precisionpressinc.com Page 17

58 www.plasticsdecorating.com April/May 2017

Serigraph serigraph.com Page 17

Diversified Printing Techniques diverprint.com Page 11

Yupo yupo.com Page 13

Inkcups Now Corporation inkcups.com Pages 30-31

Laser Marking

KBA-Kammann USA kba-kammann.com Page 47

Sabreen Group, Inc., The sabreen.com Page 50

Pad Printing Equipment & Supplies Diversified Printing Techniques diverprint.com Page 39 Engineered Printing Solutions epsvt.com Inside front cover IDS (ITW Trans Tech) itwids.com Page 5 Inkcups Now Corporation inkcups.com Pages 30-31 Innovative Marking Systems padprinters.com Page 45 Kent Pad Printer Canada Inc. kentpp.com Page 11 Pad Print Pros padprintpros.com Page 4

OMSO North America, Inc. omso.us Page 35

Surface Treatment Corotec Corporation corotec.com Digital edition Diversified Printing Techniques diverprint.com Page 39 Inhance Technologies inhanceproducts.com Page 56 Plasmatreat USA, Inc. plasmatreat.com Page 10

Tradeshows/Conferences SGIA sgiaexpo.org Page 54 SPE Decorating & Assembly Division TopCon plasticsdecorating.com/ topcon/2017 Pages 6-7

Standard Machines, Inc./ Comdec, Inc. comdecinc.com Page 40

Printing Inks Comdec, Inc. (Ruco) comdecinc.com Pages 24 and 53

TODAY’S DECORATING & ASSEMBLY SOURCE

2017 APRIL/MAY

Diving into Inks: Digital, Analog, UV-Curable Decorating & Assembly TopCon Scheduled in June The Future of Plastics Education Effect of Base Materials on Plastics Welding

Marabu North America marabu-northamerica.com Page 43 Proell, Inc. proell.us Page 23

Screen Printing Equipment & Supplies A.W.T. World Trade, Inc. awt-gpi.com Page 46

A guide to this issue's Plastics Decorating advertisers.


Purpose built. Production minded. The new Mimaki UJF MkII Series printers are the next generation models in the world’s best selling UJF Series line of small footprint benchtop UV-LED printers. Designed to bring ideas to reality, these production-focused professional tools, built on a proven platform, will deliver consistent quality for any level of production. Now compatible with the Mimaki Kebab attachment for direct printing on cylindrical objects.

mimakiusa.com/UJF-MkII


Heat Up Your Summer Decoration Relax on your beautifully embellished deck, with a cold drink in your customized tumbler! CPS Resources, Inc. has a full line of UV durable decking foils that can handle the harshest summer sun. Then brighten things up even more with Innovative Digital Systems' Rev360 digital printer. Pecan

Brazilia

Chestnut

Weathered Grey

Decoration is all we do. 3 Companies Strong. RESOURCES, INC.

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Let us take your art for a spin on our Rev360°, and see how amazing digital decorating looks on stainless.