by Lara Copeland, writer, Plastics Decorating
Tapematic, based in Ornago, MB, in Italy, with a sales and support office in Orlando, Florida, designs and builds in-house novel and high-quality industrial machinery. For the past decade, Tapematic has specialized in the manufacture of UV varnish/painting and metallization equipment, focusing specifically on the packaging for cosmetics, spirits, pharmaceuticals and automotive applications.
The unique PST system has become the core business. To complement its established line of equipment called the PST Line I, which was first presented in 2010, the latest model was introduced in the second half of 2018: the PST Line II.
The PST Line concept consists of several modules integrated and dependent on the specific customer’s requirement. Supported by Tapematic technicians and an experienced engineering team, clients can customize the line according to their precise needs and requirements, including stations for either manual or automatic loading and unloading, cleaning and pretreatment areas, primer application, UV base coating, sputtering and UV top coating, with the further possibility of inline decoration modules.
Both PST lines use the same technology and differ only in the size of the workpieces they can handle. The PST Line I machines are the smallest ones of Tapematic’s whole range. It can process up to four workpieces with a maximum diameter of 56 mm and a height of 90 mm, or eight workpieces with a maximum diameter of 28 mm and a height of 60 mm. This guarantees a productivity rate of 2,000 or 4,000 parts/hour.
The PST Line II series, on the other hand, is characterized by a larger footprint and a productivity rate that can reach 7,800 parts/hour, treating up to 13 components up to 102 mm in diameter and 130 mm in height.
The PST Line offers a new automated approach to UV varnish/painting and vacuum metallization. High solid UV curable varnish/paints are the new standard but slightly more expensive. Traditional, always-on spraying techniques use up to 80% more varnish/paint. The PST Line II can paint/coat each 3D object individually with minimum waste.
With no more wasteful batch testing where thousands of pieces are tested simultaneously, operators can refine the process configuration for new items during the setup phase. Each module can be setup, monitored and refined with the user-friendly touchscreen interface. New items also can be setup quickly and easily, and configurations can be stored for instant recall, which delivers major economies in cost and speed.
Lower energy consumption than traditional lines and less varnish/paint are features that made PST Line II extremely efficient. There is no toxic wastewater to process after spraying or other unnecessary waste products, and no chrome derivatives are used in the metallization process.
The PST Line II – Inline 3D Sputtering Coating System handles substrate material ABS, PE, HDPE, PC, PS, PA, PET, PVC, SAN, PPA, PP, PMMA, POM, glass and metal. It treats substrates up to 102 x 130 mm with custom dimensions upon request. Weighing 17,000 kg, it measures 5,000 x 19,000 x 2,100 mm with a yield of 95%.