While work on the first issue of 2024 is well underway, we paused to see which Plastics Decorating articles from 2023 caught the eyes of our readers. The following stories were the top reads from 2023 for visitors to the website.

  1. Metallic Finishes in Plastic Decoration
    Metallic finishes in decorated plastic remain popular with both designers and consumers. The reasons for this are many and include the increased perceived value of the finished part, improved performance in the intended application, replacement of actual metal to reduce cost and weight, and taking advantage of the intrinsic properties of plastic substrates while maintaining a metallic appearance.
  2. From Niche Applications to Mass Production: A Brief Review of Laser Welding
    Since its initial development, laser welding for plastics has made an important contribution to the successful, high-quality assembly of a growing range of products – from medical diagnostic testing devices to computers, cellphones, electronics, appliances and automobiles. All of these applications require not only assembly efficiency, but also high quality, high reliability and excellent product aesthetics.
  3. In-Mold Decorating Lights Up the Automotive and Appliance Industries
    Consumers are looking for sleek, integrated electronics, whether it’s the cars they are driving or the appliances they are using. Digital screens and interactive electronics panels are the norm. This provides both opportunities and challenges for plastics molders and decorators. From capacitive-touch and hidden-til-lit applications to decorative panels that protect and enhance digital screens, in-mold processes are playing a critical role.
  4. Reasons to Automate Pad Printing
    In pad printing, there are two distinctly different reasons for automating: low complexity plus high volume (processing the parts faster) and high complexity plus low volume (processing the print faster). This article discusses the benefits of both.
  5. Inkjet Printing Decorates 3D Plastic Parts
    Digital inkjet printing ranks as a growing option for decorating 3D plastic parts. In some cases, it’s replacing spray, screen and pad printing because it can reproduce high-quality, full-color graphics. It also may play a role in in-mold decoration.