Decorating Papers

Quality Interior Coatings – How to Ensure Products Survival
Paul Uglum, Uglum Consulting

Manufactures put in place elaborate test specifications to ensure that the decorative products used in their products are appropriate and will exceed customer expectations. Although the required testing is extensive, it is not a guarantee that there will not be significant field failures and resulting warranty. This presentation will review what the testing does and does not tell us, as well as strategies to select the best decorative option among the various options available. Tests that are most effective at differentiating among coating technologies will be discussed. Testing differences and the resultant effects will be reviewed. Although the information is focused on automotive, strategies apply to all telecommunications and consumer products that see frequent use.

Measurement of Surface Free Energy
Art Kasson, Kruss

Polymer-based lightweight materials are widely used in several manufacturing processes due to their superior properties. However, the low energy surfaces of such materials demand activation in order to achieve sufficiently strong adhesion and wettability of processes such as coatings, adhesives, decorative foils and lacquers just to name a few. In practice, the effect of cleaning and activation procedures – like degreasing, flame, plasma or corona treatment – is often tested by using dyne pens or test inks, as well as contact angle analysis. We will present a comparative study between test inks and contact angle measurements for a variety of different materials and discuss how contact angle measurements can be a useful tool for quality control in surface activation and cleaning.

Smart Surfaces, A Harmony of Design and Function
Scott Tacosik, Kurz Transfer Products

Digital Printing Technologies for Plastics – Focus on Color Inkjet and Laser Marking
Scott R. Sabreen, The Sabreen Group Inc.

Digital printing technologies such as inkjet and laser on plastics offers monumental advantages for manufacturers compared to traditional analog methods. Digital printing allows for full product customization, unique alphanumeric part identification, product security, serialization, barcode/2D codes, logos, graphics and more. These capabilities are essential for today’s digital interactive universe. A tangential benefit is the capability to print assembled products at the end of manufacturing operations, which offers cost savings and better inventory control management. This article examines two types of digital printing/marking process methods: full-color piezoelectric drop-on-demand (DOD) inkjet printing and beam-steered fiber laser marking. Piezoelectric DOD inkjet and fiber laser are modern technologies that offer countless advantages for product (and mass) customization. 

Robotics in Pad Printing
Micah Swett, Diversified Printing Techniques

Pad printing machines have evolved into complex pieces of equipment, many with precision movements with guide rails and servo motors. However, over 95% of pad printing machines are loaded by an operator. An operator will feed the parts into the machine and take them out at the end of the cycle. By using robot technology, one can automate the loading of the work cell and have a flexible solution. A robot can be set up with memory and be used to perform many different tasks if the proper job is put into the memory. The capital cost is still there, but the dedicated solution becomes a diverse solution that can be utilized for many different projects.

Digital Inkjet Coatings Open New Doors
Simon Kew, Alchemie Technology

Delivery of industrial coatings with high precision under full digital control enables unique process benefits to be delivered, including lower materials usage, instant changeover, unique new surface finishes and materials. We present innovative, new technologies designed to deliver a wide range of materials including high viscosity fluids and powders under full digital control. We illustrate our technology with key application examples and demonstrate the advantages that can be delivered from precision digital coating approaches.

Conversion from Analog to Digital Printing Technology
Julian Joffe, Engineered Printing Solutions

This presentation will discuss the basic differences between analog and digital as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. It also will cover how to analyze where digital works best and why or why not. Case studies where companies had converted to digital and its outcome will be discussed.  

Advances in Innovative Coatings for Plastics
Diane Marret, Red Spot Paint & Varnish Co.

Complex performance issues like scratch resistance, chemical resistance and improved aesthetics have continually pushed the evolution of coatings for automotive and other plastics applications. New thermal systems set the bar for scratch resistance and gloss retention, while innovations in UV-curable and dual cure systems are tackling newer performance demands like micro scratching, dirt/dust repellence and visible fingerprints. Overall advancements in paint formulation are addressing these newer performance demands while also providing added benefits, such as potential shorter process times, smaller line footprints and environmental benefits. Additionally, recent advancements in finisher capabilities are providing the opportunity to successfully propel these technologies into the mainstream.

Fixtureless Laser Marking Cuts Tooling Costs
Faycal Benayad-Cherif, FOBA Laser

The overwhelming majority of plastics parts are processed inside jigs, fixtures or some sort of tooling. Creating new tooling requires several steps, including design, prototyping, manufacturing, validation, maintenance, inventory and process tasks before production can start. Tooling is a significant cost that manufacturers constantly try to reduce or eliminate. FOBA Mosaic is an innovation that streamlines production processes by implementing fixtureless parts laser marking. The patent pending Mosaic technology is based on FOBA’s IMP (Intelligent Mark Positioning), a high-speed camera system that is integrated inside the marking head. High precision and repeatability, consistent premium mark quality and a minimum of marking errors is the result.  

Assembly Papers

Methods of Polymer Weld Quality Evaluation
Miranda Marcus, EWI

Evaluation of the quality of polymer welds is essential to the development and production maintenance of a welding process. However, it can be challenging to select an evaluation method due to the wide variety of options. This presentation will compare some of the popular weld quality evaluation methods and discuss the preparation procedures for each and what can be learned from each method.

Cost Saving Opportunities via Electromagnetic Joining
Steve Chookazian – Emabond Solutions, LLC

The ever-expanding use of plastics has created increased opportunities to utilize electromagnetic energy for welding or bonding of similar and dis-similar materials. Recent advancements in equipment, welding materials and processes will be presented offering cost saving opportunities when compared to alternative methods of assembly. New, fast-setting EmaMelt adhesives can be specified to replace conventional adhesives thereby lowering labor, material and energy costs. The presentation also will discuss and illustrate examples of bonding dis-similar materials including attachment of ornamental and decorative emblems to plastic surfaces.

New Laser Welding Technologies for Clear-to-Clear Welds
Alex Savitski, Dukane

The presentation covers basic fundamentals of the laser welding process of plastic parts for high volume manufacturing and focuses on the advantages of the laser-based assembly utilizing a 1940 nm (2 micron) laser. A recently developed 1940 nm laser with greatly increased absorption by unfilled polymers enables highly controlled melting through the thickness of unfilled and pigmented parts, including ones that are optically clear. Unlike more commonly used diode and fiber lasers, this laser allows welding of plastic components without any laser absorbing agents – a “clear-to-clear” weld. The new laser welding process is especially beneficial for industries and products in which using carbon black – the most commonly utilized laser sensitive additive – is undesirable, such as medical devices and electronics, as well as consumer packaged goods, appliances and others.

Adhesives for Bioplastic – Treva™
Presenter: Zachary Sayah, Henkel Corporation

The use of bioplastic material continues to grow and has the potential to serve as a suitable substitute for traditional plastics in many industries. Eastman Chemical Company has developed a new bioplastic material, Treva™, using cellulose derived from trees. Henkel has partnered with Eastman to produce bond strength data using a variety of adhesives for this material. The adhesives featured consist of a wide range of physical and chemical properties, and many of them are medical grade. This presentation highlights potential applications and opportunities for using adhesives with Treva™ and other bioplastics.

Applications for Clean Joining Technologies
Sean Spellman, Emerson Automation Solutions

The global plastics market is increasingly demanding material joining solutions that meet aesthetic and performance requirements. For manufacturers to drive competitive differentiation, these requirements rely on advanced composite materials that are capable of light weighting. This presentation will discuss the assembly of complex design geometrics. Come join this interactive opportunity to understand how the latest technology in plastic welding is enabling contoured welds with little to no particulate matter.

Decorating Workshops

Variable Data Technologies for Plastics – Digital Inkjet vs Laser Marking
Leaders:  Faycal Benayad-Cherif, FOBA Laser

Choosing the Best Surface Treatment Technology for Decorating and Joining
Leaders: Wilson Lee, Enercon; Scott Sabreen, The Sabreen Group

Hot Stamping/Heat Transfers – Latest on Tooling, Dies, Digital Transfers and Design
Leaders: Eric Steinwachs, CDigital; Bill Morey, Schwerdtle Hot Stamping

Best Curing Technologies for Plastics Applications: UV, UV-LED and EB Curing
Sponsored by RadTech North America
Leaders: Phil Abell & Eileen Weber, Red Spot Paint & Varnish; Chris Brandl, Heraeus Noblelight

Choosing the Best Options for Difficult Appearances – Metallic, Piano Black and Clear Coatings
Leaders: Paul Uglum, Uglum Consulting; Michael Brazil, Vergason Technologies, Inc.

Assembly Workshops

Matching the Best Assembly/Joining Process for the Application
Leaders: Ken Holt, Dukane; Chris Hartlage, Emerson-Branson, Steve Chookazian, Emabond

Solutions for Joining with Decorated Assemblies (Eliminate Damaged Parts)
Leaders: Alex Savitski, Dukane; Miranda Marcus, EWI

Adhesives for Difficult Plastics (Bioplastics, Recycled Plastics and More)
Leader: Zachary Sayah, Henkel Corporation




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Plastics Decorating is a quarterly magazine with a distribution of 10,000, targeting companies that decorate and assemble plastics. It is distributed to corporate management as well as plant and production managers involved in the plastics decorating process.