Pad printing is an indirect printing method. The pad (silicone) absorbs the colour from the cavity and transfers it onto the printing stock. Uni- and multicolour machines are used.
Pad printing, as a relatively new and innovative method, plays a significant role at the Weidling GmbH. With approximately 20 uni- and multicolour pad printing machines, the Weidling GmbH ranks among the largest and most experienced suppliers in this field nationwide. Particularly the approach of using pad printing for industry applications accelerated the success from the 1970’s onward.
Pad printing is an indirect printing method. The printing form is a printing block, made originally from steel, whereas today it consists of a plastic material (photopolymer). The positive film is laid onto the printing form and exposed under vacuum. After the washing out (etching in the case of steel metal cliché), the motif lies in a cavity of about 30 μm, where, during the squeegee process (made from strip steel or ceramics), the colour is evenly spread. The pad (silicone) absorbs the colour from the cavity and transfers it onto the printing stock. Here, open and closed machines are distinguished as well as uni- and multicolour machines. At the Weidling GmbH, one-, two- and four-colour machines are used, but also prints with more than four colours are possible, according to the respective client’s requirements.
Resulting from the use of a highly elastic, ink-repellent silicone pad, which functions similarily to a plunger, many different surfaces can be printed. With the elasticity of the silicone, the pad can adjust to the printing object during the ink release, making it possible to print also on uneven surfaces (convex, concave). Moreover, a particularly detailed representation of the printing motif is possible.
Due to the diverse fields of application, ink manufacturers have developed a great variety of colour systems, which are aligned to the printing object, during the recent decades. Therefore, it is possible to print almost all materials prevalent in industry. Concerning more demanding materials, the Weidling GmbH has laboratories of different partners at its disposal, thus being able to provide inspections and durability tests.
Pad printing is a fairly unknown method, even though pad-printed products are present everywhere in daily life, such as bottles, ball pens or telephones. In industry applications, primarily plastic and metal parts are printed this way. Typical products are front panels, lids, keys, switches, scales, cans, fittings, modelbuilding parts, glass objects and advertising items.