Frequently Asked Questions

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What kind of materials can you print on?

We can print or decorate on any rigid surface – such as plastic, glass, metal, wood, and ceramic surfaces. We do NOT print on soft goods such as t-shirts or clothing, we also do not print on paper products, such as business cards or notepads.

 

What kind of surfaces can be printed?

We can print or decorate nearly any rigid surface – our capabilities include wood, plastic, metal, ceramic, glass and leather. From concave or convex, painted or coated, flat or cylindrical, to raised or recessed, we have the ability to print on most rigid products and surfaces.

What is pad printing?

Pad printing is a wet process in which three-dimensional plastic, glass, metal, rubber, or wooden part can be decorated. The image is transferred to the part from ink filled etched images in a printing plate by way of a silicone pad. Pad printing can successfully decorate three-dimensional parts because while transferring the image to the part, the silicone pad wraps around or adapts to the shape of the part without distorting the image, given some image size restrictions. Extremely fine detail and tight multicolor registration are readily achievable with pad printing.

What is Open Well pad printing?

This single color, or one color, pad printing equipment represents older pad printing technology, but Open Well pad printers still have a place in today’s custom decorating facilities. For example single color pad printing projects with multiple images on the same part are a good fit for our Open Well pad printers. The Open Well design allows for quicker change overs than with Sealed Cup pad printers. The design of the machine allows our operators to change from image to image with little down time. Less down time equals savings to the customer, especially for high volume orders.

What is Sealed Cup pad printing?

The Sealed Cup (sometimes referred to as closed cup) for single color or one color pad printing and multicolor design is newer pad printing technology where the ink is sealed in a cup, as the name suggests. Since the ink in these pad printers is sealed, it remains at the proper viscosity for a longer period of time. Therefore, the operator spends less time maintaining the ink, which results in higher output. Again, higher pad printing output equals savings to the customer, especially for larger quantity orders.

What is screen printing?

Screen printing is a wet process in which flat or cylindrical plastic, glass, metal, or wooden parts can be decorated. Images are transferred directly onto the part by pressing ink though the image “burned” into a screen. For both flat screen printing and cylindrical screen printing, multicolor images are achievable but require one pass for each color. More so than with pad printing, screen printing ink provides extremely opaque images on light, dark, and clear substrates in just one pass.

What is digital printing?

This cutting edge product decorating technology is a direct-to-substrate digital ink jet process that features high precision four-color process printing plus white for plastic, glass, and metal substrates that eliminates the films and plates or screen needed for pad printing and screen printing.

How many colors can my project have?

That depends on details of your project and the process required for project. However, we can pad print up to 5 spot colors and 4-color process images in-line in one pass. We can screen print one color and multicolor images, but a separate pass is required for each color. We can host stamp single and multicolor images, but a separate pass is also required for each color. Heat transfer decals are created -by multicolor screen printing or 4-color process digital printing. And, industrial digital inkjet printing also uses 4-color processing imaging with a separate pass for white when it is required.

Do you have minimum or maximum amounts for orders?

We do not have a minimum or maximum order size or quantity. Given the details of your project, we’ll recommend the best product printing or decorating option which is often the most economical as well.

 

Can you match to my specific colors?

Yes, we have in-house color matching capabilities to specific PMS colors, and we can match to a provided color chip. If necessary, we can also work directly with our ink supplier for color matches.

 

Can I provide my product to print on or do you provide the product as well?

Our business model is that we print or decorate on supplied goods. Meaning, we do not mold or manufacturer any goods.

How long does the process take?

For orders up to 5000 pieces, our typical lead time is approximately 10 working days after receipt of your PO, parts, and signed artwork approval sheets. With a full shop load, this lead time can extend to 12 to 15 days. For larger order, we can provide lead time as part of our proposal.

Can you store inventory of my product?

Yes, we have approximately 10,000 square feet of inventory space. We can hold boxes or skids for one time orders, or inventory product for repeat business.

Will I be able to review a sample before the order is completed?

Yes, we can provide a pre-production sample for your review. Once we get approval of the sample, the will begin production on your order. Or, if you require changes, we can make the necessary changes and submit a new pre-production sample for approval, or begin production per the changes.

What is foil banding for caps & closures?

While the foil banding process is simple, this type of hot stamping has many names – hot stamp foil banding, peripheral hot stamping, peripheral foil banding, and peripheral banding to name a few. For this process, we have automatic hot stamping equipment that enables us to apply a 1/8” wide foil band (typically metallic silver or metallic gold) 360 degrees around the perimeter of virtually any shaped plastic cap, closure, collar, and dispenser shroud.

What is hot stamping?

With hot stamping, a metallic or colored pigment foil is transferred from a roll of foil to the part by way of heat and pressure. The heat and pressure releases the foil to the part to form a permanent bond with the part. With hot stamping, we are able to give parts an impressive, high-end appearance with reflective metallic foils and high gloss opaque colored foils which are not achievable with pad printing or screen printing inks. Materials such as plastic, leather, wood, and paper can all be decorated using the hot stamping method. Hot stamping is also the process used to decorate raised areas which is also known as tipping. In this process, the pigment or metallic foil is transferred to raised letters or a raised area of a plastic part.

What is heat transfer decal decorating?

Heat transfer decal decorating utilizes high quality screen printed or digitally printed images on a clear carrier that are permanently bonded to a part by the heat and pressure of the hot stamping process. Heat transfer decals can be applied to many plastic materials such as polypropylene, polyethylene, PVC, and acrylic.

 

"Unique’s creativity and commitment to your customers has and will always be your trademark. I am very proud to have worked with you along the way. "

David – Director of Technical Services, Packaging Supplier