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Decorating & Printing on Plastic Parts

What is Pad Printing on Plastic?

At Unique Assembly & Decorating, we have over 20 years of experience in plastic part decorating and printing on plastic parts for injection molders and other plastic part manufacturers. Armed with that experience, we can decorate or print on nearly any plastic material. We have experience printing logos and other text on plastic medical parts, promotional items, cosmetic bottles, electrical components, plastic buckets, and more! We offer multiple pretreatment options for polyolefin plastics such as polypropylene or polyethylene.

From informative text on plastic medical parts to labels on electrical components, Unique Assembly & Decorating, Inc. has the know-how to complete plastic part decorating on a variety of plastics including polypropylene and polyethylene. Additionally, Unique Assembly & Decorating, Inc. has the facilities and machinery to quickly complete high-volume printing jobs, getting your printed plastic parts to you quickly while maintaining a professional finish. Get started with your plastic part decorating needs or your printing on plastic parts needs today!

Get Started on your Project Download ISO 9001:2015 Certification

Processes for Decorating & Printing on Plastic Parts

What are the Processes for Decorating & Printing on Plastic Parts?

For decorating and printing on plastic parts, we offer several options: pad printing, screen printing, and hot stamping. Our knowledgeable staff will work with you to determine which printing process is the right choice for your plastic part decorating project.

Pad Printing: In pad printing, ink is transferred to a plastic part on a flat, cylindrical, concave, convex, raised or recessed surface. The ink is transferred to the plastic component using a silicone pad which offers extremely fine detail and tight multicolor registration. Pad printing can be used on plastic objects that are difficult to print using other printing on plastic parts methods.

Screen Printing: Screen printing can be used on rigid plastic objects that are flat or cylindrical. It is frequently used on plastic bottles and jars. In this process, images are transferred on the part by pressing ink through the image burned into a screen. Multicolor images are achievable but require multiple passes.

Hot Stamping: This process decorates plastic parts with foil colors and reflective silver, gold or hologram foils. Hot stamping is best used for rigid, flat areas or raised text, but can also be used on plastic components with compound curvature. This is a more cost-effective plastic part decorating option because it does not require pretreatment.

What are the Shapes of Plastic We Can Print On?

Unique Assembly & Decorating, Inc. is capable of decorating and printing on plastic parts that are the following shapes:


  • Flat
  • Oval
  • Round
  • Concave
  • Convex
  • Irregular
  • Raised
  • Cylindrical
  • Recessed

Plastic Types

What are the different types of plastics for pad printing?

There is no limit to the types of plastics on which Unique Assembly & Decorating, Inc. can print. The most common plastics include:

If you are unsure of the decorating or printing option that will be best for your project, contact us today and we'll help choose the best option. 

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Plastic Part Decorating Capabilities

What are the Capabilities of Decorating & Pad Printing on Plastic Parts?

Unique Assembly & Decorating, Inc. works with a variety of different industries. From cosmetics to medical, electrical to manufacturing, our team has seen it all. Our Quality Management System is certified to the ISO 9002:2015 standard ensuring that no matter the industry, we produce decorated and printed plastic parts that are dependable and durable. We are committed to quality and meeting or exceeding our customers’ expectations.

Plastic Parts Decorating per Industry:
  • Cosmetic/personal care
  • Medical
  • Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Electrical
  • Telecommunications
  • Molding
  • Manufacturing
  • Promotional/advertising
  • Tech
  • Military
  • Aerospace
Within these industries, we have experience decorating plastic parts of all shapes and sizes.
  • Cables
  • Connectors
  • TV housings
  • Coffee pots
  • Keyboards
  • Calculators
  • Toys
  • Baby bottles
  • Pacifiers
  • Golf balls
  • Footballs
  • Medical devices & components
  • Syringes
  • Catheters & medical tubing
  • Dosage wheels
  • Washers/dryers
  • Refrigerators/freezers
  • Dishwashers
  • Vacuums
  • Small appliances
  • Garage door openers
  • Faucet knobs & shower taps
  • Circuit breakers
  • Plugs and switches
  • Electrical coil
  • Thermostat
  • Automotive interior/exterior
  • Automotive under hood
  • Dashboard
  • Helmets

Logo Printing for Plastic Products

Need to add a logo to a plastic product? We offer the following printing and decorating services:

Pad Printing

In this process, images are transferred to each part from a printing plate using a silicone pad. Pad printing offers extremely fine detail and tight multicolor registration.

Pad printing is a printing method that allows the transfer of a 2-dimensional image onto a 3-dimensional object. While just as effective for flat surfaces, this process is most often used for printing on parts that are round, have complex curvature, that are round, have a concave or convex surface, or have recessed or raised areas. 

Pad printing became popular following World War II when watchmakers began printing on the curved surfaces of watch faces. This ability to print on unprintable substrates has turned the pad printing process into a well-established technology and is used today across multiple industries such as medical, cosmetics, electronics, and more.

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Screen Printing

Images are transferred directly to a part by pressing ink though the image “burned” into a screen. Screen printing is the most economical choice for projects requiring a single, large image on a flat or cylindrical part. Screen printing also produces very opaque images.

Screen printing is a printing method that allows the transfer of large opaque images onto flat (or relatively flat) and cylindrical plastic, glass, and metal objects. The origins of screen printing date back thousands of years — from early Polynesian natives who forced die through cut-out patterns in banana leaves to decorate cloth, to cave walls found in France and Spain that were decorated by way of stencils and colorant applied with blowpipes, to the Japanese creating intricate designs during the Sung Dynasty (A.D 960-1280). Today, screen printing is used to decorate rigid parts for a variety of industries

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Industrial Digital Inkjet Printing

This printing method is the most economical, eliminating all setup costs associated with films, screens, or pad printing plates. With four-color process printing, digital printing provides a limitless number of colors for plastic parts.

Unique Assembly & Decorating now offers industrial digital inkjet product decorating and printing! This cutting-edge product decorating technology is a direct-to-substrate digital inkjet process that features high precision four-color process printing plus white for plastic, glass, wood and metal substrates. 

This four-color process printing allows for virtually limitless color combinations on a product, and the white is bright enough to be used as a spot color or as a base to print on dark surfaces. The process eliminates labels (pressure sensitive or in-mold), films, printing plates, clichés or screens which dramatically lowers setup cost - a huge advantage over traditional printing methods. This printing method is used in a range of industries from medical manufacturers to injection molders.


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Hot Stamping

With heat and pressure, we are able to hot stamp matte, glossy, and reflective metallic foil onto a plastic part. Hot stamping is a cost-effective way to give your part an impressive appearance.

Hot stamping (or foil stamping) is a dry process that uses heat and pressure to transfer reflective metallic foil and high gloss opaque colored foil to the part. It is also the process used to decorate raised areas and 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.

Because hot stamping is a dry process (unlike screen printing or pad printing), decorated parts can easily be bulk packed on-line with fewer concerns about damage to the decorated image -- this can save on packaging and handling costs. Polypropylene and polyethylene parts can typically be hot stamped without pretreatment which provides cost savings over pad printing and screen printing.

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Heat Transfer Decal Decorating

This decorating process allows us to add a screen printed or digitally printed image to a clear part with heat and pressure of the hot stamping process. It can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional multicolor printing methods.

At Unique Assembly & Decorating, we offer heat transfer decal decorating for Plastic parts from plastic injection molders, thermoformers, extruders, and other plastic manufacturers. This can be a cost-effective alternative to multicolor pad printing or screen printing for plastic parts, depending on the required image size and the total quantity for the project. We can offer this service for medium, high volume and bulk orders. Heat transfer decals can be applied to many plastic materials such as polypropylene, polyethylene, PVC and acrylic. Depending upon the image size and the number of parts to be decorated, heat transfer decals can be a cost-effective alternative to other decorating methods, especially for larger orders.

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Project Gallery

Unique Assembly is able to print or decorate nearly any rigid surface – flat or cylindrical, concave or convex, raised or recessed, and painted or coated surfaces.

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Have Questions?

We have the capabilities to work with companies across the US and are excited to work with you on your upcoming project!

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Find Us

Unique Assembly & Decorating, Inc.
2550 Wisconsin Ave,
Downers Grove, IL 60515