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Process automation, Injection molded parts, Automotive industry

Pad printing in the automotive sector – advantages and application

19 January 2021

Pad printing is an excellent way to easily decorate any surface. Learn which projects to use it for and what distinguishes it from other car part decoration techniques. We are going to have a look at pad printing application in the production of injection moulded parts.

What is pad printing?

The Pad printing technique is commonly used for marking various types of products - including car parts manufactured using injection moulding technology. It is a kind of intaglio printing; the specific strength of this method is its very high speed of printing large batches of products. The mould used for prints is relatively resistant to damage, ensuring its effective use for a long time.

Pad printing can be applied on a wide range of different surfaces – ranging from rubber, through metal, to glass. The process uses a plate engraved with a specific pattern by a laser. It is coated with a special paint which is practically irremovable when applied to the final product. Excess paint is removed from the plate and then the whole thing is pressed against the pad, which in turn is used to transfer the print onto a particular part.

This printing method makes it possible to decorate very irregular elements. At the same time, it is distinguished by its excellent accuracy and precision. Graphics can be of any shape and inscriptions can be made in very small dimensions – multicolour printing is also possible.

Why should you choose pad printing services at Knauf Automotive?

The interior aesthetics of a vehicle very often determine whether a potential customer will make a purchase. Even high-class designs may not be appreciated by customers if the interior elements are not attractive. Using appropriate methods of painting or marking car parts is crucial in this matter. It allows each individual element to be refined and designed to match the aesthetics of the customer's expectations. Developing the right design is the key to associating the product with a sense of uniqueness and high quality.

It is important to think about any industrial process in a sustainable way. That is why it is worth choosing Knauf Automotive solutions. We offer excellent precision, a very wide range of different tools for decorating injection moulded surfaces and a high degree of environmental friendliness in our processes. We have a production network consisting of 42 plants where energy-saving solutions are used. We take care of the environment on many levels, from electricity consumption to emissions, during the production process. Our team develops optimal solutions that combine a high culture of work with precision and attention to detail – there is no room for imperfect designs. An effective partner in our supply chain area, we strive to reduce time-to-market and ensure maximum innovation for our customers.

See also: Automotive injection molded parts manufactured by Knauf Automotive

What are the main advantages of using pad printing?

Pad printing is used mainly for decorating large batches of products. Also, its advantage lies in the possibility of effectively painting and marking irregular parts. High accuracy allows the design to include very detailed graphics. Thanks to the use of high-class paints, it is possible to decorate almost any surface.

Pad printing is appreciated in the automotive sector for its simplicity, easy implementation and excellent efficiency. However, its accuracy has also been recognised in other market sectors. Among other things, we can find markings on medical products which are the result of pad printing. This technique is being increasingly used in the medical sector and by food production companies. It allows the transfer not only of paint, but also of various other substances – for example, glue or food colouring.

The future of pad printing

The industry is constantly seeking out newer and newer innovations – but it is not always necessary to come up with new solutions to replace older ones. Pad printing is unlikely to lose its popularity as a way of decorating a surface. This is because of its unprecedented flexibility – the ability to decorate any surface in any way, at optimum cost, extremely quickly and with high precision. In practice, this is everything manufacturers expect of solutions in various sectors, including the automotive industry. The vacuum metallisation method is also an option worth considering, especially when we want to achieve maximum consistent aesthetics, extraordinary print durability and water resistance. Before deciding to use pad printing it is also worth getting familiar with other surface decoration techniques.

Find a solution that makes it possible to print any logo on plastic parts

At Knauf Automotive we provide a very wide range of painting services, including: 

●    pad printing, 

●    thermal printing, 

●    laser marking, 

●    PVD and vacuum metallisation

Moreover, we are a leader in custom plastic overmolding. We are also a reliable partner in coordination of injection mold design and manufacturing - throughout the whole process, our experts provide extensive knowledge and customer support.

Thanks to this, we are able to select the most suitable technique for a given project. The initiatives of our ID Lab specialist team enable us to improve the functioning of various areas of the automotive market. 

Thanks to a modern approach to business, we can support the competitiveness of our customers and provide excellent support in delivering top solutions to the market very quickly. Please contact us to for more details and tailor-made solutions for your project.

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