Production equipment and process improvement is a continuous effort at Si-Cal. We operate 13 in-line roll to roll web screen presses, plus two large format German presses. Our 30,000 feet of production space is staffed by people who, on average, have been with us for more than 23 years, and who consequently have substantial product, production and industry knowledge.
Designing for Success
The first step in our production process is a clear understanding of your product and the environment your decals and labels must work in. We work closely with your product and manufacturing people to insure your decal works well on the product, as well as running smoothly through your production processes as it is applied to the final product.
Prior to production, we extensively pre-test the ink-lacquer-carrier combination selected for your design to confirm optimum suitability, and throughout the production process we perform regular quality control checks.
Si-Cal has developed a four color process product with a resolution of as high as 120 DPI, which was not thought possible in screen printing in the past, but with the use of new screen materials and new technology, Si-Cal has made it a reality. With this new process, Si-Cal can produce a photo quality decal from line art.
In producing our heat transfer decals we use roll-to-roll screen printing exclusively. The resulting product comes to you on easy to handle rolls that can be 1 to 18 inches wide, with image spacing up to 26 inch repeats. The transferable images are printed on these rolls with special inks and lacquers on release paper or film (called the carrier). Si-Cal can also print on a carrier without holes or print registration marks on the margins for electric eye pick-up on the feeder. Si-Cal will print on the carrier that best suits your application. The decal images are transferred by heat and pressure using conventional hot stamp/foil marking presses.
Si-Cal heat transfers can be applied to various surface applications (substrates) including: Plastics (PE, PP, PC, ABS, Vinyl, Styrene), Metal, Fabrics (Standard, High Performance), Wood, PVC Belting, Leather, Neoprene, Rubber, and Graphite.
We maintain internal capabilities that are key to product design, production and final quality, including our R&D Department, where we have our chemistry and carrier development performed by an PhD Chemist on staff for extensive chemistry capabilities and related technology, such as inter-layer adhesion and inter-action. We also have our own Ink, Art and Screen Departments.
Applying the Decal
Heat and pressure permanently weld the image to the receiving surface using hot stamp machines. Many of these machines are fitted with web feeders that automatically advance the decal over the part to be decorated. Si-Cal’s decal rolls can be printed with a number of indexing options and can be set up for use with most hot stamp systems. Si-Cal will work with you on any stage of the decorating process to insure the best possible result.
The product to be decorated is secured in a fixture on the hot stamp press, directly under the heated platen. The first decal is advanced in place under the platen and over the product. The platen is lowered; the decal is transferred to the product; the platen is raised; and the next decal is automatically advanced to the next piece to be decorated.
Speed of Application
The decals are shipped on an easy to handle roll. Automated systems using rotary indexing dials or multiple “pick and place” mechanisms can apply our decals on up to 2400 parts per hour. Single station machines, with hand loading of parts can achieve 450 parts per hour with automatic unloading. Our WR 2000 decal construction was designed for higher speed applications like blow molded bottles and plastic drink cups.
Flexible Design and Production Capability
Our equipment and production processes are adaptable to many products, even where those products have not previously relied on heat transfer processes. We saw this recently when a medical device maker met with us to discuss a disposable part of their diagnostic system, and we found we could adapt our heat transfer process to their need for conductive lines on this flexible component. We regularly see such opportunites to make products in new ways for customers. One call to our staff gets a wealth of engineering experience moving to develop a solution that can improve your product quality, production speed and reduce costs.
Si-Cal is dedicated to continuously improving manufacturing, where quality is built into the product at every step of our process. We’ve recently completed the first phase of a Lean Manufacturing initiative that has resulted in improvements that have produced significant manufacturing efficiencies.
We do all of our work “in-house”: Artwork, Ink Compounding, Screen Making, and Printing. Rigorous maintenance of equipment and experienced press operators achieve image quality and color registration that rivals rotogravure printing in detail and elegance. Each lot of printed decals is subjected to hands-on final inspection prior to shipment to the customers.
Si-Cal’s quality control processes employ a variety of test and measurement instruments including: Spectrophotometer, Macbeth Light, PPAP testing, Densitometer, Accu-gauge, Hegman Gauge, Brookfield Viscometer, Tensiometer, Paper Gauge.
No Cost to Pursue a Solution
If you are not sure whether a heat transfer decal can work for you, it will cost nothing to find out, because you can use Si-Cal’s free engineering advice. We will provide our technical expertise at “no charge” to determine the feasibility of using the heat transfer process for your decorating project.
Call Si-Cal when you need the most durable and attractive heat transfer labels and decorations.