Archive for the ‘Digital Printing’ Category

Choosing the Best Metal Marking Methods

Posted on: September 9th, 2016 by | No Comments

Businesses and individuals are often told to go make their mark in the world. At U.S. Nameplate, we make our mark with every custom design we create for our clients.

Since 1946, we have been the supplier of choice for metal nameplates to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) throughout the world. In fact, more than 3,000 OEM’s trust us to design and deliver custom products—including decals, labels, tags, control panels, signs, and nameplates—for all their industry needs.

To help you make your mark, our experienced representatives will discuss the many options for your machinery and your products. When it comes to metal nameplates, you’re spoiled for choice with our materials and marking processes.

We’ll begin by determining the proper metal thickness for your application. Once you select your preferred metal, you can choose from thicknesses ranging between .005” – .125.”

We work with a wide variety of industries—including aerospace, mining, and utilities—and we know each customer has unique specifications. The thickness of the metal depends on your use, how you will affix the nameplate, and what type of mark we can offer. We’re exacting in all we do and proud to be an ISO certified facility and UL approved label supplier.

Following are brief descriptions of five of our marking methods:

Metalphoto®: Known as the most durable aluminum substrate on the market, Metalphoto is a photosensitive, anodized metal used in a wide range of industrial applications. Using your design requirements, we imprint the plate with your custom instructions. Next we embed the metal with graphics by embossing the surface with metallic silver particles. Finally, we seal the marks and cover them with a hard anodic layer. Available in thicknesses ranging from .003″ – .125,” we offer matte, satin, and satin gold finishes.

Metal Etching: Using a chemical etching process, we create designs in aluminum and anodized aluminum which can be manufactured at any size, though most thicknesses vary from .005″ – .125.” We can also etch the surface, then fill those spaces with screen printed inks. At U.S. Nameplate, we recommend the etching process for applications in harsh outdoor conditions, including the aircraft, automotive, and marine industries. We offer finishes in a variety of colors.

Screen Printing: You’ll appreciate all the options when it comes to this process. Why? Screen printing is equally effective on metal or flexible materials like polyester or vinyl. We use a woven mesh with an ink-blocking stencil to create your custom design. In addition to flexible materials, we use a variety of metals and thicknesses to cut and machine your ideal printed project.

Digital printing: Like screen printing above, we can employ a wide variety of media and thicknesses. We apply a digital image directly atop your preferred material. It’s a great choice for small production runs and on-demand printing. In addition to nameplates, digital printing is a great choice for for decals, safety labels, graphic overlays, and control panels.

Embossing: A centuries old process, metal embossing adds three dimensional printing—a raised, sunken, or relief design—to your chosen material. We can emboss on metal or flexible materials, like polycarbonate, up to .032” thick. Embossing creates a tactile and textured surface, useful for products like graphic overlays and buttons.

No matter what the metal, material, thickness, or product, you’ll appreciate the durability of everything we produce at U.S. Nameplate. Our fabricated products last up to 25 years with outdoor and extreme exposures. Contact us today to see how we can help with your metal nameplates.

Nameplate Printing Durability Infographic

Posted on: April 20th, 2016 by | No Comments

nameplate durability

Nameplate Processes & Durability

The printing process and materials used for your nameplate will affect its durability and longevity. Generally, digital printing will last 2-3 years on paper, 4 years on vinyl and around 7 years on metal. Screen printing can last up to 12-13 years on metal, but only 5 years on film and 2-3 on paper. Etching and Metalphoto are the most durable processes used on metal nameplates and can last up to 30 years.

Our nameplate experts are happy to help you find the right material and printing option for your nameplate needs. Give us a call or contact us for more information.

 

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When It Is Time To Order, Don’t Be Left Hanging

Posted on: June 5th, 2015 by | No Comments

Think; you just started your business and are in need of an industrial metal nameplate or decal. One that can with stand the harsh conditions your equipment goes through. You have a lot of questions but don’t know whom to turn to. The experts at U.S. Nameplate are here to answer those questions.

The biggest question you have is probably: What is it going to cost me? Typically, 4/5 of the cost of an industrial decal or metal nameplate is labor, and 1/5 is the cost of material. Metal will cost more than other substrates such as polyester, polycarbonate, vinyl and paper. Even though you will pay more initially, you will get a longer lasting product.

Which brings me to the next question. How long will my industrial decal or metal nameplate last? The length of durability varies greatly by exposure to the elements: temperature, humidity, how much sunlight it gets, for example.

Generally, you can expect high performance premium vinyl films to last 5-7 years. Economy grade vinyl films, which are less durable, can last between 1 and 3 years. Vinyl is a durable plastic film that is flexible. Often, vinyl is used on curved surfaces and is abrasion resistant and water and weatherproof.

Standard polycarbonate can be expected to last 3 years whereas coated polycarbonate can be expected to last 5-7 years. Polycarbonate is a strong, rigid plastic film offering excellent chemical and abrasion resistance. In addition, polycarbonate has good electrical qualities and like vinyl can conform to surface irregularities when heated.

Polyester films can last around 2 years. Polyester is a very strong plastic film. It does not conform as well as polycarbonate or vinyl, but offers little or no shrinkage.

Metals however, can almost stand the test of time depending on the process. Aluminum and stainless steel, which can be screen printed or digitally printed, can last 20 years. Aluminum that has been etched or screen filled can last around 25 years. Metalphoto decals and nameplates can last over 30 years.

Aluminum is one of the most widely used metals in the world. Its lightweight, high strength excellent chemical resistance and temperature resistance makes aluminum a high performance label application. Aluminum can also be anodized which creates an even more durable aluminum product.

Stainless steel’s resistance to corrosion, staining, temperature, low maintenance and familiar luster make it an ideal material for many label applications.

All these numbers are if conditions are perfect. With simple cleaning and maintenance every once in a while, your industrial decals and metal nameplates can last even longer.

The process of how your industrial decals or metal nameplates are printed depends on how long you would like for them to last. U.S. Nameplate has the capabilities to Metalphoto, metal etch, screen print and digitally print your industrial decals and metal nameplates. The table below shows the durability of the printing process in years.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 1.23.16 PM

These are just a few questions you may have. Contact us or call us at 1 (800) 553-8871 and a U.S. Nameplate representatives will be pleased to answer any other questions you may have. U.S. Nameplate Co. has been the supplier of choice to over 3,000 OEM’s and is equipped to handle any size of orders from one to millions.