Innovative Machines (Jenison, MI) finds innovative ways to automate screen printing or marking onto parts and products. The company specializes in integrating material handling and conveying, coating and printing, marking, vision systems and curing into an automated process for its customers. It has built machines for screen printing onto solar cells, piston skirt coating and compact disks.
Typically, Innovative Machines' customers need faster production rates. Though some customers still use manual loading or off loading, automating the ink application and curing significantly increases production rates and reduces scrap.
An integral part of this automation is integrating ultraviolet (UV) curing into the system. Innovative Machines began using Fusion UV Systems Inc. (Gaithersburg, MD) curing equipment several years ago.
About 5 years ago, Innovative Machines developed its rotary indexing printer. This multicolor screen printer eliminates loading, registering and unloading time for each color. The printer registers the product once, resulting in a precision screen print process that improves quality and reduces scrap rates. The unit can produce parts with 150-line, four-color process printing at speeds as high as 45 parts per minute.
Parts are held in place using a vacuum on a circular table that indexes beneath the print head and Fusion's UV F300 curing unit. The printer can incorporate as many as eight print stations, which would also have eight UV curing units. The height of each curing unit is adjustable, allowing the right amount of UV energy for each color.
Typically, the final cure unit is in focus for a complete final cure. Following curing, the part is unloaded.
Absolute Media (San Jose, CA) recently purchased a compact disk screen printer from Innovative Machines. "This [product] has successfully opened up business opportunities such as high-quality, 133-line, four-color process compact disk business that we were not able to pursue before. The printer not only proved itself to be reliable, but has become a major profit center for our business," says Reinhard Ortgies, president of Absolute Media.
For more information on UV curing systems, call 301-527-2660 or visit www.fusionuv.com.
For more information on automation integration, call 616-669-1649 or visit www.innovativemachines.com.