Graphic elaborations

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Our TOP SERI team of the internal Graphic department develops and satisfy our clients ideas, from A to Z, bringing them to the final realization.

Digital printing

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Digital printing

Digital printing is a generic term to identify a system of printing where the image is generated through electronic processes and printed directly onto the substrate to be printed

Since there isn’t any clear definition for digital printing, we usually consider belonging to this range machineries with very different features, for the constructive part and for the use to which the machine itself is intended.

Printers or plotters "Wide and Super Wide Format" inkjet use heads that move to the surface to release the liquid ink to print directly on the material, taking it from dedicated  tanks.

For "plotter roll" the most common use is for printing on adhesive supports, banner or poster of small /large.

The flat-bed printers are capable of printing on rigid materials of various thickness and type to enable the realization of posters, boxes, plates plexiglass or metal, templates and other.

The plotters allow the creation of adhesive letters or adhesives in general (printed or not) in colored PVC to be applied on windows, cars, banners etc ..

The most valuable feature of the inkjet machineries is the ability to print on very large formats, impossible for any other technology, in single copy or substantial quantities.

The Wide Format digital equipment that Top Seri offers to its clients, are of very high quality and accuracy, using only genuine inks strong lasting and high chromaticity. The flat-bed printer of Top Seri can print four-color and white materials up to 50 mm thickness. (using the white color as background and also as a spot color).

Screen Printing

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TOP SERI has 13 advanced machineries for traditional screen printing, promotional, rotating and ready-made clothing.

The term "screen" takes its origin from the Latin word "seri" (silk) and the greek "grapho" (to write), as the first fabric that served as stencils (masking negative) were silk.

The screen printing is an artistic printing technique of images and graphics for many substrates or surfaces by the use of a fabric (fabric press), by depositing the ink on a support through the free areas of tissue.

The screen printing technique as artisanal and industrial was also adopted in the artistic and business fields since the early twentieth century.

In commercial / industrial is mainly used to print images on fabrics, T-shirts, scarves, hats, ceramics, glass, polypropylene, polyethylene, paper, metal and wood.

Graphic screen printing is usually intended for print advertising or illustrations or graphics and drawings; industrial screen printing is for applications and functional decorating and not just decorative (control panels, signage etc.).

To create a screen printing film the image is printed on a transparent sheet of acetate. The picture can be drawn or painted directly on the transparent sheet, as long as the areas are covered with ink so that the light don’t pass through . The transparent sheet is placed on a frame covered with screen printing photographic emulsifier and then it is exposed to strong UV light. 

The areas of the transparent sheet that have not been covered allow the light to reach the emulsion, so they harden and attach to the frame. The screen frame is then fully washed. The areas of the frame not emulsified, corresponding to those of the printed image on the transparent sheet, dissolve and are washed away, leaving a negative image attached to the frame. The screen frame is then placed in register on a screen printing machine and is sprinkled with a specific ink for each substrate you want to print, (plastic, paper, glass, etc.). The ink must be diluted with a suitable product; sometimes it needs to add a catalyst for  glass and ceramic. Then it is coated with a kind of spatula (racla) which distributes it equally on the empty part of the stencil.

Thanks to screen printing technique, it is possible to print on all materials,one limit you may find is the irregularity of the surface while there are countless types of inks capable of anchoring on multiple or specific materials.

Multicolor serigraphy considers the use of more masters (one per color) and for them, in the printing phase, is necessary to keep a perfect "print log".

The screen printing technique is always possible on all substrates and is particularly useful and required to give reliable and intense shades of color.

In screen printing can be achieved countless special effects such as relief, glitter, metallic, iridescent, phosphorescent, abrasive, glossy, opaque, thermochromic that greatly enhance the printed material.

 

In detail: the film is  laid on the printing matrix for the following engraving. The master is part of the so-called screen printing frame, constituted by a fabric (for printing) stretched on a frame in aluminum or profiled iron rectangular, painted (to protect it from rust) and so it is scattered with "gelatine", a photosensitive emulsion which harden under ultraviolet light. The gelatin is distributed using a special precision equipment.

Subsequently, through a system of vacuum that secures the film to the fabric covered with gelatine, illuminates the master with a powerful light source (5000W).

The frame containing the matrix is washed with a lukewarm flushing out with the aim to remove the gelatinous emulsion on the parts that have not received light, that parts that coincide with the areas of the image to be reproduced. The washing process removes the gelatine leaving free the fabric printing areas where the ink will flow then.

Where the matrix is "washed" will pass the printing ink of the selected color, to imprint itself on the final substratum to the press equipment. 

So when the matrix is dried, frame is placed in an automatic screen printing machine, semi-automatic or manual, and the color is distributed through the scraper of the machine, while with the "racla" is caused the necessary pressure for passing the ink from one side to that on the opposite side of the matrix making it to deposit on the support.

 

THE FRAME SCREEN is made of a fabric of yarn very fine and regular, stretched on a frame of aluminum, iron or sometimes wood.

Some areas of the frame are locked or covered using various substances, depending on the technique used, to compose an image (so it is created a stencil); the locked areas do not appear in the final print. In the free areas of the printing color passes through the tiny holes of the hollow spaces left by the weft yarns and warp, to go to deposit on the substratum to be printed. The frame can be prepared for work in the plan or in the circular.

A fundamental characteristic of SCREEN PRINTING INK is thixotropy, a feature that belongs to fluids to vary its viscosity under the action of mechanical forces (or when the temperature changes) and to return to the state before cease of mechanical action (and the previous temperature). This property allows the ink to pass through the meshes of the fabric of the frame only under the pressure exerted by the racla printing and tempering almost immediately previous to the viscosity not spread too far on the object to be printed and without leaking from the frame. You are obtained, so the accuracy in the details, the high opacity, and uniformity of printing.

The basic components of a silkscreen printing ink are the binder, the charge, the pigment, the solvent and the additives:

• the binder is the specific "glue"  to each type of substrate to be printed; a resin

• charging the ink gives the consistency and coverage;

• the pigment determines the final color;

• the solvent affects the consistency, plasticity, on the drying speed, the degree of ink adhesion on the support;

The used additives are of different types; some allow the ink to expand just enough to cover the portions shielded by the wires of the frame (bathers), other accelerate the creation of polymerization or crosslinking that is, those phenomena that allow the ink to be fixed to the support serigraphy.

Pad Printing

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TOP SERI has 15 machineries divided as follows:

No. 1 computerised robot to 8 colors with rotary table

No. 4 computerised robot 6-color

No. 2 computerised robot in 5 colors

n ° 1 computerised robot 2-color

No. 1 tampographical Slide 45 cm

No. 2 one-color pad printing machine with rotary table, with automatic loading and unloading

No. 5 single-color pad printing semiautomatic

It is a sort of technique that allows you to transfer images and 2D graphics on objects and 3D surfaces. Using a soft and flexible tampon and (generally silicon) a layer of indelible ink is transferred from an engraved steel or photopolymer plate (matrix or pad printing cliché) on the surface of the support.

The printing surface may be non-planar, thanks to the soft pad printing that easily adapts itself to the different shapes on which it is pressed. In fact you can get great prints in four colors, using screen rulings on clichés (especially those in photopolymer). This printing process can also be used to deposit functional materials such as conductive inks, adhesives, lubricants.

The tampon printing is also as a combination of methods used in screen printing and rotogravure that originates together a new system.

The principle is always the same: on a plate (cliché) are engraved cavities with the shape to be printed, and then they’re filled with ink; then it is pressed out of these cavities inked a mold of silicone rubber (buffer) that "picks up" the color from the engraved parts; at this point the pad is pressed on the object that has to be printed and the ink is transferred.

To make this process clear it can be explained phase by phase:

1 On a cliché (metal or polymer) an image is engraved, and the cliché is mounted on the pad printing machine.

2 The surface of the printing plate is inked and then cleaned.

3 A tampon (nowadays in silicone rubber) is pressed against the cliché and it gets all the ink "shaped".

4 The pad is moved on the object that has to be printed and it is pressed against it to fit into the surface.

5 The pad is removed from the object by releasing the ink on the surface of it.

The process is different from the screen printing one, in which a frame is inked and in a second step then a spatula (racla) is passed on int. In screen printing this operation involves the direct transfer of the image on the substrate. In pad printing graphics are first transferred to the buffer and immediately after deposited on the substrate to be printed. The swab is not the source of the image, but a means of transfer of the same.

With adequate pad printing machines, you can reproduce simultaneously more images and on different sides of an object, also at different heights, on inclined or vertical surfaces, by rotating the object up to 360 °.

The pad printing is known to be the most suitable technique and sometimes the only one, to print on non-planar surfaces and objects, but prints equally well on flat surfaces. The applications may be different, but it is in fact used almost for printing on rigid and semi-rigid small supports. It is very suitable when it is required multi-color printing in a single cycle, where it’s important to have a fast drying and with highest print quality. Thanks to the extreme adaptability to surfaces and materials, it can be used for various industrial purpose: toothbrushes, coffee mugs, knobs ovens, radios and televisions, remote controls, phones, dials of watches, keyboards, monitors, spectacle frames, boots ski, bottles for cosmetics, front appliances.

Hot Printing

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It’s a technique based on the combined use of heat and pressure, and it presents a great advantage: it allows to take the ink out the printing process, by substituting it with a thin  four-layered film: one supporting polyester layer (12-50 microns); a release layer (made of special waxes); a layer colored with pigments or metallic material; a final adhesive layer expressly intended for every kind of support to be printed(plastic, paper, metal…).

 

The film is placed between a surface heated at 100 - 170°C (processed block) and the component on which the decoration will be printed.

Then the hot processed block comes into contact with the film and compresses it on the surface of the component to be stamped, then the wax release layer melts down, the coloured patina transfers from the bearing layer and goes onto the underlying materials, being glued through the adhesive layer.
The transfer of the patina occurs only when the processing block directly touches the film. As a consequence, through this technique it is possible also to make sophisticated drawings, logos and inscriptions, engraving the processing block in such a way to leave only the decoration embossed. 

YAG laser

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Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet; Nd:Y3Al5O12) is a crystal that is used as a lasing medium for solid-state lasers. The dopant, triply ionized neodymium, typically replaces a small fraction of the yttrium ions in the host crystal structure of the yttrium aluminium garnet (YAG)
Nd:YAG lasers are optically pumped using aflashtube or laser diodes. Nd:YAG lasers typically emit light with a wavelength of 1064nm, in the infrared. Nd:YAG lasers operate in both pulsed and continuous mode. Pulsed Nd:YAG lasers are typically operated in the so-called Q-switchingmode: an optical switch is inserted in the laser cavity waiting for a maximum population inversion in the neodymium ions before it opens. Then the light wave can run through the cavity, depopulating the excited laser medium at maximum population inversion. 


Nd:YAG lasers are used in manufacturing for engraving, etching, or marking a variety of metals and plastics, or for metal surface enhancement processes like laser peening.[14] They are extensively used in manufacturing for cutting and welding steel, various alloys. For automotive applications (cutting and welding steel) the power levels are typically 1–5 kW. Super alloy drilling (for gas turbine parts) typically uses pulsed Nd:YAG lasers (millisecond pulses, not Q-switched). Nd:YAG lasers are also employed to make subsurface markings in transparent materials such as glass or acrylic glass.

Varnishing

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The solvent polishing is formulated with high quality raw materials and meet in real time the law for safeguard and health of the workers and the environment. The conventional solvent polishing products allow to go beyond problems caused from the requirement of operations on objects that it’s not possible to treat with other techniques, due to their dimensions, standardisation limits, lack of specific equipments and systems of forced drying. Every product is free of toxic classified elements such as chrome, lead, solvents and additives.

The Top Seri traditional quality and experience in this technology, contemplate the continuous update and research of new systems for solutions dedicated to innovative products. 

Assembly

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The word “assembly” originate from the english “to assemble” and it means to put togheter, to set up.

Top Seri created for its customers a dedicated department to put together the items serigraphed/pad printed, varnished or laser printed, even with ultrasonic welding, in order to deliver the finished product just in time.