Your Guide To Making The Most From Your Ferrous Materials
Printing on to paper or self-adhesive vinyl is one thing, but there’s a real skillset needed when printing directly on to metal.
Any ink on metal has to grab the surface and stay resolutely in place.
It needs to be as scratch resistant as possible and, if it’s for a panel showing important information, it can’t be rubbed off or start to fade.
As a surface for inks to bind to, not all metals are created equally. These variables give printing on metal its own unique challenges.
Every metal surface will have had a treatment of some sorts.
How the ink reacts to this treatment can be the difference between a sharp looking permanent print or one that just isn’t fit for its purpose.
With collective years of print know-how, our screen print department can quickly tell the type of metal and the most efficient way to get the best results with it.
Couple this knowledge with our close long-term relationships with many national engineering companies and we can provide introductions and expertise on much more than just the printing of your metal products.
We can be a valuable resource whether you’re in the automotive, aviation, telecom, transport or medical industries.
In fact, if you’re in a business that needs any type of printing on metal, we will be able to assist in most elements of your production or, at least, set you off on the right path.
The First Steps To Printing On Metal
Once we know the type of metal and it’s end use, we can work out what inks to use and how to apply.
Some metals need pre-treating to create a stronger bond for the ink to grab on to. Others need to be fully cleaned or de-greased prior to printing.
Experience with a full range of metals means we can make the right decisions without having to spend time trialling and testing.
Although, we’re not averse to any experimenting to make sure we are using the best combination for your product.
Companies that use our direct metal printing service can send over files that have been output directly from engineering packages.
Files like .dxf need to be converted in to print ready files that we can create plates and artwork files from.
Our design department can turn these files into usable formats. We can even create complete new digital files from engineering drawings, schematics or your pdf designs.
Pre-formed 3D Metal Printing
When metal parts arrive here at QPS for printing on to, sometimes they are flat panels (like for graphic overlay printing) but often they have already begun the manufacturing process.
They turn up as machined and pre-formed parts taking the shape of whatever their final purpose will be.
The challenges with printing on 3D metal shapes are not only how to keep the panels in place when screenprinting. It’s also how to keep each individual part in place to ensure everyone is printed exactly the same.
In order to keep to this repeatable process when printing tens or even hundreds of the same item, we’ve had to become masters of jig making.
Obscure shapes and intricate pre-formed panels don’t worry us. We’ll make sure it stays where it should whilst the ink gets laid down!
Options With Inks & Metals
We can print virtually any colour onto metal.
There’s even a multitude of specialist inks that we can source if your requirement needs to be eye-catching or unique.
Our in-house screen print facility that can colour match a logo or corporate branding. We can individually print bespoke text or shapes to any metal object in the colours of your company.
From plain colours on serial plates to powder or wet coated finished items that need something a bit more special, we can produce the print to get your products noticed.
Printing Metals With Care
We recognise the value of your products and materials.
Print can be the final part of the manufacturing process before assembly. For something to go wrong here, we know it can have repercussions all the way back through production.
This is why we do everything to make sure we are not the weak link in your chain.
From personal collections and deliveries through to quality checks all the way through our factory, your product is in safe hands when here at QPS Print.
If you have a metal printing requirement or if you need some advice on the hows and whys of making the most of your metal product, get in touch on 01782 413789 or email email@example.com
PS: let the last word on our expertise with printing on metal go to one of the engineering companies we work alongside – KMF Group – and their Managing Director, Gareth Higgins MBE:
The QPS team ‘do a fantastic job for us, an integral supplier to our business, offering our customers a complete service’.