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By Josh Dunahoe | Aug 28, 2017
Twister T6 aluminum nameplate by GMN

Keirton Inc., a Canada-based company, is a leader in specialty crop harvesting solutions and product engineering. Following a rewarding relationship in the past, they reached out to GM Nameplate (GMN) for another project. This time it was a nameplate for their latest small-capacity trimmer called the Twister T6.

Keirton’s main requirement was that the T6 nameplate should speak the same design language as their existing products. Since this new portable trimmer was primarily designed for the countertops at home, Keirton wanted the nameplate to be slender, sturdy and easy to clean. Keeping these requirements and final product application in mind, an aluminum embossed nameplate emerged as the clear winner.

Aluminum nameplates are lightweight, durable, and scratch-resistant and open up an entire world of textures and finishes. The Twister T6 nameplate was set on a black background with a hint of gradient green on top. Although the color gradation was extremely fine, the most demanding task was to hit the precise shade of green. It took rounds of color development and testing to finally hit the bull’s eye. Thanks to GMN’s decades of experience with brand identity products, our color experts truly understand the significance of a perfect color match and leave no stone unturned to achieve it.

Once the colors were approved, GMN cruised through the production process. First, a thin aluminum sheet was covered with a primer and then litho-printed (also known as off-set printing) with black ink. Halftones were then used to produce the gradient green. Halftones are a pattern of tiny dots, squares or any other shape that gradually fade out, ultimately giving the impression of gradation. Even the slightest change in the size, shape and spacing of the pattern can affect the final outcome, making it extremely tricky to achieve a specific color. If you zoom in on a T6 nameplate, you can decipher the use of halftones by spotting the small dots.

The words ‘Twister’ and the rectangular block of gradient green were embossed in-house to accentuate the details and add texture to the nameplate. Eventually, the entire sheet was blanketed with varnish to hold the inks in place and prevent them from chipping or cracking. A cross hatch test (also called paint adhesion test) to inspect the adherence of the ink to the substrate was conducted and positively concluded.

As a custom-manufacturer of nameplates, GMN brings together a blend of expertise, quality and manufacturing capabilities. From domed to electroformed nameplates, the possibilities of shapes, sizes, materials, finishes and textures are endless. When it comes to nameplates at GMN, you are only limited by your imagination.

To learn more about the different types of nameplates, check out our capabilities page here

Anna Minzel, GMN
By Anna Minzel | Aug 24, 2016
A Fluke laser radiation label using litho and screen printing

Each printing process has its own advantages and disadvantages. Because of these differences, multiple printing processes can be used for the same part. This Fluke radiation label uses two different printing capabilities – litho and screen printing.

Litho, or offset printing, is often used for very fine text because with screen printing, fine text may become distorted or blurry. During screen printing, the paint is forced through a screen onto the material, leaving more room for error on fine print. In lithographic printing, the ink is transferred from a stone or metal plate to the correct image areas using the repellent properties of water and ink. Lithographic printing for fine text creates a clear, consistent text.

For this part, lithographic printing was used for the fine print and screen printing was used for the colors. The opaque ink colors allowed for backlighting capabilities. During the screen printing process for the colors, the white was not placed over the red color to ensure the red color could be backlit.

Tight registration is essential for small parts because correctly lining up the label can be a challenge when there is little room for error. For more accurate registration, registration holes were used. These holes tell the machine where the part is and where to aim. Without tight registration, the green color around the embossed button would be off-centered and the transparent red section would be distorted. The tight registration allows for a more accurate label.

At GMN, we provide offset, flexo, screen, and digital printing. Find out more about our printing capabilities by reading our printing capabilities blog series.

By Steve Baker | Aug 9, 2016
Via printing with webline

In a previous blog, we learned that vias are pathways connecting both sides of the polyester substrate creating a two-sided circuit. Today, we will discuss the difference between sheet printing and webline printing through the process of vias printing.

During the sheet printing process, after each sheet has been printed, the press table needs to be hand-wiped to ensure the ink will not smear and ruin the printed circuit. In webline printing, the machine has a wiper mechanism, automating the process. Using webline printing increases production speeds and creates a more streamlined printing process.

Beneath the print bed lies a roll of wiper material. When unrolled, the wiper material moves up to the top of the print bed. The print head puts down the ink and as the substrate advances along, the wiper material moves simultaneously, preventing the ink from smearing. Then printed parts move through a thermal tunnel drier to cure the ink.

GM Nameplate has extensive printing capabilities, including offset, flexo, screen and sheet fed screen printing. We also offer multi-color sheet fed screen printing, roll-to-roll, and digital printing. GMN’s wide range of printing capabilities allows us to find the right printing solution for each application.    

To learn more about vias and their use in two sided circuits, check out this blog post.  

Below are images of the webline press in action.

Wiper material

Substrate

Via printing