CHICAGO — United Silicone Inc. believes five heads are better than one — especially if they do both pad printing and hot stamping.
The company, part of Illinois Tool Works (Booth S1432), unveiled what it says is the first off-the-shelf machine that combines pad printing and hot stamping.
The Uni-Ring system has up to five heads doing either process, allowing for faster throughput and closer tolerance registration than if the machines were separate, said Keith Hillestad, national sales manager with United Silicone in Lancaster, N.Y.
Decorating companies have built custom machines that combine both processes, but this is the first available in a standard model, said Andy Chopnacki, research manager at the firm and designer of the Uni-Ring.
"We have seen a need for this," Chopnacki said.
Buying the machines separately takes up more floor space — a 9-foot-by-9-foot area, compared with a 5-foot-by-5-foot area with Uni-Ring, he said. The Uni-Ring also can be incorporated directly into a molding machine conveyor system or linked with robots, he said.
The machine has a five-color cycle rate of 2,000 parts per hour, and starts at about $75,000.
ITW also introduced a mechanical hot-stamping and heat-transfer machine, the US-25M. The machine has 21/2 tons of stamping force and uses a redesigned pneumatic drive to get more force with less air, the company said.
ITW also broadened its line to include in-mold decoration, a new technology for the company developed by its Promark subsidiary in Manchester, Conn.