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manufacturers lost their innovative spark and digital printing strolled in and very Only screen printing, either on the surface or via in-mould decoration, will
nearly cleaned up. Screen printing hasn’t and it won’t disappear because there is provide the visual quality and product resistance required in this application.
space for every process in graphics and mass imaging technology markets into There are times when its sister process pad printing will be needed for extreme
the foreseeable future. In fact, in the domestic environment screen printing is contours. For sophisticated images on contoured surfaces it may be necessary to
everywhere. use servo controlled machines to maintain the quality of print. Although more
Take the humble kettle, for example. Hidden screen printing technology helps expensive, this is balanced by the considerable cost of reclaiming badly printed
the kettle boil faster than ever before, while utilising less space. The screen moulding.
printed kettle element is actually the flat bottom of the kettle, created using a
resistive ink printed onto a ceramic insulated stainless steel. Printed conductive Bold and beautiful
tracks provide the electrical supply and the whole circuit is covered by a There are a number of other areas where screen printing holds its own such as
protective glaze. The element will heat up quickly and reach temperatures of 250 in decorative arts and clothing.
to 300°C, providing instant energy to heat the water. Screen printed ele ments are In the art world, screen technology still has an important place in creating true,
more efficient, space saving and easy to manufacture. limited edition prints. Unfortunately in high street art galleries, 'limited edition'
Printed thick film technology can also be used in other industrial heating prints are often created using a Giclee digital ink jet printing process, now widely
applications. One of the main suppliers of the materials used in the manufacture used because screen printed work is more expensive. But that's the point: in an
of these elements is ElectroScience, which can provide a complete package and analogue screen printing process, the stencils and origination are destroyed
offer advice on specific applications. after the one and only limited edition print run. The price tag guarantees
Making an impact Screen printed textiles also decorate the house and clothe its occupants with
Another area where screen printing has had a huge impact is in the lettering and items such as expensive silk scarves from independent screen printing shops.
branding found on familiar objects such as washing machines. In a retail Despite the demise of companies such as Wedgewood, there are still dozens of
environment, buying decisions are made in the last seven seconds, which means small potteries and decorating shops using beautifully screen printed waterslide
buyers are heavily influenced by how a product looks, including its branding. transfers to adorn their ware.
With the washing machine, this role falls to the control panel, which is the As large enterprises belonging to multi-nationals are leaving our shores, it is
attractive face of the machine. Smooth curves and clear lettering communicate these small, innovative companies that will help create the wealth we
flexibility and ease of use, yet that branding must withstand domestic cleaners need to survive in the future with high quality, exclusive designs that sell
and abrasive clothes. at a premium.
This pad printer from Tampo is ideal for branding on contoured objects
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