Have a question about a nameplate or badge?
The Nameplate FAQ page covers common questions in the following areas.
Plastic overlays, nameplates or labels used on medical devices need to be flexible and durable to optimize the life of the product and logo, while aesthetically representing the brand. One of the most important demands of medical device end-users is the readability of the screen. If the display is not treated with a surface layer, the information on the device cannot be read properly, especially under certain lighting conditions. A protective film reduces light reflections by 90% and allows relaxed reading of displays. This increases reliability and accuracy for the medical information being provided.
The glucometer above features a decorative plastic overlay with a clear window covering the screen, which provides visualization of information from the display. To optimize aesthetics and function, the plastic overlay has a gray border with a clear window for screen visibility. This part is an in-molded decoration, which allows an accurate snap-fit onto the glucometer. No adhesive is needed for assembly.
Medical device overlays increase the longevity of the product as well as accurately represent the quality of the brand. What will your next overlay design include?
Request a Nameplate Materials and Processes Guide to begin exploring the options available to you in creating your product branding.
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This real aluminum button features backlit graphics. The background of the button is spun to emphasize the authentic metal surface catching natural highlights and shadows. Engine start stop graphics are pierced in the aluminum using the Singular ID process to hold the islands of the A, R, O and P in place without an unattractive bridge. Insert injection molding is used to bring together the aluminum cap and two colors of plastic in one part.
Clear resin is molded behind the letters allowing for multi-color lighting with colored LEDs. The button design includes a bridge across the backside creating separate areas for each colored LED.
Molded in color is another option in the design of backlit buttons.
Material metal: .018"-.023" plastic: minimum thickness .040"Graphics minimum stroke: .028" (positive and negative) minimum radii: .008"
Northern Engraving manufactures metal and plastic switch buttons in a diverse range of processes. This illuminated aluminum button is the latest in our efforts to bring you new options in button design. What other applications come to mind for a backlit aluminum button?
In-mold components may be used to incorporate functional graphics, brand names and logos into plastic components. The In-mold Decoration (IMD) process may also be used for purely decorative components or trim.
The Kenmore nameplate uses the in-mold decoration process to create a nameplate with durable graphics integrated into a dimensional product branding solution. No adhesive is needed for assembly since the part is designed to snap fit. The nameplate is manufactured in three colorways. Overlay graphics are modified prior to insertion in the mold. Colored resin is injected into the mold encapsulating the graphics.
Request samples of nameplates and trim which use the in-mold decoration process to begin exploring the options available to you in product design.
In-Mold or Insert-Mold Decoration (IMD) or Film Insert Molding (FIM) refers to the insertion of a printed graphic overlay into an injection mold. The molding process encapsulates the film or overlay in plastic. It combines the advantages of decorative and functional graphics with a plastic molded component or assembly. Integrated components eliminate application costs for overlays or labels.
In-Mold Decorating offers design flexibility and productivity advantages over traditional post-molding decorating techniques. Durable graphics are integrated into plastic components using multiple colors. Since the part graphics are encapsulated in resin, the graphics cannot be removed without destroying the part. Graphics will not fade and remain vibrant. No secondary operation is required after molding. The part is complete. Graphics are updated by modifying the printed overlay. The mold does not need to be modified. The Nautique boat lens shown here is manufactured using the in-mold decoration process to combine graphics and clear windows into a single component with attachment features.
The in-mold process typically uses a polycarbonate film. Graphics are printed on the second or inner surface of the film. Selective gloss or texture is printed on the first or outer surface of the film. Printing on the second surface offers additional protection in the end application. The film is formed after decorating. It is then trimmed and placed in the mold. The final step is injection molding.
Design considerations include locating graphics in relatively flat areas away from sharp edges to minimize distortion and registration issues. Inks are selected to help eliminate washout in the gate area of components. Gates are positioned as far away from graphics as possible. They are designed to minimize the turbulent flow of material during the molding cycle.
What applications come to mind for integrating graphics into plastic components using the in-mold decorating process? Why is this process a good fit for the application?
Request in-mold decorated samples to begin exploring the options available to you in product trim and identification.
The Inter-Tel phone overlay is a fusion of injection molding and a screen printed overlay. The molded display is decorated with all printing sealed between film and resin. The large clear window demands optical clarity which manufacturing and quality control work together to achieve.
Overlay decoration can combine LCD display areas whether colored or clear, LED areas including light diffusing treatment, text and graphics. This overlay features a selective texture. Careful alignment of the graphics is key to the success of an overlay project. Printing developments are used to compensate for distortion occurring during the molding of the part. Basically some of the graphics are printed on an angle and during the forming process pulled into alignment.
How would you integrate an injection molded overlay into a product? What details need to be taken into consideration? Would you add a pattern or texture?
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