SBL Machinery has been focusing on the production of post-press equipment for more than 50 years, and the three most widely known equipment are “Die cutting machine“, “Folder gluer machine” and ” Hot Foil Stamping Machine “”, and the theme shared today is “Hot Foil Stamping Machine“, and Hot Foil Stamping Machine function is to add metal hot stamping effect to the print, improve the visual effect and quality, the correct operation and setting of the hot stamping machine is the key to improve yield, of course, the article will also share some industry knowledge eyebrows, hope to use the sharing of this article, one to improve everyone’s knowledge of the field of hot stamping machine, the other to help customers get better hot stamping product yield and improve hot stamping effect. Without further ado, let’s look directly at the three major tips for improving the yield of hot stamping machine products:
1. Familiar with the structure and operational processes of a hot stamping machine
Actually, the same holds true for any machine, and having a good understanding of the machine’s structure and operational processes is the initial and crucial step in enhancing product yield.
1-1. Hot stamping machine structure
In general, a hot stamping machine consists of the following components, and the variation between different brands is typically only a minor difference in operation or structural design. However, some of the more advanced hot stamping machine manufacturers offer composite models, which include additional rolling and cutting functions in the front half of the mechanism, as exemplified by SBL Machinery 1060EF.
This is the primary section of the hot stamping machine, encompassing the control panel and operational buttons.
1-1-2. Pressure system
Used to apply pressure so that the metal hot stamping is in full contact with the printed matter.
1-1-3. Heating system
This is the primary section of the hot stamping machine, encompassing the control panel and operational buttons.
1-1-4. Hot stamping area
The area where the printed matter and metal hot stamping are placed.
1-1-5. Drive system
Controls the movement of the hot stamping area so that the printed matter and the metal hot stamping can make contact under pressure.
1-2. Hot stamping machine operation process
Before the hot stamping process, there is usually a printing process. The most well-known printing press mentioned in the printing press is the Heidelberg printing press in Germany.Though the functions and operations of each hot stamping machine may differ somewhat, the basic operating procedures are typically quite similar. In essence, the operation process of a hot stamping machine unfolds as follows:
1-2-1. Power on
Ensure that the hot stamping machine is connected to the power supply and is operating normally.
You might find it amusing to discuss the topic of powering up a machine, but apart from any issues with the machine itself, there have been instances where customers had difficulty starting up their hot stamping machines and requested repairs. It was only during the troubleshooting process that it was discovered the electrical supply to the factory’s hot stamping machines was disrupted due to a rather unexpected cause – it was disrupted by a rodent (a mouse had chewed through the power source cable).
1-2-2. Adjust temperature
Set the temperature of the hot stamping machine according to the requirements of the hot stamping materials and printed materials. Excessively high temperatures can damage the print, while excessively low temperatures may prevent the metal hot stamping from adhering properly.
1-2-3. Adjust pressure
Modify the pressure of the hot stamping machine to match the requirements of the hot stamping materials and printed materials. Appropriate pressure ensures a uniform and clear metal stamping result.
1-2-4. Prepare hot stamping materials
Place the metal hot stamping materials in the hot stamping area as needed.
1-2-5. Placing the print
Position the prints to be gilded in the hot stamping area, ensuring full contact with the metal hot stamping.
1-2-6. Hot stamping
Press the operation button to initiate the hot stamping process. The hot stamping machine’s drive system brings the print and the metal hot stamping into contact under pressure.
1-2-7. Check the hot stamping effect
After completing the hot stamping, assess whether the result meets the requirements. If necessary, adjust relevant settings such as temperature, pressure, speed, etc.
After finishing the hot stamping process, turn off the hot stamping machine and disconnect the power.
2. Choose appropriate bronzing materials and processing methods
Taking the SBL hot stamping machine as an example, the gold foil manufacturers we have been cooperating with for many years are mainly KURZ from Germany and UNIVACCO from Taiwan.
Sometimes the same hot stamping machine set parameters, some customers can successfully hot stamping processing, some customers have poor yield, at this time it is time to check whether there is a problem in the material or processing method.
2-1.Hot stamping materials (paper and gold foil)
To align with the customer’s desired presentation and printing style, as well as the characteristics and requirements of the printed paper, it’s essential to select the appropriate hot stamping materials. As a result, the three key parameters—namely “paper material,” “gold foil material,” and “hot stamping block size”—are closely interconnected. For instance, it is recommended to use smooth paper or paper with pores, such as coated paper or textured paper, to facilitate the heating process and allow for proper ventilation. If you choose to hot stamp on printed materials without pores, such as pearlescent paper and synthetic cards, the hot stamping foil may struggle to release hot gases efficiently, potentially leading to issues like smudging and blistering.
2-2. Hot stamping processing
There are no universal pros and cons associated with various bronzing processing methods. Each method comes with its own set of strengths, weaknesses, specific use cases, and considerations. The selection of the most suitable bronzing processing method should be made through a meticulous evaluation based on each customer’s requirements.
2-2-1. Flat foiling
Flat foiling is the most common method, where only the areas requiring hot stamping receive metallic treatment, while other areas remain white or contain printed content. The purpose of flat foiling is to emphasize the hot stamping location and enhance the most critical elements with gold.
2-2-2. Reverse foiling
Reverse foiling, in contrast, involves creating metal hollows to accentuate white spaces, with the gilded part serving as a backdrop. Typically, when conducting reverse foiling, a larger area of gold leaf will lead to a higher price.
2-2-3. Stamping overlaps
The production process entails initial printing followed by hot stamping, with the latter offering higher positional accuracy. This approach yields a more layered and artistic effect on the printed product. This practice not only tests the technician’s skill but also challenges the overall design thinking of the designer.
2-2-4. Multi-color foil stamping
Multi-color hot stamping refers to the process of hot stamping multiple times on the same graphic. This technique demands precision and is similar to stamping overlaps, where the colors of the printed pattern and hot stamping overlap. When performing multiple hot stamping processes with various colors, it’s crucial to pay attention to the hot stamping positions and the compatibility of the gold leaf. If the distance between two hot stamps is set too short, there’s a risk of the two colors blending together.
2-2-5. Three-dimensional gilding
Three-dimensional hot stamping involves combining hot stamping with a raised process to create a three-dimensional relief effect. However, it’s important to note that the back of the three-dimensional hot stamping will have a concave effect. Therefore, it’s essential to leave this area blank during the design process; otherwise, it may affect the graphics or text.
3. Control the "temperature" and "pressure" and "speed" of the hot stamping machine
When aiming for a perfect hot stamping effect or the desired final product quality, it’s crucial to understand the three essential factors in hot stamping: “temperature,” “pressure,” and “speed.” Let’s delve into how these three elements individually impact the performance of a hot stamping machine:
The temperature of the hot stamping machine must be maintained within a specific range to ensure that the dyeing resin layer and adhesive melt to an appropriate extent, facilitating the effective transfer of the aluminum layer.
3-1-1. Excessive temperature may lead to the following conditions:
Excessive melting can result in the electrochemical aluminum around the hot stamped graphics and text also melting and sticking, while high temperatures can chemically alter the electrochemical aluminum dyeing resin and aluminum layer. This can reduce the brightness and metallic luster of the hot stamped product, making foggy spots or blisters more prominent.
3-1-2. Too low a temperature may result in the following conditions:
Insufficient melting can also cause issues such as inadequate adhesion during hot stamping, resulting in an unstable imprint that is prone to detachment, smudging, or incomplete printing.
The hot stamping process, which involves transferring the aluminum layer, relies on the application of pressure. The level of hot stamping pressure plays a significant role in determining the strength of adhesion of the electrochemical aluminum. Adjusting the hot stamping pressure should take into account several factors, including the type of substrate, hot stamping temperature, machine speed, and the characteristics of the electrochemical aluminum itself. In general, when dealing with robust paper, high smoothness, a thick printing ink layer, high hot stamping temperatures, and slower speeds, it’s advisable to use lower hot stamping pressure. Conversely, in other situations, higher pressure may be necessary. It’s essential to maintain uniform hot stamping pressure throughout the process. If you notice localized issues with incomplete or uneven hot stamping, it’s likely due to insufficient pressure in those areas. In such cases, adding a layer of tissue paper to the plate in those specific spots can help achieve a more balanced pressure distribution.
3-2-1.Insufficient pressure may produce situations:
Failure to transfer electrochemical aluminum well to the substrate will cause problems such as imprint faint and patterning
3-2-2 Excessive pressure may produce conditions:
If the compression deformation of the liner and substrate is too large, the blot will become slightly larger and thicker, or even sticky and paste. Generally, the hot stamping pressure should be appropriately adjusted to achieve no color loss and good adhesion fastness.
At the same time, the installation tightness of hot stamping gold leaf should be moderate, and the handwriting is missing strokes when it is too tight; If it is too loose, the handwriting is illegible or paste.
The hot stamping speed corresponds to the duration of contact between the hot stamping process and the hot stamping gold foil, directly impacting the strength of adhesion during hot stamping. If the hot stamping speed is too high, it can result in hot stamping failures or ink blotting. Conversely, a slow hot stamping speed affects both the quality of hot stamping and production efficiency. During the hot stamping process, speed, pressure, and temperature are interconnected. It’s advisable to first establish and fix the parameter value for hot stamping speed and then make adjustments to pressure and temperature. This approach streamlines operational procedures and facilitates precise control of hot stamping quality.
Furthermore, it’s important to consider the compatibility of
- substratehot stamping plate
- hot stamping machine model
- cushioning materials
- environmental factors such as indoor temperature, humidity, substrate temperature, and indoor air quality
If you encounter persistent issues that cannot be resolved through repeated testing, reaching out to the original manufacturer of the professional hot stamping machine is a recommended step. They can provide quicker solutions or help identify the root of the problem.