Hot Stamping Machine Installation and Acceptance Guide: 3 Key Considerations for Buyers


Hot Stamping Machine Installation and Acceptance Guide: 3 Key Considerations for Buyers

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    SBL Machinery has over fifty years of experience in post-printing equipment, having installed thousands of hot stamping machines globally or assisting distributors in their installation. Due to the relatively high prices of hot stamping machines in post-printing equipment, there are more details to pay attention to during the installation and acceptance process. Through this article, we aim to assist new purchasers of hot stamping machines in ensuring good installation and acceptance quality, obtaining stable production capacity from the machines, and also providing readers with more knowledge about the field of hot stamping machines. Without further ado, let’s delve straight into the content of this issue!

    1. Machine Installation Space and Location

    When it comes to the installation of machinery, particularly based on SBL Machinery’s extensive experience in assisting customers with equipment installation over the years, many customers still overlook or misunderstand certain aspects of this task. Apart from allowing adequate space, many people tend to neglect considering space for machine operation and maintenance, as well as the comprehensive assessment of all production equipment, all of which are crucial details to be mindful of in this process. Generally, the space required for hot stamping machines is similar to that of die-cutting machines.

    1-1. Ensuring Adequate Installation Space Evaluating Equipment Dimensions

    12-On-site environment.PNG
    • Equipment Size Assessment:
      Before selecting an installation site, carefully assess the dimensions of the hot stamping machine, including length, width, height, and potential expansion areas. Taking SBL Machinery as an example, the smallest model, SBL-820EF, has dimensions of 4174mm×1869mm×2366mm, while the largest model, SBL-1300EF, measures 6769mm×2444mm×2244mm. In addition to confirming the machine’s specifications (length, width, height) from the contract or product specification data, it’s advisable to double-check with the sales representatives regarding the dimensions. Sometimes, due to the installation of additional optional accessories or selection of specific models, the machine’s dimensions may deviate slightly from the numerical specifications indicated in writing.
    • Safety Passageways:
      Ensure an adequate safety passageway is reserved to allow operators to enter and exit freely for necessary maintenance and repairs. It’s crucial to consider safety passageways around the machine, including front, back, left, and right areas. As for the size of the reserved space, you can refer to recommendation 1-2.

    1-2. Consideration of Space for Machine Operation and Maintenance

    • Front and Rear Space:
      Provide sufficient front and rear space for operators to conveniently access various parts of the machine for adjustments, inspections, and maintenance. Additionally, consider space for the movement of paper feed carts or conveyor tracks for paper loading and unloading. Considering the constraints of daily operations and maintenance, it’s recommended to reserve at least 1 meter of space in front and behind the machine when space is limited. If the factory space allows, it’s advisable to reserve 1.5 meters or even 2 meters for optimal accessibility.
    • Side Space:
      Ensure adequate space on the sides of the machine to facilitate necessary maintenance work by technicians. Side space should prioritize basic considerations for personnel passage and work requirements, with a minimum of 60cm reserved. In situations where space is ample, it’s recommended to reserve at least 1 meter of side space.

    1-3. Avoiding Overcrowding and Consideration of Workflow Order

    • Nearby Equipment:
      When the hot stamping machine is adjacent to other production equipment, ensure there is sufficient distance between them to prevent mutual interference. Additionally, consider the workflow sequence of printing production operations and arrange the layout of machines accordingly based on their production order.
    • Safety Clearance:
      Consider the operation and vibration of adjacent machines to ensure an adequate safety clearance during installation.

    2. Visual Inspection

    In comparison to die-cutting and folder gluer machines, hot stamping machines typically have a taller frame (automatic hot stamping machines on the market are at least 200mm in height). Therefore, manufacturers often attach metal foot pedals and guardrails to the machine frame for the convenience of personnel. During exterior inspection, we pay close attention to the condition of the machine’s casing. By inspecting the exterior surface, we can assess whether there are any irregularities, scratches, abrasions, or damages present. This not only affects the aesthetic appearance of the machine but also directly impacts its overall durability and lifespan. However, the “labeling and marking” and “control panel inspection” are two aspects that customers commonly overlook during machine installation acceptance. If any abnormalities are detected during the exterior inspection, it’s advisable to promptly inform the manufacturer to facilitate subsequent parts replacement or repair work.


    2-1. Exterior and Appearance Inspection

    • Machine Casing:
      Check if the surface of the machine casing is smooth and free from obvious scratches, abrasions, or damages.
    • Paint Condition:
      Inspect the uniformity of the machine’s paint and check for any signs of peeling or oxidation.
    • Foot Pedals and Guardrails:
      These are standard accessories for most automatic hot stamping machines. During inspection, ensure that the assembly of foot pedals and guardrails is securely fixed and that screws are tightly fastened to prevent shaking or loosening during operation.

    2-2. Labeling and Marking Inspection

    • Clarity of Markings:
      Confirm the content of all labels and markings, such as operational directions and numerical scales, ensuring they are clear and legible, and comply with equipment identification standards. This inspection is critical for ensuring smooth production and yield rates in the future and is second only to exterior inspection.
    • Warning Signs:
      Verify if necessary safety warning signs are installed to remind operators of specific risks, ensuring safe production.

    2-3. Control Panel Inspection

    • Buttons and Switches:
      Test all buttons and switches to ensure their operation is sensitive and normal.

    • Human-Machine Interface (HMI):
      Check if the HMI panel screen displays content clearly without abnormal flickering or error displays. Additionally, the language of the operating interface needs to be changed to the language commonly used by machine technicians. Typically, the hot stamping speed, temperature settings, and other parameters are adjusted through the HMI interface. It’s essential to confirm with the installation manufacturer how to adjust hot stamping settings through the HMI interface and how to interpret the meaning of abnormal codes displayed by the machine, as well as common troubleshooting methods for common abnormal codes.

    3. Operation and Performance Testing

    The preceding sections, “Space and Positioning for Machinery Installation” and “Exterior and Appearance Inspection,” are considered more “static” inspections. Now, let’s delve into the “dynamic” aspects of hot stamping machine acceptance, including speed testing, heating system testing, and stability and safety testing.

    3-1. Speed Testing

    Generally, the speed measurement unit for hot stamping machines is the same as that for die-cutting machines, calculated in sheets per hour. However, compared to die-cutting machines, hot stamping machines tend to operate at a slower speed. For example, with the SBL 1060 EFT, the die-cutting speed can reach up to 8000 sheets/hour, while the maximum hot stamping speed is approximately 4000 to 6000 sheets/hour. Typically, the quality of hot stamping takes precedence over speed considerations.

    3-2. Heating System Testing

    Thermometers_SBL_Hot Stamping Machine

    For higher-end hot stamping machines, the heating area can be individually set for each zone. The more heating zones that can be set, the higher the flexibility in processing and the complexity that the product can exhibit. For example, the SBL 1060 EFT can have up to 20 heating zones set. The acceptance testing of the heating system is recommended to be evaluated from the following three aspects:

    3-2-1. Heating Uniformity Test

    Inspect the surface of the heating plate to ensure uniform heating without obvious hot spots or cold areas.
    Use a thermometer to test different positions on the heating plate to ensure even temperature distribution and uniform product heating.

    3-2-2. Heating Temperature Stability Test

    Set different heating temperatures, such as low, medium, and high temperatures.
    Observe whether the heating system can maintain the set temperature stably to avoid temperature fluctuations affecting product quality.

    3-2-3. Heating Response Time Test

    Test the time required from starting the heating to reaching the set temperature to ensure that the heating response time meets production needs and can quickly heat the product.

    3-3. Foil Transport and Stepping System Testing

    hot foil stamping machine

    For hot stamping machines, the functionality of the foil transport and stepping system is crucial to the performance and product quality. It ensures accurate foil delivery and positioning for consistent and high-quality stamping results. Therefore, during testing, special attention is required for the operation of these two systems to ensure smooth operation of the hot stamping machine and product consistency. Key points to observe include:

    3-3-1. Heating Uniformity Test

    Test the hot stamping machine’s foil transport system to ensure accurate delivery of foil to the required stamping position, avoiding misalignment or breakage.
    Observe for any jamming or blockage during foil transport to ensure smooth delivery.

    3-3-2. Heating Uniformity Test

    Perform foil compression tests to ensure even contact between the foil and the product surface, with uniform pressure.
    Check the products after stamping to ensure consistent foil compression without under-compression or over-compression in any area.

    3-3-3. Stepping System Accuracy Test

    Set different step distances or step counts to test the stepping system.
    Observe the movement of the stamping plate during stepping to ensure accurate and error-free stepping that meets the expected positions.

    3-3-4. Foil Usage Efficiency Test

    Test the efficiency of foil usage, i.e., the ratio of foil usage to the number of products.
    Observe foil usage to ensure reasonable usage and conservation.

    3-4. Stability Testing


    Typically, the basic installation and commissioning time for hot stamping machines is around two to three days, with acceptance and training typically taking three to five days. You might wonder how to test the stability of the machine within this short period. Common methods for testing machine stability include:

    3-4-1. Product Yield

    By observing various factors, you can preliminarily assess whether the products produced by the automatic hot stamping machine are of high quality. If any quality issues are found, production should be immediately halted, and adjustments discussed with the installation technician.

    • Stamping Effect:
      Check for uniformity and clarity in the stamped areas without missing or blotchy prints.
    • Compression Effect:
      Observe the adherence of foil or stamping material to the product surface, ensuring complete adhesion without air bubbles or unevenness.
    • Color and Gloss:
      If colored stamping is applied, check for vibrant, uniform colors with a glossy finish.
    • Edge Clarity: Ensure clear product edges without blur or fuzzy impressions.
    • Dimensional Accuracy:
      Measure product dimensions to ensure compliance with specifications without deviation or deformation.
    • Defect Detection:
      Thoroughly inspect the product surface for impurities, scratches, or other defects.

    3-4-2. Observation of Machine Operation Sound and Vibration

    While the overall decibel level and vibration of hot stamping machines may be slightly higher than die-cutting or gluing machines, normal machine operation should not produce any abnormal sounds or vibrations. If unusual sounds or vibrations occur, the installation engineer should be consulted to check for improper installation of parts or unexpected conditions during transportation that may cause such issues.

    3-5. Safety and Anomaly Detection

    stop button

    Safety and anomaly detection for hot stamping machines are the final checkpoints before installation completion, and they are crucial testing items that cannot be overlooked. “Safety testing” ensures the safe and reliable operation of the hot stamping machine to prevent accidents, while “anomaly testing” ensures that relevant detections are functioning correctly, preventing abnormal situations during machine operation that could lead to product defects or wastage. For SBL hot stamping machines, each model is equipped with the following safety and anomaly detection functions, explained below with their functions and acceptance criteria.

    3-5-1. Safety Testing

    • Safety Device Inspection:
      Confirm the positions of safety guards and emergency stop buttons to ensure they can be opened, closed, and moved normally.
    • Effectiveness of Safety Devices Inspection:
      For example, during machine operation, the safety guard should only be able to open when in the closed position. If the safety guard or window is opened during operation, observe whether the machine stops or whether the guard or window is locked. Determine if pressing the emergency stop button during operation immediately stops the machine.

    3-5-2. Anomaly Testing

    • Paper Presence Detection:
      Used to detect whether paper is in place to prevent operation without paper, leading to foil wastage. Observe machine operation when there is no paper to see if it stops.
    • Double Paper Detection:
      Used to detect whether paper is overlapped to prevent paper jams. Test by placing slightly adhered-together papers and observe the machine’s response.
    • Foil Presence Detection:
      Used to detect whether foil is in place to prevent missed stamping. Observe whether the machine automatically stops when the foil is depleted.
    • Foil Breakage Detection:
      Used to detect whether the foil is broken to prevent incomplete stamping. Test by deliberately creating a breakage in nearly depleted foil and observe whether the machine stops when the foil breaks.


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