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Discuss the various aspects of pad printing. Equipment, supplies, substrates and more



ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

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Old October 24th, 2014 Oct 24, 2014 4:29:09 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

I am interested in buying a 1 color manual pad printer for less than $1500. I'm told that there is "tons" of used equipment available but I really haven't found this to be the case. And I've also been warned about buying "used" so I am leaning toward new. In my price range, I have found a complete system from ACS 365 for just over $1000 and a SPC-100 complete system from All American for about $1500.

I'd appreciate any advise from others have gone down this path and have experience with either the companies or specific equipment.
Thank you!
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Old October 24th, 2014 Oct 24, 2014 10:18:26 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

Quote:
Originally Posted by customizzed
I am interested in buying a 1 color manual pad printer for less than $1500. I'm told that there is "tons" of used equipment available but I really haven't found this to be the case. And I've also been warned about buying "used" so I am leaning toward new. In my price range, I have found a complete system from ACS 365 for just over $1000 and a SPC-100 complete system from All American for about $1500.

I'd appreciate any advise from others have gone down this path and have experience with either the companies or specific equipment.
Thank you!
Bryant
Hi Bryan, I am wondering what is the reason that you have been warned not to buy it used?
Only reason that I would advise you to buy new is that you can call somebody if you get stuck, and most probably you will, if you do not have experience with pad printing.
Otherwise you should have no fear to get second hand one. Manual pad printing machine is few kgs of metal with few moving parts, and I can not see anything to be wrong with machine unless it has been psychically damaged like dropped or smashed.
There is no difference between SPC and ASC machine. The are both manufactured in China and most probably they are both manufactured in same factory.
Can you tell me what exactly you get in ESC package and SPS package?
I would advise you to stay away from manual machine. You will never get nothing close to serious production out of them.
Thanks
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Old October 25th, 2014 Oct 25, 2014 8:17:25 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

Thanks for the feedback. I am new to pad printing so the "help desk" is probably important for me. As for the manual printer, my plans are to do just small jobs, quick turn jobs & prototypes in house, then outsource any larger jobs that have ample time. I don't see myself doing much more than 100 - 200 units in-house so I think the manual printer is the way for me to go. Does that make sense?

As for what is included in the packages from ASC and SPC they are similar except the price (ASC $1000 and SPC $1,500) but the less expensive ASC package includes a plate coater and supplies. Is that important? Or can/should I buy pre-treated plates? I guess the other thing I should be concerned with is support after the sale. I think SPC has a one day training class in Philadelphia. I don't know about ASC.

Here's a list of what's included in the two packages....
The $1000 ASC Package includes... (ASC365.com Pad Printing Machine, Pad printer, Inkcup , Printing Technology, Golf Ball Hot Stamping, Foil Stamp Machine, Business Card, Embossing Foil Paper)
Manual Pad Printer with Sealed Ink Cup(011001)
Coating Machine(011003)
Exposure Unit(010031)
3 Thin Steel Plates(011005)
Oil Cleaning Liquid(011036)
Photosensitive Liquid(011007)
Developing Liquid(011008)
Etching Liquid(011009)
Stripping Liquid(011010)
Ink Thinner(011032)
5 sheets of Inkjet/Laser Transparency Film(007003)
4 Pads(011037;011039;011102;011101)
1 can of Red Gold PVC ink(011054)

The $1500 SPC package includes... (SPC-100 Manual Pad Printer Package)
The SPC-100 manual pad printer
Plate Exposure Unit
1 a7 pad round
1 b2 pad rectangle
1 c8 pad strip
1 tpr 980 black ink 8oz can
1 tpr 170 white ink 8oz can
1 tpr 932 scarlet red ink 8oz can
1 tpv ink thinner 16oz can
1 h1 ink hardner 100 ml tube
1 electronic ink scale
10 blank image plates or 2 exposed image plates
(must supply artwork sized ready to prin in formats: .eps .cdr or .aI)
1 fixture putty 8oz can
1 putty hardener 40ml tube
2 solvent bottles 4oz
20 ink mixing cups 8oz
20 ink mixing sticks

Thanks again for sharing your experience and wisdom!
Bryant

Last edited by customizzed; October 25th, 2014 at 08:21 AM.. Reason: typo
 
 
Old October 25th, 2014 Oct 25, 2014 8:43:30 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

Quote:
Originally Posted by customizzed
Thanks for the feedback. I am new to pad printing so the "help desk" is probably important for me.
I would think the help you get on a forum like this will also go a long way....
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Old October 25th, 2014 Oct 25, 2014 12:57:52 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

Your plan makes absolute sense and you should definitely go with All American Supply.
They are overpriced, but one day hands on training and after sale support will be huge benefit for you.
Half of stuff that ASC gives in it's package you want use.
Plate coating machine is round disc that spins and spreads evenly fresh emulsion over metal plate.
Oil Cleaning Liquid(011036)
Photosensitive Liquid(011007)
Developing Liquid(011008)
Etching Liquid(011009)
Stripping Liquid(011010)
They are all chemicals for making and developing metal plates. Etching Liquid is heavy acid that will burn your skin in no time or leave you blind if just one drop touches your eye.
Metal plates are very popular in China. They are more durable and may give you slightly better print.
On down side, they are far more expensive to manufacture them and they are dangerous to develop them.
Metal plate making should be handled only by professional who knows what he is doing.
Simply, stay away from it.
Metal plates you use only for 10 000 prints plus. For anything else polymer plate will do equally good job and you will use only water to develop them.
 
Old October 25th, 2014 Oct 25, 2014 1:39:25 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

Thanks so much for the help Adam_N & royster13. Polymer plates sound much better than going blind!

As I compare the two companies- All American is still a lot more expensive even without the plate making supplies, so I am curious if the one day class is a freebie. I contacted them about it Friday morning but they haven't replied yet.
Bryant
 
Old October 25th, 2014 Oct 25, 2014 2:05:20 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

Quote:
Originally Posted by customizzed
Thanks so much for the help Adam_N & royster13. Polymer plates sound much better than going blind!

As I compare the two companies- All American is still a lot more expensive even without the plate making supplies, so I am curious if the one day class is a freebie. I contacted them about it Friday morning but they haven't replied yet.
Bryant
As I said, they are bit expensive. Manual pad printing press with closed ink cup should be around $450, exposure unit without vacuum should not be more than $250-$300. There are plenty of suppliers for plates, ink and pads around.
On the other side one full day of hands on training is valuable.
With youtube and help here you could train yourself and will take bit longer but you will get there with little bit of determination.
One more thing that you should plan is film. How you will make them? Where you will get them?
I would highly recommend you proper image setter film for pad printing. There should be local film houses that produce them. If you do not know them call some local offset printing shop and ask them. They will be able to point you in right direction.
 
Old October 25th, 2014 Oct 25, 2014 2:23:52 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

Can you elaborate on the film. A friend of mine owns a small printing company but I don't want to impose on him every time I need film. Can't I do this in house? And if so, what
equipment and supplies will I need? I have CorelDraw but need training on it as well. I'd rather be "self contained" if possible. Help! Thanks!
 
Old October 25th, 2014 Oct 25, 2014 3:42:38 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

Quote:
Originally Posted by customizzed
Can you elaborate on the film. A friend of mine owns a small printing company but I don't want to impose on him every time I need film. Can't I do this in house? And if so, what
equipment and supplies will I need? I have CorelDraw but need training on it as well. I'd rather be "self contained" if possible. Help! Thanks!
You could produce your own films in house. There are ink jet and laser transparencies that you can print on. A lot of T shirt printers do it. Problem is opacity in film. Pad printing plates are far more sensitive to light that screen printing emulsion and you need 100% opaque film. Anything under that is just call for trouble. On ink jet printers you can get 100% opacity if you use special ink and dedicated rip software (Acurip or similar) but such set up will cost you additional $1000.
There is one more issue, at least for me. Even if you have proper in hose setting like Epson 1400 with Acurip and special ink, films that you produce on them are never going to be as sharp as image setter films. Ink jet printer can not print perfectly fine lines and small text, and you will have a lot of it in pad printing.
You would be better of to talk to your friend. If he has image setter you are better off to ask him to produce your films and to charge you for it. If he does not have image setter there are film houses around that specialize in producing image setter films, plates, foiling plates etc. They will gladly produce film for you for cost.
In order to produce film you have to prepare artwork. Artwork for pad printing is simple and Corel Draw is ideal software. It is easy to learn. There are plenty of tutorials on Youtube. That is how I learned it.
If you are serious about pad printing maybe you should start learning it now as without artwork you wont be able to print anything
 
Old October 26th, 2014 Oct 26, 2014 2:47:15 AM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default

Thanks again. I just loaded CorelDraw on my laptop and have started to experiment with it. I guess it goes without saying but the Suite is overwhelming. However, one has to start somewhere. I will contact my friend and inquire about about the film setting.

Moving to the next step, will the $300 plate maker be adequate to make polymer plates once I have quality film in hand?

With the the steps it takes to get setup it is easy to see why there is might be lots of equipment in closets, basements, and garages.

Thanks again!
 
Old October 26th, 2014 Oct 26, 2014 6:58:24 AM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

You could also order laser engraved cliches......Not sure who does it or the costs.....Hopefully someone will add to this discussion....
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Old October 26th, 2014 Oct 26, 2014 3:12:05 PM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

Quote:
Originally Posted by customizzed
Thanks again. I just loaded CorelDraw on my laptop and have started to experiment with it. I guess it goes without saying but the Suite is overwhelming. However, one has to start somewhere. I will contact my friend and inquire about about the film setting.

Moving to the next step, will the $300 plate maker be adequate to make polymer plates once I have quality film in hand?

With the the steps it takes to get setup it is easy to see why there is might be lots of equipment in closets, basements, and garages.

Thanks again!
It just seams overwhelming, especially if you are experimenting on your own.
Go on Youtube, there are a lot of Corel Draw tutorials. Find some Chanel that suits you and start from lesson 1. After few lessons you will realize that is not so hard. It is actually easy to work with program. Good thing is that for pad printing you will use no more than 1/4 of Corel capabilities.
$300 Exposure unit is simple, has no vacuum but will do job right. I had one few years back and I could not complain.
Main thing is to have good opaque film. In USA majority of polymer plates that are used(and most probably you will have them) are Flint Ink WS 43. They are way over sensitive on UV light and if film is not opaque enough light will pass trough and you will have problems.
 
Old October 26th, 2014 Oct 26, 2014 3:15:08 PM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: ACS 365 vs. SPC-100

Quote:
Originally Posted by royster13
You could also order laser engraved cliches......Not sure who does it or the costs.....Hopefully someone will add to this discussion....
I did order few times for some longer runs and I think that I was paying $35 per plate. Not chip but they are wonderful plates.
I wish I have spare $30K to buy computer to plate unit
 






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