Guide to optical registration embossingNovember 9 '21
Embossing is a technique that involves elevating logos or graphic images to improve the visual impact of any component in an application. It’s simple – the raised design gives a product a more tactile sensation and instantly adds to its visual appeal. That’s why embossing is used today across a variety of industries.
Manufacturers can employ various embossing techniques that bring different results to the final look of the component.
What does the embossing process look like? How do manufacturers emboss decorative components with the highest level of precision?
How can the varied tolerances of the decorating process be precisely aligned to the mechanical embossing operation?
Keep on reading this article to find the answers to all the issues listed above. We will show you how embossing works and why adding an optical registration system to the embossing process is a great idea.
The basic challenges of embossing
By observing the production process of a nameplate, you will instantly see that practically any decorating technique in embossing poses a registration issue.
When a squeegee moves across a metal sheet during screen printing, the deposition tolerance between the pictures might vary as much as 0.005″ per inch. As a result, the distance between the leading and trailing edges of a 24″ sheet might vary by 0.12″ (which is 0.005″ multiplied by 24″).
Now take a look at the embossing die. Its mechanical operation doesn’t show this variance. What is the consequence of that? When an operator feeds the metal sheet to the embossing machine, the tool can’t precisely align with the varied deposited pictures. This results in an emboss that might be occasionally off-registered.
Benefits of an optical registration system
How do manufacturers solve this problem? By incorporating an optical registration system into the embossing process and placing a matching registration mark next to each design.
This is the best method for overcoming this alignment issue. When the manufacturer screen-prints the nameplate, a registration mark that corresponds to the center of each artwork is placed there at the same time.
During the embossing stage, the press uses an optical eye to identify the mark and make the necessary adjustments to achieve alignment between the printed graphic and the tool pitch, resulting in perfect embossing.
Since the press calibrates the location of every individual artwork and advances the sheet through the press automatically, the process is ideal for parts that demand extremely tight registration.
Offering extreme precision and accuracy, optical registration embossing also provides a high degree of efficiency and consistency. The press overcomes tolerance variation that the actuator-fed emboss press falls short of.
Embossing different materials
Stainless steel and aluminum are among the metals and alloys that such a press can emboss. While the thickness of the material treated is proportional to the machine’s press tonnage, the embossing height is determined by a variety of parameters such as thickness, temper, and alloy of the metal.
Since certain alloys have better elongation properties than others, they may be embossed to a higher height. The press can emboss, deboss (create recessed images), or do both at the same time. It’s ideal for embossing components that were screen, pad, or litho printed.
The embossed components may be subjected to secondary operations such as shaping, blanking, and die-cutting at a later stage, depending on the design purpose.
Get expertly embossed components
Our team at Melrose has created clean and crisp embossed components for many prominent companies around the world. Get in touch with us if you need high-quality embossed components for your application – we can help you address any challenge and develop an attractive look for your product.