Canadian Plastics

Special Report – British Columbia: Printer Seeks Open-Minded Molders

"If the volumes are there, in-mold decorating is definitely cost effective," says Robin Jefferies, president of Sytek. He points out that pad printing, as an auxiliary process, adds manufacturing cost...

June 1, 2003   By Michael Legault



“If the volumes are there, in-mold decorating is definitely cost effective,” says Robin Jefferies, president of Sytek. He points out that pad printing, as an auxiliary process, adds manufacturing costs in the form of time, labor and equipment; while the cost of carrying extra colored resins and special tooling can make multi-material molding relatively expensive.

Located in Vancouver, Sytek is a screen printer specializing in graphic overlays and in-mold decoration graphics for injection molding. The company has invested large amounts of money to specifically customize its printing process for injection molding, according to Jefferies. It has developed special inks which are compatible with each class of plastic resin, and which can also withstand the heat and other forces found inside the mold.

Sytek’s customers injection mold parts for a variety of markets, the most common being consumer/industrial, electronics and automotive. It supplied Microsoft with a printed logo and hologram used on over 2 million mouse housings. In another job, Sytek supplied a west coast molder with the graphic overlay used on a cargo dome bezel of a DaimlerChrysler vehicle. Sytek had lost the work when the job was outsourced to an American molder, but is getting it back.

“Other screen printers had tried to produce this product, but the reject rate was too high, so the molder is coming back to us,” says Jefferies.

Sytek sales representative Mike Bosiak says the company would like to have a greater market presence in the country’s industrial heartland of Ontario and Quebec. He is especially keen on finding new customers in the automotive industry, where he believes there is a huge potential for innovative, value-added applications. Bosiak says the company has shown it can provide the quick turn-around on orders required by the automotive industry. He also believes in-mold decorating can play a role growing market for wireless handheld devices.

“General lack of knowledge about in-mold decoration and labeling among molders is often the biggest barrier to new applications of the process,” allows Jefferies.

“Ideally, the options for decorating have to explored up-front. There has to be a round-table discussion between the screen printer, molder and toolmaker prior to building the tool.”


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