Engraved Metal and Silicone Rubber Dies

For the hot foil printing process, high-quality engraved dies whether made from metal or silicone rubber are crucial to create precise, consistent and aesthetically pleasing impressions on a range of materials. Dies from Bowers and Freeman not only give an excellent final print but also enhance the efficiency and reliability of the production process. This post will delve into the craftmanship behind these dies, exploring the meticulous processes and innovative techniques used to create them. We take you behind the scenes, shedding light on the expertise and dedication that goes into crafting each die. We aim to highlight the importance of precision and the relentless pursuit of innovation that pushes the boundaries of possibilities.

Mastering Precision – The Art and Impact of Engraved Dies

Engraved dies are metal plates engraved with a design or pattern to create an impression on another surface with either ink or foil. The precision of these dies allows for the reproduction of intricate designs, logos and text which contribute to brand recognition and 0product appeal.

The craftsmanship required to produce high-quality engraved dies is nothing short of fine art. Whilst state-of-the-art CNC machines are used, combining them with the meticulous skills developed through traditional techniques makes Bowers and Freeman dies so much better than the rest. The highest levels of accuracy and consistency give excellent results and also help reduce set-up times, reduce scrap prints and make the production process more efficient.

The applications for engraved metal dies in the hot foil industry are vast and varied. They are used to create unique designs on all types of decorative packaging, for decorating stationery and for data marking and identification in the pharmaceutical industry.

Achieve previously unattainable reflective, holographic effects without special foil, using Bowers and Freeman’s unique in-house design and the latest computerised technology. Our process is perfect for decorating cosmetics and luxury packaging on curved or flat surfaces and can incorporate complete holographic patterns or smaller areas with text, delivering outstanding visual and tactile effects when paired with transfer film. Take the first step towards transformative packaging by contacting us today.

Silicone Rubber Dies: Expanding the Parameters of Hot Foil Printing.

Silicone rubber dies have revolutionised the world of hot foil decoration of both curved and flat plastic components. They achieve high levels of quality decoration on mouldings previously considered impossible to print and bring a new level of versatility to the industry. Not just tools, they can be considered creative instruments that can be used for a host of applications from the decoration of cosmetics packaging to the long-lasting marking of medical products, as well as larger items like wheelie bins, vacuum cleaners and car engine covers. One of the key features of silicone rubber dies is their flexibility. Unlike metal dies silicone rubber dies can conform to uneven surfaces allowing the disguising of inevitable inconsistencies in plastic mouldings, such as sink marks and flow lines.

Bowers and Freeman silicone rubber dies offer numerous benefits making them a preferred choice for many international customers:

  • Bowers dies are so accurate they give reduced set-up times for our customers. – They continue to produce a clear and precise image after many thousands of prints, reducing scrap.
  • The detail on Bowers dies is always finished by hand resulting in outstanding, clear prints every time.

Discover Bowers and Freeman high-quality silicone rubber dies for hot foil printing plastic components. Our range includes bespoke solutions with varying properties, enhanced for exceptional precision. With print face profiles matching curvature and consistent heat transfer, our dies offer reusability and environmental protection. Say goodbye to air entrapment with our cutting-edge development, ensuring flawless printing. Suitable for all sizes, explore our selection, including silicone rubber-covered wheels and rollers for efficient foil application.

Engraved Metal Dies or Silicone Rubber Dies: Which is the Right Choice for Your Needs?

Whether metal or silicone rubber, dies need to be made with the same high degree of craftsmanship to provide long-lasting and top-quality images. Both materials necessitate a keen eye for detail, precision and a deep understanding of the way materials behave under various conditions. Engraved dies are created using a combination of CNC machines and hand-crafting to give the most precise finish possible. Whilst anyone can engrave a metal die with a CNC engraving machine, only the vastly experienced Bowers and Freeman engravers can combine this with historical knowledge to produce some of the best dies worldwide.
Silicone rubber dies are created using an engraved brass master die, made to the same high standards. This enables fine detail to be moulded into the silicone rubber die to produce a top-quality print. The experience of Bowers and Freeman engineers helps ensure the perfect composition of rubber and shore hardness is used to make the best choice of material for each application.

Pros and Cons of Each Type of Die

Engraved metal dies are known for their durability and precision, making them ideal for tasks requiring high levels of detail and accuracy. Their long lifespan reduces the need for frequent tool replacements and they are ideal for long run print runs. Silicone rubber dies are far more suitable for the less even surfaces of plastic components as they can flex to take account of undulations. They are ideal for hot stamping applications where a decorative and long-lasting finish is required. Although not as durable as metal dies, the remoulding of worn dies is economical.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Between The Two

The deciding factor between metal or silicone rubber dies will be the nature of the task at hand and the finished effect required. A metal die gives a slightly impressed effect while a silicone rubber die gives a laid-on effect of the foil. To hot foil print onto a smooth surface with a long print run, an engraved die would be most suitable. For printing onto plastic or similar materials which will have an uneven surface, then a silicone rubber die would give a better quality of print.

It is also essential to consider the level of customer service and after-sales support offered by the die-maker. Bowers and Freeman are in a unique position as they not only provide high-quality dies but can offer exceptional technical support for customers who use the dies on machines from their sister company PBE Marking Systems Ltd. PBE also supply a wide range of foils which are excellent for use on plastics.

The Future of Die Production: Sustaining Craftsmanship in a Digital Age

As the industry becomes more automated and digitalised, the subtle nuances of production created by master craftsmen are in danger of being lost. This is not the case at Bowers and Freeman where the skills, understanding and attention to detail of our craftsmen only serves to enhance the automated and digitalised processes. This augurs well for our support to customers in the future.