Screen Printing Process

Silk Screen printing is the most common and widely used form of decoration in the industry.  Silk printing is the process we use to print directly onto a bottle.  It is an industrial process that involves many steps, a lot of machinery, some artistry, and a little bit of elbow grease.  Silk Screening is a technique that is well established in the labeling industry.  A silk stencil is made from artwork supplied by the customer using a photographic technique to transfer the image.  The image on the silk is a reverse image which allows ink through the silk to print the artwork. The plain area of the design is blocked by a solid area on the silk.  In essence, the absence and presence of solids on the open mesh or screen allow the inks to pass through to the container.

Silk Screen printing can be done on a small scale or on a large scale by machines.  Cal Dec has semi-automatic and automatic equipment to perform the process on containers.  The process can also be done in one or four colors from 1/4 oz to 1 gallon sized containers.

Quoting & Work Flow

First, each new project will be quoted in writing.  Our quote sheets include specific parameters, including price per thousand, release sizes, tooling charges if needed, quality standards, terms and conditions, packing specifications, scrap rates, and print registration tolerances.  Repeat projects do not require a re-quote.

Once we receive your purchase order, our Customer Service Department will review it and confirm the order by phone call, fax, or email and establish delivery dates for your order.  A copy of the artwork will be faxed to you for your approval on all re-orders.

Once we have everything in our hand (your containers, film positives—from which we make screens in house, your ink selection etc.) we make a work order and put your order in production.

Sample Approval

Nothing provides marketing confidence like holding the actual decorated bottle in your hand. We will take your designs and bottle choices and produce screened or labeled container samples for your consideration and approval.

We encourage customers to visit our plant for an interactive sample approval session. Come to Southern California, make yourself comfortable, and let us go to work.  With your input, we’ll have samples literally “in your hand” for you to evaluate.

Much better than a rubdown or drawing, you’ll be able to see how the actual inks or label appear on the bottle you’ve selected.  Is the ink blending in too much with the substrate? Is the type too small or the logo too large?

If you want us to send you a sample, we can also do that, but after we run samples, we need to hold the machine for you till you approve and the wasted ink has an added cost to you for sample approval.


Quality Control

Cal Dec’s dedication to continuous quality improvement is a key element of our success. The continuous improvement process philosophy permeates every aspect of our business whether it is in the conversion from Silk Screen printing, new product sampling, ink matching, or in the daily production to maximize bottle yield. Our focus is on providing exceptional customer service and satisfaction. We continually strive to improve all aspects of our business in order to provide world-class products to our customers.

  • Investments in sophisticated Statistical Process Control techniques and tools help ensure our products meet your quality requirements. Our proprietary statistical measuring and equipment monitoring helps us provide excellent and sustainable quality containers.
  • Continuous investments in new technologies
  • Procedures and training enables us to anticipate, track and respond to issues throughout our manufacturing processes.

Problem Solving

Companies often come to Cal Dec after they have experienced problems with other labelers or decorators.  Some of the most common problems we solve are really not problems at all when you approach them with the correct decorating strategy.

Custom Fabrication

Volume requirements, price points, part geometry, graphics and substrate material sometimes require custom built equipment. Our machine shop specialists have designed and built equipment for decades, and they enjoy being challenged. If you have an unusual part that other companies cannot figure out how to decorate, let us recommend a solution.

Emergency Runs

Because we control all aspects of pre-press and production, we can respond in an urgent manner to last minute, crisis situations.  Back-ordered products, unforeseen demand, urgent copy changes, or unanticipated overflow can often be accommodated in our schedule due to the large number of presses in our plant and quick turnaround times for tooling, art, and color matching.

Ink Adhesion and Compatibility

Some materials – such as polypropylene, PET, crystal clear styrene, ABS, and poly-carbonates can complicate the bonding process between the ink and the substrate.  Our Ink Lab is staffed by professionals with more than 70 years of combined experience with virtually every packaging material.  Custom ink formulations, special additives, pretreatments such as flaming or Corona discharge, curing methods and rigorous process control can all be utilized to overcome adhesion problems. In other cases, your product or the environment it is used in may be incompatible with and destructive to certain inks. In our Ink Lab, we can mix inks to withstand many harsh products and surroundings.

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