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Pad printing consumable supplier


1. WHAT IS A PAD and PAD Mold?

A pad printing pad can transfer the ink in the pad printing machine. The pad compresses onto the plate, filled with ink to “pick up” the image, and then moves to the product location to print the logo on the object surface.

Pads are typically made of silicone material. The type of silicone and hardness of the pad depend on the application that is being printed. 

Pads can be produced in colors: white, red, blue, pink, green, etc. In Engyprint, red silicone is our regular material, and blue or green pads have anti-static features.

Shore A 1-2, which means the pad is very soft, 

Shore A 5-8 means the pad is in medium hardness

Shore A 10-12 means the pad is rigid.

Generally speaking, the pad must be more challenging if the printed logo is small and delicate.

Pads are available in a variety of shapes and sizes; the product shape, logo size, and the printed location determine them.

Standard pads are round and rectangular. There are, however, specialty pads with unique shapes made for specific applications. 

If a customized pad is needed, the client needs to provide a 3D drawing with stp. File to produce the pad mold first.

A pad mold can be made with metal or acrylic. Metal pad mold has a longer lifetime, but it’s easy to rust, and clients might find removing the rust on the metal pad mold surface time-consuming and costly.

An acrylic pad mold is much cheaper and easier to operate; people can design it in multiple capacities to save costs.



An ink cup is the housing mechanism for the ink in a closed ink cup pad printer.

The ink cup slides across a plate and back again, leaving only a tiny amount of ink in the etched logo. This process is called doctoring.

Basically, a complete set of ink cups is combined by a ceramic/carbide ring, an ink cup body, and a seal ring. The ring is used to doctor the plate and ensure ink is only left in the etched portion.

Depending upon the manufacturer, rings are made of ceramic, metal, or plastic. Ceramic is considered the most favorable material as it is gentle and cost-saving with a long life span; it will only scratch the plate slowly and is strong enough to handle the constant motion of the pad printer.

ENGYPRINT has already produced hundreds of different sizes and shapes of ink cups that are compatible with other pad printer brands.

If anyone hopes to copy a special ink cup, it is better to provide a natural one for a sample.

Explore a variety of pad printing ink cups and ceramic rings here in ENGY; many of our ink cups are coated with a specialty ink-resistant material. ENGY is the pioneer in manufacturing ink cups and ceramic/carbide rings for pad printing machines. You can choose the ring size from a minor diameter of 36mm to a big diameter of 215mm, round or oval shape.



A pad printing plate, or a cliche, will be engraved or etched with the image to be printed. There are different types of plates: 

Thick plate thickness 10mm, 

carbon steel plate: thickness 0.25mm, 0.3mm, or 0.5mm, 

Aluminum plate: thickness 0.95mm or 0.5mm and photopolymer plate.

Thick plate:

There are three steel material types for thick plates; in ENGYPRINT, we named them 01, EN, and Chrome plates. 

The chrome plate is anti-rust and has the longest life span. But EN plate sells the best.

The thick plate is usually assembled on an open tray pad printer.

A good quality cliche/plate should have stable heat treatment hardness within 0.3mm thickness of its surface, and we usually etch the image on the plate for 0.02-0.04mm at one time. 

Carbon steel plate: 

A carbon steel plate is a thin plate usually assembled with a closed ink cup pad printer for printing. In the printing industry, please use the chemical etching method to etch the logo on the plate. 

The hot sell dimensions are 100*200mm,100*250mm,100*215mm, etc.

The plate dimensions can be customized, and the client can buy the plate with or without coating.

Photopolymer Plate-making

Photopolymer plate-making requires photosensitive plate material and a UV exposure unit. The plate is exposed to UV light numerous times, each with a different component, such as a film-positive or line screen film. Exposing pad printing plates is the more cost-effective solution to plate-making. However, the photosensitive curing process is significantly longer than laser plate-making, taking over 30 minutes to etch a plate.

Laser Plate-making

Laser plate-making is engraving a plate with a fiber laser machine. Computer-to-plate technology allows for complete repeatability without concern for variation in etch depth, dot pattern, and image quality. Laser plate-making is extremely fast, typically etching a plate in a few minutes.

The aluminum plate is the best material for fiber laser engraving because aluminum is a soft metal, and the engraved logo can be kept reasonably without flashes and defects.

However, an aluminum plate has a shorter printing lifetime than a steel plate; it is more suitable for a company that needs to change its logo frequently, and the design is simple and easy.



● ENGY pad printing ink cups are outfitted with powerful magnets positioned around the outer perimeter of the ink cup, which provides precise doctoring on all types of clichés. This is especially true compared to ink cups with a magnetic plug in the center. Furthermore, We will use a magnetic tester to check the real magnetic value.

● For some of the models, we have utilized small magnets so that the ink cups can have a single large magnet in the center. In this case, it can give you a lot of open areas to add ink or thinner to the cup.

● No special tools are required to set up an ENGY ink cup. The cup is held down with magnet pressure or with (optional) pneumatic pressure. Either way, click the cup into the holder and begin.

● ENGY offers both hardened steel rings and ceramic rings. The hardened steel rings never need to be honed or sharpened, and our ceramic materials are precise. Hard steel rings( carbide ring/tungsten ring) work best on thick and thin steel clichés and ceramic rings on all photopolymer and laser clichés.

● ENGY has designed a new type of ink cup with a disposable plastic cup; as we all know, cleaning the ink in the ink cup is a challenging task; it is time-consuming and smelly; by adopting this disposable structure, clients can save time and operate easier to change the ink in the ink cup. 

● Warn tips: When the ink cup has been used for a long time, the ring blade may have some abrasion or small notches; if the abrasion depth is not more significant than 0.03mm, the ring can be regrind through a special grinding plate so that the ring can be recycled. It can significantly help clients to save costs, and it is environmentally friendly.


Ring Dimensions For Pad Printing Ink Cups (for reference)

Dimension Blade and Bevel Type
65*60*5.2mm Single Blade Single Bevel
95*90*5.2mm Single Blade single Bevel
125*120*5.2mm Single Blade single Bevel
135*130*5.2mm Single Blade single Bevel
60*53*12mm Single Blade double Bevel
80*70*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
90*82*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
90*82*13mm Double Blade double Bevel
100*90*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
120*110*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
130*120*12mm Double Blade double Bevel
160*150*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
70*60*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
136.3*126.3*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
200*190*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
140*131*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
92*86*9mm Single Blade double Bevel
127*120*9mm Single Blade double Bevel
162*156*9mm Single Blade double Bevel
140*130*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
60*55*12mm Double Blade double Bevel
65*60*12mm Single Blade double Bevel
72*62*10mm Double Blade single Bevel
80*70*12.5/12.2mm Single Blade single Bevel
90*80*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
90*80*15mm Double Blade double Bevel
92*82*12mm Single Blade double Bevel
95*85*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
100*89.5*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
100*91*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
100*95*5.25mm Single Blade single Bevel
108*101*12mm Single Blade double Bevel
110*100*12mm Single Blade double Bevel
110*102*12mm Single Blade double Bevel
110*105*5.2mm Single Blade single Bevel
115*110*5.2mm Single Blade double Bevel
115*110*12mm Single Blade single Bevel
125*120*8mm Single Blade single Bevel
135*125*14mm Single Blade single Bevel
140*135*12mm Single Blade single Bevel

Please contact ENGY to know full dimensions

Plate Dimensions For Pad Printing Machines (for reference)

Dimension Material
70*140*10mm HR / EN /D2
100*200*0.25/0.3/0.5 mm Carbon steel or stainless steel
100*215*0.25/0.3/0.5 mm
100*216*0.25/0.3/0.5 mm
100*250*0.25/0.3/0.5 mm
100*260*0.25/0.3/0.5 mm
100*300*0.25/0.3/0.5 mm
100*350*0.25/0.3/0.5 mm
100*400*0.25/0.3/0.5 mm
120*250*0.25/0.3/0.5 mm
150*300*0.25/0.3/0.5 mm
320*1000*0.25/0.3/0.5 mm
100*100*0.5*0.95mm Aluminum plate with steel back

or without steel back


Any special dimension can be made to order.


FAQ for Pad Printing Plate

1. Q: Are there different types of plates?

A: Yes. Four primary plate materials are used to create cliché plates: thick steel, carbon steel, aluminum, and photopolymer.

 There are also subcategories of these materials, each benefiting customer needs. Aluminum plates and photopolymers are great for low-volume print projects or when changing art frequently. Steel is used for long-duration projects with consistent artwork. For more information on plate types, please see our cliché plates page.


2. Q: How long do plates last?

A: Actually, the printing lifetime is determined by many elements, for example, the pad printing machine condition, the design of the artwork, the maintenance of the plate, etc., so no one can give a confirmed answer for its lasting time, but we have some data for reference: 

Thick plates last the longest: some good D2 material can print around 200,000 times. 

Carbon steel prints longer than Aluminum plates and the photopolymer plates,

Carbon steel can last around 50,000-20,000 impressions or more, depending on how well you clean the etching after each run, the cleanliness of your environment, and quality requirements. 

For the aluminum and photopolymer plates, the image will slightly fade further into cycles due to the impact of the ring blade or straight blade scraping the top of the etch during the process.


3. Q: How do you make the plate? 

A: Thick steel plates and carbon steel plates are made through an exposure process. A film-positive is created with a desired screened image or font and adhered to the plate, then exposed the image to UV light for a specific time. Each material has a special coating that is UV light sensitive and, therefore, cures everywhere except the area of your screened image. 

The plates then undergo an etching process to remove the sensitive material to a desired depth. 

Photopolymer is washed out with a solvent 

A fiber laser machine can engrave aluminum plates.

For further information, please get in touch with us to get a plate-making video.


4. Q: How do I choose the correct plate type for my application?

A: The type of material depends on the required printing volume.

Steel plate should be used if you have a high volume of prints and your image or font will be consistent.

Aluminum plate and photopolymer should be used if your volume is under 50,000 or if you plan on changing artwork. We also offer different categories of each material to benefit from cost depending on your requirements.


5. Q: How do I clean my cliché plate?

A: For all different materials of the plate, we can use the same thinner that you have added to your ink to clean your plate. The thinner is best for removing ink from the etch while leaving an oily finish that prevents rust for steel plates. Using a fiber cloth can also be helpful to remove ink that is deep in the etch.

Ask For A Quick Quote

We will contact you within 1 working day, please pay attention to the mail with the suffix “lina@engyprint.cn ”.