In-Line Printing

In-line printing in plastic extrusion manufacturing represents a significant advancement in the production of high-quality, customized plastic products. Our process allows for the direct application of designs, patterns, or text onto extruded plastic profiles as they are being manufactured. This integration of printing into the extrusion line streamlines production and offers a range of creative possibilities.

Understanding In-Line Printing

In-line printing in plastic extrusion involves the application of ink or other printing materials directly onto the surface of the extruded plastic as it comes out of the extruder. This process is typically performed immediately after the plastic has been shaped but before it has completely cooled and hardened. The printing can be done using various techniques, including inkjet, flexographic, or even digital printing, depending on the complexity of the design and the type of plastic being used.

Applications and Products

This technology is widely used in various sectors. In the construction industry, it's used to create decorative trims, siding, and window profiles with wood grain or other patterns. In the consumer goods sector, in-line printing is used for branding and labeling on products like plastic tubing, containers, and profiles. The automotive industry utilizes this process for producing parts with specific aesthetic requirements or functional markings.

Materials and Techniques

The types of plastics that can be used for in-line printing include PVC, PE, PP, and ABS, among others. The choice of printing technique and ink type depends largely on the properties of the plastic and the desired outcome. UV-curable inks are commonly used for their durability and quick drying times, which are essential in a continuous manufacturing process like extrusion.

Plextrusions, Inc. Provides Advantages of In-Line Printing

One of the main advantages of our in-line printing is the considerable time and cost savings it offers. By integrating printing into the extrusion process, manufacturers can avoid the need for secondary operations, which reduces handling and speeds up production. This integration also ensures greater accuracy in the placement of prints, leading to a more consistent and high-quality product.

In-Line Hole Punching

In-line hole punching in plastic extrusion manufacturing is a crucial process that adds functionality and value to extruded plastic products. This technique involves the creation of holes or openings in plastic profiles during the extrusion process, enabling the production of complex and customized plastic components used in various industries.

The Process of In-Line Hole Punching

In-line hole punching is integrated into the plastic extrusion line. Once the plastic material is extruded through a die to create a continuous profile, it passes through a hole punching station. Here, precisely controlled punches create holes or cut-outs at specific locations along the extruded profile. This process is highly automated and synchronized with the extrusion speed to ensure accuracy and consistency in the placement and size of the holes.

Types of Products and Applications

Plextrusions, Inc. can provide In-Line Hole Punching to our customers.  This technique is used to manufacture a wide array of products. Examples include plastic pipes with pre-drilled holes for irrigation or drainage systems, window frames with openings for mounting hardware, and construction profiles with holes for assembly. The ability to punch holes in-line significantly reduces secondary processing steps, making it a cost-effective and time-efficient process.

Materials and Technologies

Various plastic materials can be used in in-line hole punching, including PVC, PE, PP, and ABS. The choice of material depends on the final application's requirements, such as strength, flexibility, and environmental resistance. The technology used for punching ranges from simple mechanical punches to more sophisticated laser or ultrasonic punching systems, which offer greater precision and speed.

Tubing/Pipe Extrusion

Plastic tubing and pipe extrusion is a specialized process at Plextrusions' manufacturing facility.  The plastic materials are melted and formed into continuous profiles such as pipes, tubes, and other complex shapes. This process is central to the production of a wide range of products used in various industries, from plumbing and construction to medical and automotive applications.

The Extrusion Process

The core of the extrusion process involves feeding plastic pellets or granules into an extruder, which is essentially a long barrel containing a screw. As the screw rotates, it forces the plastic material forward while the combination of heat and pressure melts the plastic into a viscous liquid. This molten plastic is then forced through a die, which shapes it into the desired profile.

Materials Used

A variety of plastic materials are used in tubing and pipe extrusion, each selected for specific properties like flexibility, strength, chemical resistance, or temperature tolerance. Common materials include Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), and Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), among others.

Applications and Advantages

Plastic pipes and tubes manufactured through this process are used in a myriad of applications. In plumbing, PVC and PE pipes are favored for their light weight, resistance to corrosion, and lower cost compared to traditional materials like copper. In medical devices, tubing made from flexible and biocompatible plastics are essential for applications like intravenous lines and catheters.

The advantages of plastic tubing and pipe extrusion are numerous. The process allows for high production rates and consistent product quality. It’s also versatile, allowing for the production of pipes and tubes in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Moreover, the ability to incorporate additives during the extrusion process enables the production of specialized tubing, such as UV-resistant or antimicrobial pipes.

In conclusion, plastic tubing and pipe extrusion is a vital industrial process with a wide range of applications. Its versatility, efficiency, and the ability to produce a diverse range of products make it indispensable in modern manufacturing. At the same time, the industry is evolving to address environmental challenges, ensuring its sustainability for the future.

The Advantages of Tubing in Plastic Extrusion: Revolutionizing Industrial Applications

In the world of manufacturing and industrial applications, the process of plastic extrusion has emerged as a cornerstone, particularly in the production of tubing. Plastic tubing, created through this process, offers a multitude of benefits, making it a preferred choice in various industries, from medical to automotive. This article delves into the numerous advantages that plastic tubing brings to the table, highlighting why it's an indispensable component in modern manufacturing.

Versatility in Applications

Plastic tubing, thanks to its flexibility and adaptability, finds usage in a myriad of applications. In the medical field, it's crucial for devices like catheters and IV tubes. In automotive and aerospace industries, it's used for fuel lines and fluid transfer. Even in everyday household items and gardening tools, plastic tubing plays a vital role.

Range of Materials

One of the significant benefits of plastic tubing in extrusion is the variety of materials that can be used. From PVC and polyethylene to more advanced materials like fluoropolymers, each offers unique properties – be it flexibility, chemical resistance, or temperature tolerance. This diversity allows industries to choose materials based on specific requirements.

Durability and Resistance

Plastic tubing is known for its durability. It resists corrosion, can withstand varying temperatures, and is generally impervious to chemicals and environmental factors. This resilience makes it ideal for long-term applications, reducing the need for frequent replacements and maintenance.

Lightweight and Cost-Effective

Compared to metal tubing, plastic tubing is significantly lighter, which is crucial in industries like automotive and aerospace, where weight reduction is a constant goal. Additionally, plastic materials are often more cost-effective than metals, not only in terms of initial material costs but also considering the longer lifespan and reduced maintenance costs.

Customization and Precision

Plastic extrusion allows for high precision in manufacturing tubing, ensuring uniformity in wall thickness and diameter. This precision is vital in applications where tight tolerances are required. Moreover, the extrusion process allows for customization in terms of length, color, and even the addition of UV inhibitors or other additives.

Luminescent Extrusion

Plextronics extruded glow in the dark materialExtruded plastic that glows in the dark, often referred to as "glow-in-the-dark plastic," has a unique luminescent property that makes it useful for various applications where visibility in low-light or dark conditions is required. Here are some common uses for extruded plastic that glows in the dark:

  1. Safety Signage: Glow-in-the-dark plastic can be used to create safety signs, exit signs, and wayfinding markers in buildings, tunnels, and other enclosed spaces. These signs remain visible during power outages or emergencies when conventional lighting is unavailable.

  2. Emergency Exit Markings: Extruded plastic with glow-in-the-dark properties is often used to mark emergency exit routes and stairwells in buildings. It helps people locate and navigate these exits in low-light situations.

  3. Illuminated Handrails and Guardrails: Glow-in-the-dark plastic can be integrated into handrails and guardrails in staircases and walkways to improve visibility and safety, especially in dimly lit areas.

  4. Aerospace and Aviation: In the aerospace industry, glow-in-the-dark plastic may be used for instrument panel indicators and controls to assist pilots and crew members during nighttime flights or low-light conditions.

Extrusion Capabilities

Profile Extrusion - Products that are extruded with intricate shapes, curves, or mating dimensions.

Co-extrusion  – We offer multi-color co-extrusion. This is a process where two colors or two materials can be fused together for a finished product.

Tri-Extrusion – A process where three different colors or three different materials can be fused together for a finished product.

Embossing & Texturing – Custom textures for products that are extruded with a print or specific custom design on the part.

Luminescent Extrusion – Profiles that glow in the dark, for a period of time.

Streaker pigments – We offer specialization in extruding pigment streakers. Example: a custom wood grain look.

Custom Colors – Color mixing and blending. We will create or match colors.

Taping and Laminating – Extruding profiles that require a surface that is covered with a film or profiles that need tape on the bottom of the product.

Product Development Team – We have the best in-house engineering team to assist in developing your product.

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Plastic Extrusion

Extrusion works by pushing plastic through a die. The shape of the die is a cross-section of the final part.

The Manufacturing Process
  • Plastic extrusion: Plastic pellets are heated and pushed through a heated barrel by a screw.
  • Profile: Plastic is forced through a die that creates the final shape of the part.
  • Cooling: The extruded plastic is cooled and hardened.
  • Cut or spool: The continuous shape is spooled or cut into lengths.
At Plextrusion, we use extrusion machinery that provides exacting standards, yet keeps your budgetary requirements aligned.

With our extrusion techniques, we can improve quality and consistency.

Contact us with your requirements.

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At Plextrusions, Inc., we offer a variety of capabilities for your professional plastic extrusion needs. While specializing in extruding a wide range of flexible and rigid PVC profiles, we offer extrusion for many different plastics.

We own our own manufacturing facility located in North Ridgeville, Ohio – just outside of Cleveland, only 25 minutes from Cleveland Hopkins Airport. 

Plextrusions MADE IN AMERICA