Pin production steps begin with a request for quotation. After confirming requirements such as size, plating, posts and designs, qty,etc. a quotation is sent to customer. If customer agree to make, then payment is sent to factory and pins factory begins to prepare the artwork proof.
Step 1, Artwork proof
Artwork proof/mockup is a document showing all details such as the design, the process: hard enamel or soft enamel, plating requirement, all Pantone solid color numbers, contents need to be printed, back logo, back posts location, whether need epoxy or laser, etc. With this artwork, the customer knows how the finished product will look like or should look like. When everything is correct, customer approves the artwork, then real production begins.
Step 2, Molds preparation
The artwork is first sent to an mold engraving machine for molds preparation. On the mold engraving machine, front mold, which displays the shaple, is cut out with 5-6 different size cutters, this is a time consuming process. When pins have back logo, then back mold is also engraved, the finished molds looks like this.
Step 3, blank pins production
As this pin design has irregular shape, it is suitable to use zinc alloy material to make. For zinc alloy material pins, the pin shape forming process is achieved by a zinc alloy die-casting machine.
The front mold is put at one side of a zinc alloy die-casting machine, the back mold at the other side. When high temperature liquid-like zinc alloy is injected into the space between front and back molds under high pressure, then pin shape is formed.
After pins are cooled down, blank pins are separated and collected one by one. Now a new lapel pin is born:)
Then the pins edges are cleaned, burrs are eliminated for next step.
Next step is fix spur needles, or posts. On this machine, the spur needles are fixed on the back of pins. After this step, the pin looks like this.
For hard enamel pin, the next step is colorizing, then plating and printing, then packing. For soft enamel pins, the next step is plating, then colorizing and printing, then packing.
Let’s follow the hard enamel pin production steps.
Step 4, colorizing
In order to avoid colors mix with each other, at one time, only one color can be put on the pin. After finish one color, pins are placed into an oven for more than 2 hours to make the first color dry.
Then take out, place another color, placed into oven again for another 2 hours. This process repeats until all colors are there and dried. This is why lapel pin cost is higher when it has more colors. The more colors, the more labor force, more electricity, etc. are consumed.
(Above process is mainly for hand made small quantity pins coloring. For big quantity, especially for soft enamel pins, auto coloring machines are widely used to speed up the production. )
After pins are colorized, then they are sent on a scouring wheel for initial cleaning. Then they are polished on the polishing wheel to make them shine.
Step 5, Plating
After polishing, the pins are sent for plating. These pins are required to be black nickel plated, pins are put into pools filled with black nickel liquid, then with the reaction of electrolysis, the positive ion of black nickel is attached on the surface of metal lapel pins. After plating, now these pins look like this:
As this pin has two colors need screen printed, here is the screen printing process. After screen printing, now the hard enamel pins are almost ready.
Step 6, packing
Next step is final quality check. After checking every pin has no problem, then clutches are attached and every pin is put into one OPP bag, then all pins placed into one bag and packed with protective film, then packed into a FedEx bag.
With FedEx delivery label printed, now these pins are to be picked up by FedEx and heading to customer.
Above steps are real pins production process in Jiayue Pins Factory. Should you have pins need production, you can click the online quote request form to get a fast quotation.