Put simply, an overlay panel begins as a clear piece of material. By using a variety of transparent materials, the finished product of an overlay panel can vary in look and feel. The materials we use and the final finish of an overlay panel can vary significantly, so you can end up with a textured finish, something that looks like aluminium, or even a rubbery finish. Once we have the selected transparent material for the job, we then reverse print (printing on the inside) onto the material. By printing on the inside, the panel protects the ink, making an overlay panel long-lasting. If you’re having trouble visualising what this might look like, we often tell our customers that an overlay panel is what you see most microwave buttons made from. They’re user-friendly, functional and simple.
One of the key features of an overlay panel is the unlimited graphic design options. You can also have embossed buttons, raised printing, die or laser cutting and windows for LCD and LED displays. The automotive industry is a great example of overlay panels used in conjunction with lighting displays. By printing coloured filters on the clear material used, we can use overlay panels to create the park brake signal on the dash of a vehicle. Overlay panels can be used across limitless industries including air conditioning, power management, medical equipment and hospitality equipment. They can withstand a wide variety of environments and rear-side printing will ensure the print lasts the test of time.
We offer various embossing options for overlay panels, plus the same clear materials we use to create overlay panels can be used to make touchscreen protectors. Read more about touchscreen protectors here.
Our customer was originally purchasing graphic overlays from Asia, however due to inconsistencies in colour from batch to batch; they decided that the only way forward was to find a local supplier with the ability to have consistency of product and faster reaction timeframes for design changes. Reid Industrial has fulfilled these requirements and is proud to provide local support and Australian made products to this customer.
Our customer Poolstore has been a supplier of pool and spa equipment since 1986, their strong desire to support Australian manufacturing has enabled them to rapidly evolve their designs and stay at the forefront of the pool and spa industry. The Solar Pump Controller graphic overlay is the control interface for a pool chlorinator. The panel needed to withstand external environmental elements and also potentially be exposed to pool chemicals. By utilising Reid Industrials digital printing technology and MacDermid Autotype Autotex XE Polyester film, all requirements were achieved.
The Pulpmaster 5000 Food Waste System overlay is the control panel on a food waste recycling machine. Our customer Pulpmaster offer cutting edge waste recycling solutions to commercial food businesses. Pulpmaster presented Reid with a project brief to design and manufacture a set of graphic overlays that utilised their intricate brand design whilst withstanding the rigorous demands of the commercial food industry. By utilising Reid’s digital print technologies and MacDermid Autotype Polyester film, graphic panels were produced to the highest possible photographic image quality and backed with 3M high performance adhesive.
An elegantly designed graphic overlay digitally printed with full colour graphics and embellished with embossed buttons. Our customer required subtle tones on the overlay to capture the end user experience for their product being produced for the health and lifestyle industries. To achieve an anti-glare appearance the material of choice was MacDermid Autotype EBA Polyester.
The Ten Pin Bowling overlay panel is the console interface on a ten pin bowling machine used in commercial and home applications. The project brief was to create a graphic overlay with colour enhancement capabilities that would allow all colours to glow under certain lighting conditions, whilst maintaining its tactile characteristics. The desired effect was achieved by blending optical brighteners into the ink and printing onto MacDermid Autotype F200 polyester film.