Plastic material processing and finishing solutions

Plastic is everywhere. You can find it in the building industry, window frames and architectural elements, in the automotive sector, where many interior components are made of plastic. There is also a widespread use of plastic for consumer goods and plastic is also part of many domestic appliances.

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plastic finishing solutions

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What is meant by the industrial surface finishing of plastic substrates?

To start with, there are many different materials that are classified as plastic, from thermoplastic polymers such as polypropylene (PP), polycarbonate (PC), polyethylene (PET), ABS and PVC to PMMA and these can be found in moulded or extruded form and used for several products. According to size, shape, production volumes and what they are used for, plastic elements can be finished using different industrial processes. Spray coating, wrapping, industrial digital printing, as well as drying and curing are a few examples of the finishing processes they may undergo.

Why is plastic finishing so important in key industrial sectors?

In people’s minds, plastic is a cheap material, often associated with disposable items. Where it is used for furniture or in the construction industry or the automotive sector, the finishing process has, among others, the aim of embellishing the plastic elements to make them attractive and enhance their perceived value. There are different ways to decorate plastic substrates and even ways to customise the end product. These processes include:

Plastic Windows wrapping


PVC profiles that may be a part of a window frame can be wrapped on high-tech, automatic machinery to improve their look and feel.
Plastic coating


Principally carried out using spray coating technologies and equipment, this technique is an efficient way of decorating plastic products.
Plastic Excimer matting

Excimer matting

A sustainable way to generate a deep matt finish and turn a plastic element into an attractive product with a resistant surface finish.
Plastic Industrial digital printing

Industrial digital printing

Enables an exceptionally high degree of customisation and batch one management to personalise plastic products on demand.

In which industries are plastic finishing solutions used?

Integrated finishing lines for plastic elements feature different technologies and can be found in diverse sectors:

Application fields

Here is a selection of plastic finished specific products


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Technologies for plastic material processing and finishing

Plastic finishing is quite varied and the technologies used to complete the process are different according to the product or the desired effect. These are a selection of the most common technologies:

For excellent transfer efficiency, this coating technique can be used on flat panels and panels with shallow grooves, performed on specially equipped roller coaters. For ultra-high-gloss surface finishing, a Laser roller is the perfect solution. 

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A flexible solution which ensures coating consistency applying lacquer to all sides of a 3D product. Spray coating is accomplished on flatbed lines or overhead lines with special spraying robots.

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The ideal solution for customisation or batch one requirements, this technology transforms a unique digital image into a printed decoration and can be integrated into lines using other coating technologies.

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Part of automatic equipment providing solutions for a complete process including an adhesive coater unit, wrapping is performed on profiles and window frames in PVC.

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Different ovens implementing IR or UV technologies are available to dry the lacquers used to coat the plastic substrate.

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Thin sheets

What special finishing technologies can be used for thin PMMA sheets?

Specially adapted roller coating equipment that handles thin plastic sheets is a consolidated solution which we configure to suit your requirement.

Firstly, coating must be performed in a controlled environment, pressurised to avoid contamination from dust, and special pumps are fitted to the coating equipment to eliminate the risk of air bubbles, the two most common defects of a coated PMMA sheet.

To keep the substrate rigid during coating, an upper application roller works in unison with a lower support roller that features a cleaning device to keep the bottom side of the sheet free from lacquer.

Fibrous plastic sheets for gaskets can also be coated in a similar way, involving a simpler and equally effective process.

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PMMA sheets

Discover the machines for industrial finishing of plastics


Case studies

Case study


Industrial digital printing has unlimited potential

Discover all the potential effects that you can obtain on different substrates thanks to digital printing. 

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We’ve been innovating in the surface finish field for sixty years.

With a network of finishing experts sharing skills in all areas and all industries, Cefla Finishing is a hub of expertise, a trusted source and partner who can help you achieve your business objectives.

Tell us where you want to go and our finishing experts will help you get there.


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

01 What are the advantages of roller coating?

High flexibility in terms of output rate and choice of cycles/processes according to the line make-up.

Zero solvent emissions thanks to 95% use of products with high dry residue (UV) content.

Possibility of using the roller technique for any application on all flat surfaces.

02 What are the advantages of spray coating?
Firstly, spray coating ensures all sides of the piece are covered. Secondly, the product shape is unimportant and, since it is not a contact-type coating, different tolerances between products are compensated for automatically.
03 What are the disadvantages of industrial digital printing?
  1. Handling large volumes. This technique is not for mass production.
  2. Economies of scale. Unit cost does not drop in line with higher volumes.
  3. Learning curve. Many end-users are at the start of the learning curve and need to develop some skills and knowledge to exploit the technologies. We can support you.
04 What are the advantages of drying?
Let's talk about the advantages of the whole finishing process, which includes lacquer application and drying. The "finished" item ends up with improved resistance and protection from external agents, as well as a better aesthetic presentation.
05 What technology do I need to coat edges?
To coat edges correctly, vacuum and roller technologies are required. It all depends on the shape of the edge and the product type, which might be MDF, veneered, reconstituted veneered or wood.