During his presentation at the seminar on web printing held on the sidelines of PrintPack 2015, Stephen Metcalf of Air Motion Systems (AMS) took his audience through a short history of UV LED and outlined the huge strides the technology has made in the last half-a-decade.
LED UV is a better form of UV printing, which uses high intensity UV light that penetrates inks and coatings, taking them from liquid to polymer, Metcalf said. With UV LED today, he said, print service providers enjoy top production speeds, as fast as the presses run. This facilitates instant drying and no marking.
“There is intense energy, but just at work in the curing process. There is no warm up,” he said. In traditional UV, Metcalf said, it can take 30 minutes to warm up. There is also a cool-down period. LED dispenses with both.
It eliminates heat, makes the set process fast while a single lamp cures at top press speeds. It has the lowest energy footprint, and it cures on any material while producing high quality print. It is also completely green.
It dries instant and creates a back hard without the waste of gas and water. And, life of a single LED UV lamp is 20,000 hours.
In addition to eliminating the need of the bulbs, UV LED ends mercury or ozone exposure. “Pressmen really notice the difference when running with LED,” Metcalf said. “Fast installation is another benefit. The press is down for two to three weeks while installing UV,” he said, adding that the AMS system is compatible with all presses, not just with those designed for UV.
Many of the printing companies adding the system have realised good ROI, he added. APL Machinery is the Indian partner of AMS.
LED (light energy direct) UV is the technology for the present and the future. LED is growing in terms of number of installations, and speed of printing, applications and types of materials, he added.
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