Focus Label Machinery writes that LED-UV printing is a new advancement in UV drying systems for analogue and digital print applications. In professional packaging and label printing, first impressions count.
Businesses who rely on their printing suppliers to market their products or communicate their brand with customers must ensure that poor quality doesn’t reflect badly on their reputation. That is why, like many other sectors, the print industry is forging ahead to focus on quality and sustainability advancements, such as LED-UV printing, to improve output, without compromising on the print speed and high volumes that conventional methods achieve.
Ink dries instantaneously, eliminating absorption into the substrate, cutting down curing time, and reducing the equipment required on your production line and energy costs. An LED-UV printing press retains many of the advantages of ‘classic’ IR and UV drying systems, such as high quality and image fidelity, with some additional benefits.
LED UV drying systems don’t require long warm up times or stand by time. They are ready instantly when the press starts. This increases production availability and reduces your energy bill.
LED-UV printing technology produces exceptional colour vibrancy. Consequently, colour appears much sharper than with other types of printing, resulting in superior presentation, particularly if there are tiny details that may otherwise go unnoticed. This is particularly important for premium packaging or food labelling, where the first impression is crucial in attracting the attention of consumers.
With some printing processes, ink set-off occurs in which ink transfers from one substrate to another. The traditional solution is to set aside additional drying time by reducing production speed, which averts the problem, but affects the volume of print that can be produced per shift and drives down productivity. With LED-UV printing, inks that dry instantly eradicate ink set-off, so neither quality nor production volume are affected.
With LED-UV printing, drying time is dramatically reduced as a narrow band of UV light is used to cure the ink at the point of production, with no clear delineation between printing and curing. Also, heat generation on LED lamps is much lower so thinner substrates can be printed, giving customers greater choice and the opportunity to use materials that are better suited to the intended purpose.
With LED-UV printing, there are important benefits for the environment over conventional print methods. With less ink consumed, lower power demand during curing and zero ozone emissions, LED-UV printing is both good for the planet and more cost-efficient, saving print businesses money while producing exceptionally high print quality.
Finally, LED-UV printing systems are much cheaper to operate and maintain than digital presses and most flexographic machines fitted with traditional IR or UV systems. With fewer moving parts due to the simplified curing process, there is less wear-and-tear of components, while the LED-powered lamps have a lifespan more than 40 times longer than mercury UV curing lamps.