As an expert that specialises in UV-LED curing options for labels and packaging, Phoseon is ideally placed to offer companies a range of leading products and helpful information. We find out more.
In packaging, you are often called upon to print on a wide variety of materials – some of which takes specialist care in production. Many are films and foils that take time to dry, causing delays between press and converting.
According to Phoseon, UV-LED light sources are ideal for high speed curing in narrow web presses, offering many benefits to converters that make it an appealing option for any size operation. Converters have the option to retrofit existing stations on their press or upgrade the entire press. The return on investment can be fast due to the operating savings and benefits.
The intense output, low heat, and reduced energy usage of UV-LED systems has enabled end users to decrease material waste and operating costs while providing customers with superior product. Users of these curing systems can process a variety of materials (including thin and heat sensitive substrates) at maximum production speeds with low input power. UV-LED technology drastically reduces energy consumption and the surface temperature of the items being decorated.
If buying a new press is not feasible, or one is looking to add new capability to existing equipment, the second option would be to upgrade one or two of the existing press stations to start with, and see how the technology performs. For example, for a six colour press one could upgrade print station one and print station six for a first down white and dense black. To make the upgrade possible, the following elements are needed: two LED light sources, a modular system to support the light sources with cables, and brackets to connect it to the press. In addition, one has to make sure that an ink that has been formulated for UV-LED is selected. If everything goes well, the UV-LED can also be tried on different print stations for a variety of job set ups. The stations can be moved around to fit and test the curing quality. The next option would be to upgrade the entire press. For this, the modular system has to be reconfigured to support the number of light sources on the press. In this context, make sure the power and cooling is set up to support the extra light sources.
A HAPPY CUSTOMER
One customer that has seen the real benefits of retrofitting is Sopano, a printing company located near Rouen in France that manufactures adhesive labels and rolls of receipts. Sopano chose to retrofit its existing five station press and implementation was quick and simple. After an in-depth audit of Sopano’s needs, Phoseon’s technical teams installed the self- contained air cooled FJ601 LED curing solution in just three days. Now, Sopano can explore new printing opportunities that require a broader range of substrates and safer inks.
Phoseon UV-LED solutions also help lower energy costs, as traditional UV mercury arc lamps use 70% more electrical power to operate than low heat, low energy UV-LED technologies. The lamps also require much lower maintenance than traditional UV lamps, which can take up to 30 minutes to reach temperatures necessary to effectively fuse UV inks. UV-LED lamps are also fully dimmable, with their intensity coordinated to match the running speed of the press by the onboard printer computer.
UV-LED curing technology is the new standard for flexographic printing, providing faster printing throughput for higher yields and decreased operating costs, leading to increased profitability.
‘Phoseon’s LED solution allows us to start the press immediately,’ said Christophe Pichard, production and technical manager at Sopano. ‘The instant on/off LED lamps allow us to gain up to 30 minutes of production time per day and per team.’
Along with more efficient print process, Sopano also found that the Phoseon solution helps boost customer satisfaction. ‘The LED technology clearly showed that we could print even faster than we did before, with much tighter colour rendering and faster curing process, which now our customers are requesting as our new standard,’ said Christophe.
Sopano also expects to see a rapid return on its investment. ‘The return on investment that we calculated before investing in this technology is very simple: energy savings plus time saved preparing the machine and maintaining the LED lamps, allowing us to identify a return on investment of maximum three years,’ he explained. ‘Phoseon UV-LED technology at Sopano brings us both the savings we expected and is opening up new markets for us.’Tags: UV LED Technology | Converter Experience with UV LED | UV LED Curing for Adhesive Applications | Packaging Solutions Magazine | UV LED Curing for Labels & Packaging Applications | UV LED Curing for Narrow Web Press Applications
Categories: Printing, Flexo