UV systems and technology leader Air Motion Systems | AMS UV showcased the first ever installation of an LED UV printing system designed for heat-sensitive plastic (PVC) sheet substrates at the world’s largest quadrennial trade show for the graphic arts in southern Europe, graphispag.
Along with partner, MAG-D-PRINT (MDP) in Barcelona, US-based AMS demonstrated a sheetfed offset lithography printing system powered by a single high-intensity AMS PEAK LED-UV lamp and capable of drying ink at top production speeds on paper, foil and plastic stocks on a Sakurai 475SDw 30-inch offset press.
“The results of this system were beyond our expectations. We’re truly excited about the broader implications of the LED printing process on plastic materials” remarked Steve Metcalf, President and CEO of Air Motion Systems. “One of the clear advantages of LED-based UV curing is the zero emission of infra-red heat to the substrate media.”
“Conventional UV systems emit heat onto printing media and process cylinders that can warp heat-sensitive materials such as PVC, PET and film leading to problematic printing results and press downtime” remarked Hans Ulland, Executive VP of Sales. “Because LED UV wavelengths produce no infrared energy, they run cool in the press and produce no heat to the sheets or web.”
Printing on PVC and other synthetic substrates is growing by leaps and bounds in the graphic arts industry as higher-value, more recyclable substrate materials are in demand. Plastic cards, backlit display signs and labels are just a few examples of where LED UV printing technology can be deployed with great success to enhance the printing process.
“Like conventional UV inks, LED UV inks generate zero volatile emissions and promote better adhesion to plastics through instant photo-polymerization in contrast to conventional solvent-based inks” added Ulland.
In addition to removing heat from the process, LED drying is emerging as an alternative to solvent-based print production for “clean-tech” output capable of enhancing print quality, enabling same-day job turnaround and eliminating problematic spray powder from pressrooms. The semiconductor-based AMS PEAK LED-UV system produces no ozone, contains no mercury lamps and consumes significantly less energy when compared to conventional UV sources.
For more information about UV LED technology and high-power LED UV curing systems, visit www.leduv.com.