To meet the growing demand for a UV solution suitable for simple, 4-color applications, Heidelberg offers DryStar LE UV, an entry-level, low-energy UV solution for commercial, light packaging, or specialty printers. The new solution will be officially introduced in May at drupa 2012, and already is in use at Heidelberg’s North American Print and Packaging Technology Center (NAPPTC) in Kennesaw GA.
Until recently, UV applications have been largely the domain of packaging and specialty printers. In the current market, however, short lead times and value-=added solutions yield competitive advantages, making UV an attractive proposition for commercial printers whose customers increasingly specify non-standard (non-absorbent) substrates and a variety of specialty finishes to differentiate their products.
Scalable, Practical, Versatile
Based on the proven technology of Heidelberg’s powerful DryStar UV series but adapted for commercial requirements, DryStar LE UV is a scalable, low-energy system that facilitates entry into the UV market and opens the door to new customer segments and profitable growth. Unlike competing systems, which require the exclusive use of expensive, high-reactive UV inks, DryStar LE UV cures both standard UV and high-reactive UV inks and coatings.
The system is suitable for commercially printed products, with or without coating, produced on any Heidelberg Speedmaster press. Heidelberg’s DryStar LE UV solution is also available for specialty printing and packaging, depending on application requirements and substrates, including some limited use with PET, SBS, foils and IML.
Benefits of Common Technology
The DryStar LE UV system is fully integrated into the press at the factory and uses the same high-end technology as Heidelberg’s DryStar UV. It comes equipped with special UV reflectors that efficiently reduce the heat transfer to sensitive substrates; FLC (Fast Lamp Change); and ELC (Electronic Lamp Control). A typical DryStar LE UV commercial print configuration incorporates from one to three UV lamps. One lamp can dry up to four UV inks; at least two lamps per machine are needed to cure UV Ink & coatings. The compact supply cabinet is ideal for print shops where space is tight.
Benefits and advantages include an improved price-performance ratio and greatly reduced energy costs that promote sustainable print production. The usual benefits associated with UV printing, i.e., immediate sheet drying, minimal powder consumption, and separation in postpress, also can be achieved.
Other low-energy systems on the market use highly reactive inks and require fewer lamps; however, they also offer a smaller operating window in terms of flexibility of substrates and inks that offset much of the energy savings. In contrast, Heidelberg’s DryStar LE UV has sufficient capacity in reserve, and is therefore not restricted to a single ink series.
Reducing the Hidden Costs of UV
While the traditional advantages of a dry UV-printed sheet are well known, what’s less obvious is that this benefit is achieved only at higher cost—of UV inks, of the UV investment, of the power needed to run the UV system itself, and of overall productivity stemming from the inherent instability of the UV process compared with conventional offset. Commercial printers thinking about getting into UV need to know how they will be able to compensate for these extra costs by answering questions such as:
• Can I achieve a greater market penetration with UV products?
• Can I achieve cost savings elsewhere throughout this process that outweigh additional consumable costs?
For those who answer “yes” to either or both of these questions—Heidelberg’s DryStar LE UV neatly balances the higher investment costs associated with UV printing with the prospect of higher profitability. Whether you’re entering the UV market or growing from within, this means more money and additional jobs for faster delivery, and the most flexible system with the fewest restrictions for your sales force.
Heidelberg has a large selection of Saphira UV inks and coatings that can be cured with DryStar LE UV. Heidelberg’s DryStar LE UV solution will be available for purchase in the U.S. by Q3 2012.