Energy assessments carried out by Fogra have confirmed that EFI’s VUTEk wide-format printers with LED curing show energy reductions of up to 82 percent when compared with devices that use conventional mercury arc lamps. Even in print-ready mode, the company’s LX printers with “cool curing” LEDs are now shown to save up to 77 percent in electricity usage, simply because the LEDs are off, unlike mercury arc lamps that still consume power when the machine is idle between jobs. The calculations of Fogra’s Energy Efficiency Project (“Energy efficiency of large and small format printing systems”) have demonstrated that users can save around €16,000 every year on power consumption, an important factor for businesses pricing up jobs on both rigid and flexible materials.
Fogra’s comparisons with digital printers using conventional curing lamps showed that the former used 1.18kW/m2 while EFI’s VUTEk GS3250LX Pro used only 0.22 kW/m2. This impressive scoring adds to the functional flexibility incorporated into EFI’s LED-curing printers, with their ability to work with thinner and more sensitive materials, as well as lower cost media.
“EFI has pioneered the use of LEDs in its growing series of production-class wide-format printers with ‘cool curing,’ and Fogra’s analysis provides conclusive evidence of the additional savings and green benefits that can be attained by businesses investing in our technology,” stated Scott Schinlever, senior vice president and general manager of EFI Inkjet Solutions. “Although we thoroughly tested and assessed the lower energy usage when we originally developed these printers, the results from Fogra now provide third-party and impartial confirmation of the significantly reduced power requirements. While others claim green benefits, their use of heat to cure and having thicker substrates runs counter to being green.”
The evaluations carried out employed Fogra’s “Image Quality Test Suite” for printing, with typical production and stand-by/print ready modes being used. The conditions were configured to emulate both highest productivity and greatest quality, incorporating the relevant machine combinations for accurate results.
"I would like to thank EFI for the great support during our research project. We found out that the used print mode heavily contributes to the final energy efficiency (m2/kWh). However when using agreed upon parameters, as in our developed guideline, the significant savings of LED based curing can be demonstrated,” said Andreas Kraushaar, head of Fogra’s Prepress Technology Department.
The objective of Fogra Forschungsgesellschaft Druck e.V. (Fogra Graphic Technology Research Association) is to promote print engineering and its future-oriented technologies in the fields of research and development, and to enable the printing industry to utilize the results of this activity. To this end the association maintains its own institute, with about 60 staff members including engineers, chemists and physicists.
Read more about the research project on the website: www.fogra.org/EnergyEfficiency/Digital.
EFI’s LED curing is incorporated into its VUTEk 2m GS2000LX and 3.2m GS3250LX wide-format combination flat-bed and roll-fed printers, and its 3.2m VUTEk GS3250LXr dedicated roll-to-roll version. This growing series also offers full grayscale capabilities that generate greater ink savings, and all guarantee greener results that require less energy, with no VOCs and the ability to print direct to environmentally friendly materials. The company’s Jetrion® 4950LX narrow-web label press also uses LED technology to enable the use of heat sensitive and specialty stocks. At Fespa Munich this week, EFI is showing an entry-level LED-curing printer for the first time in Europe with the new EFI H1625.