Air Motion Systems has announced a breakthrough LED-UV based printing system for offset printing and perfecting using a cost-effective UV LED light source to instantly dry inks and varnishes at top press speeds without marking, without powder and without heat or wasted energy.
By instantly 'trapping' or drying both the front and back-side sheets inline, the LED-UV printing process completely eliminates marking concerns and dramatically speeds jobs through post press.
Installed on 40-inch sheetfed offset perfecting press in Japan, the system represents the first production system of its kind anywhere in the world. Benefits include instant post-press processing, elimination of spray powder, removal of heat, and dramatic energy savings compared to infrared and conventional UV drying technology. The LED-UV system can be installed immediately following print units or over a special drying cylinder on the press, depending on machine configuration.
The new LED-UV system called "XP3" from AMS is based on revolutionary, patent-pending PEAK LED-UV curing technology first introduced by AMS one year ago to an international audience at PRINT 09 in Chicago. Using a new generation of ultra high-output UV LED chips in a compact, modular design, the system can scale to any width requirement and is effective at high-speed curing from distances up to 100mm (four inches) away from the target media.
The AMS XP3 LED-UV system operates at as little as 20 percent of the electrical energy required of conventional UV systems, and without the heat, ozone ducting, human safety or lamp replacement and disposal concerns of conventional mercury lamps.
According to AMS President Steve Metcalf, "the XP3 LED-UV printing system represents breakthrough technology for printers looking to tap into the benefits of UV printing without the issues commonly associated with conventional lamp technology. For the first time, high-powered UV curing at real working distances is available from a 100 percent solid-state, semiconductor-based light source and is easily adaptable to a wide variety of new and existing machines on the market."
"LED printing is a new concept for many in the graphic arts industry, and one that promises to spread quickly once the costs, benefits and ease of adoption are understood. A new generation of LED-formulated inks and coatings are reaching the market from key producers, furthering the availability of the LED UV process to a wide variety of substrates and printing techniques," added Hans Ulland, AMS co-founder and VP of Sales. "Many of the underlying challenges that hindered the delivery of high-intensity UV energy from light-emitting diodes have been overcome by the launch of the AMS XP3 System platform."
In addition to offset printing, the modular AMS XP3 LED-UV system architecture was designed to support digital, flexographic and a variety of other industrial curing applications where higher speeds and greater working distances are required. The XP3 system, which creates an intense emission of UV light to achieve the highest-possible index of curing efficiency, is available in single or multi-lamp configurations in a compact housing that simplifies installation, maintenance and process location. The system is available in widths ranging from 80mm (3 inches) up to 2m (80 inches).