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UV LED Curing for Flexographic Printing

UV LED curing is ideal for a variety of packaging applications, enabling end users to print on a variety of packaging materials at high speeds. 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.

More and more users are choosing UV LED curing light sources for printing processes because they deliver advanced capabilities, improvements in operating economics, and environmental advantages. Over the past few years, a growing number of ink companies have been working hand-in-hand with printing equipment developers to develop ink formulations that that are optimised for both UV LED curing and the specific application.

Users of UV LED curing and ink technology can expand the range of applications they can offer, run equipment at higher speeds, achieve new levels of print quality, use substantially less energy, reduce scrap, reduce VOC emissions in the workplace, and print on lower cost or more environmentally friendly materials.

UV LED curing is ideal for a variety of packaging applications.

Press integration

UV LED curing offers many benefits to converters that make it an appealing option for any size operation. Although there is an expense associated with upgrading to UV LED equipment, the return on investment can be quite fast due to the overall cost savings and operating benefits. If you are uncertain how to get started with UV LED, here are some options:

The first option for integrating UV LED is to ask your OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for a new press equipped with UV LED capability. If buying a new press is not feasible, or you are looking to add new capability to your existing equipment, the second option would be to upgrade one or two of your press stations to start, and see how the technology performs. For example, if you have a six station press, you could upgrade station 1 and station 6 for a first down white and dense black. To make the upgrade possible, you would need two LED light sources, a modular system to support the light sources with cables and brackets to connect it to the press. Make sure to select an ink that has been formulated for UV LED.

If everything goes well with the station 1 and station 6, you can also try the UV LED on different stations for a variety of job set-ups. You can move the stations around as you see fit and test the curing quality.

The next option would be to upgrade the entire press to UV LED. To upgrade the entire press you would need to reconfigure the modular system to support the number of light sources on the press. Make sure the power and cooling is set up to support the extra light sources.