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UV LED Technology Update

UV curing technology is utilized for drying inks, coatings, adhesives and other UV-sensitive materials through polymerization. UV LED curing improves on the existing UV process by enabling thinner, heat-sensitive substrates, while eliminating harmful byproducts such as ozone, and improving workplace safety. Additionally, UV LEDs efficiently utilize input power, and can be turned on and off instantly to enable lower operating costs over the application lifetime. The UV curing process has been in use in the printing industry for more than 30 years. LED curing technology for UV printers is rapidly growing with the compelling advantages of better operating economics, improved system capabilities, as well as environmental benefits. UV LED curing technology is ideal for the UV curing of inks in digital inkjet, screen, flexographic and other printing processes. End users of UV LED curing technology should work with their system supplier and ink or coatings manufacturer to ensure all three components (ink/coatings, system, curing lamps) are compatible with each other. The three components must work together to effect optimal UV LED benefits for the end user and hence, their customer.

UV LED Curing Benefits

Today, UV LED curing technology continues to win over many users in the printing world, replacing traditional methods. To utilize the advances in technology from UV LED light sources, there has also been growth in highperformance, UV LED energy curing inks and coatings. UV LED curing is now in the forefront, because it provides many benefits, including increased production speed, lower cost of ownership and less waste, while also providing an enhanced visual appearance and packaging.

Innovative Printing Capability

UV LEDs are finally taking their place as a mainstream curing technology. Rapid technological advancements are being made in all areas of printing, demonstrating the growing acceptance of UV LED curing. End users are increasingly asking equipment manufacturers for LED options that enable new and innovative printing capability, and the market-leading vendors are responding. Confronted with such exciting and rapidly evolving technology, system builders and end users are closely monitoring the ever-changing UV LED curing landscape.

LED curing technology for UV printers is rapidly growing with the compelling advantages of better operating economics, improved system capabilities, as well as environmental benefits.

Digital Inkjet
UV LED curing is now an accepted tool in the printing industry. It allows for advanced capability on challenging applications for industrial printers. Printers can offer media versatility at its peak and can now run thinner materials through the machine without curling or warping. UV LED technology offers the ability to print on uncommon substrates. As a side benefit, these thinner substrates also reduce shipping costs, both of the raw materials and the finished product, providing further economic benefit to end users and their customers. Here are some examples of applications enabled by UV LED curing technology.

Bottle Printing
Today, UV LED curing technology is integrated into printing units for a variety of label applications, including bottle labeling machines and systems designed for direct printing on cylindrical beverage containers. The small size of the light sources makes them ideal for machines with limited space. It also allows for printing on heat-sensitive substrates and ever-thinner labels. These solutions enable users to process a variety of materials at maximum production speeds, with low-input power requirements.

Medical Labeling
The pharmaceutical industry demands exacting product development and production in a sterile and clean environment. The industry has continued to push the envelope of what is possible, enabling new advances in medicine. UV LED technology brings inherent advantages to the world of printing, including the lack of infrared radiation in heat-sensitive applications, in clean room conditions.

Printed Electronics
Mass produced consumer electronics and photovoltaic applications benefit from the long life and reliability of UV LED curing technology. The ability to function consistently for long periods of time at high volumes makes UV LED technology an effective solution for these markets. Large-Format The sign making industry has led the change for improved turnaround time, higher quality and more economical solutions for printers that serve this segment of the market. UV LED curing technology enables output on a wider media mix and an extended range of applications, while at the same time allowing for a low total cost of ownership.

Coding & Marking
The compact UV LED curing lamps offer advanced capability and energy savings for coding and marking applications. The LEDs are instant on/off, so only switches on when ink curing has to occur. This saves energy, and increases the life of the unit even further. UV LED curing is the ideal choice for highresolution variable data printing on a wide variety of substrates.