Constantia Flexibles is pleased to announce the inception of LED UV technology at Constantia Flexibles (Spear) in Mason, Ohio USA.
Constantia Flexibles has worked closely with Flint Group Narrow Web and Phoseon Technology since early in 2014 to implement LED UV technology onto Spear’s printing presses. The initial discussion revolved around the various ecological and economical advantages that can be realised when running LED UV lamps and inks. The Spear plant was particularly interested in the possibility of increased run speed, improved performance, and the reduced energy consumption as compared with a conventional mercury system which would support sustainability objectives.
The discussions resulted in Constantia Flexible’s decision to retrofit existing presses with UV LED lamps.
It was during initial trials that Constantia Flexibles had firsthand experience with the power of LED UV. Bob Feldman of the Spear plant explains, “For us, the initial investment into LED started with a challenge; screen ink curing is the limiting factor when it comes to speed. We wanted Flint Group to help drive our costs down and the biggest obstacle was run speed.”
Bob continues, “Flint Group came in with an Uptime Solutions programme aligned to our Lean Six Sigma – using both, we initiated a challenge to test the limits of our press. Over the course of one week, a 12 person team performed 48 different trials with six inks, two curing systems, and two workflows in two press conditions. Performance indicators were defined and measured carefully.”
“What really excited us was speed improvement – with LED UV curing, we were able to increase our speeds by 50% of our baseline, and that was just the initial result. Operating temperatures were lower than with mercury curing equivalents. And, there were no cure issues and no discernable performance differences with ink coverage and mileage.”
The Mason plant ultimately experienced over 50% run speed improvements with UV flexo and screen inks. In addition, the LED UV system used 25% of the power that a conventional mercury system used. The combination of power savings and increased run speed sealed the deal for Constantia Flexibles.
The lamps chosen for the Spear plant are Phoseon Technology LED lamps and the LED UV inks by Flint Group Narrow Web are the under the brand name of EkoCure.
Says Guillaume Clement, Vice President Global Narrow Web, “Flint Group and Phoseon would like to thank Constantia Flexibles for the opportunity to perform extended tests with LED UV. This testing helps both companies, and the industry, see the true possibilities that can be achieved with new technology. Innovation which delivers sustainable economical advantages for our customers is our mission. It is greatly appreciated to have a partner like Spear who is willing to push the technological boundaries of success.”
Flint Group Narrow Web and Phoseon Technology believe in the power of LED UV - we are making it possible for you to reach out and touch the future. Contact either company for further information or to discuss trials and extended testing to prove the power this bright technology can offer.
If you are interested in learning more about how UV LED curing can enhance your printing process, contact Phoseon to arrange an on-site demonstration or have our applications team test your UV printing products in our lab.