Rising energy costs are forcing many print production businesses to explore more cost-effective ways of printing, but it’s vital that lower prices don’t come at the expense of quality. Conventional UV curing technology is being superseded by modern LED-UV methods, which also help businesses to comply with the green agenda so, for progressive companies hoping to make an impact on their market, LED-UV printing is a win-win.
What is LED-UV printing and how is it different to other UV methods?
UV-LED printing: more energy efficient and environmentally friendly
The main difference between the two types of printing is the power source used to generate the ultraviolet (UV) light during the curing process.
UV curing uses a mercury vapour lamp which produces energy wavelengths between 260nm (nanometres) and 440nm. Only a tiny proportion of this wavelength – as little as one-fifth in some situations – is used to cure the ink, so there is significant energy wastage. Mercury vapour bulbs also emit a high amount of heat and ozone, increasing running costs and damage to the environment.
In comparison, LED-UV curing uses efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) which produce a predictable energy wavelength between 385nm and 395nm. This results in considerably less energy waste, so the curing process is quicker and more cost-effective.
LED-UV bulbs have an average lifespan of over 10,000 hours, whereas mercury bulbs typically last for only 1-2,000 hours. Mercury bulbs also require safe disposal due to their toxicity, which can be damaging to the environment if dumped in landfill.
A fast and versatile solution to all your printing needs
LED-UV printing presses also offer some additional benefits that can result in important cost savings, faster turnaround times, and greater efficiency:
- Unlike solvent-based inks that dry when the chemicals in them evaporate gradually, LED-UV inks are dried instantly using UV light. Consequently, the printing time is dramatically decreased, with no loss of quality.
- LED-UV inks can be applied to a range of substrates, including bubble wrap, shrink wrap, glass, and heat-sensitive styrene, giving you greater versatility and choice.
- Unlike conventional printing presses which require a lengthy warm-up, LED-UV printing machines are ready to operate from standby, so each print run can be commenced immediately.
- With no time-consuming delays, LED-UV printing presses deliver up to 20 per cent more press time, so multiple jobs can be completed more quickly at higher press speeds. For example, our flexo presses run upto 200mts/min, and the dFlex & dPack digital inkjet system provides production speeds of up to 120 metres per minute.
Find out more
Our dPack & dFlex Digital printing machine delivers rapid turnaround of printed papers, packaging, and film at the press of a button, with no fuss or frustrating delays.
To find out more, please request our free guide to see how investing in a new dPack & dFlex press equipment could support your printing needs.