Retro-fit curing solution adds flexibility and uptime
UV system supplier GEW has supplied The John Henry Co, of Lansing, MI, USA, with a VCP three lamphead system designed for cool curing. The retro-fit UV curing system enables the company to run a wide range of substrates on an existing press with significantly improved production and uptime, claims GEW. It features slide-out cassettes for fast lamp changes and maintenance back-up.
States Art Dewley, of The John Henry Co: “We have to print and convert virtually all available substrates and our 10 colour press just did not have the UV performance we needed. We became frustrated by the number of press stoppages and downtimes, and contacted GEW to see if they could provide us with a solution. We subsequently took the decision to remove the original UV equipment that came with the press and upgraded with the GEW specified system.”
He continues: “Since the installation we have not had any curing problems and the system has saved us a ton of money in lost production. GEW provided a solution that solved our problems. We are planning to install another 13in (330mm) press this year and have no hesitation in specifying GEW for this purchase. Their location in Ohio makes them ideally placed to provide us with the level of service and support we expect.”
The John Henry Company manufactures, distributes and imports speciality products for the horticultural, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. With multiple plants across the United States, the company, in its 90th year of continuous operation, has its own in-house printing operation. It is a supplier of complete packaging solutions to targeted markets.
Adds Brian Wenger, vice president of GEW: “We are one of the largest OEM suppliers to international press manufacturers and our experience since the development of UV printing in the label industry enables us to understand the needs of both the press manufacturer and printer.
“We have evolved through trouble-shooting production problems experienced by printers with the ever increasing array of substrates they have to convert.” He continues: “We know the difficulties inherent in curing UV inks on some of these materials and substrate temperature impact, and have developed various heat management options to deal with them. We are very proud of the fact that within a very short window of opportunity we were able to provide a solution to a production problem that was creating significant cost penalties for this customer.”
Effectively used energy
The ELC range of electronic control equipment introduced by IST Metz has been specifically designed to operate UV lamps. Integrated output controls are said to guarantee a consistent output from lamps.
The equipment has integrated electronic and monitoring controls claimed to ensure that the performance of the lamp remains constant even if the network voltage varies by ±10 per cent so providing greater reliability in the production process. It can be connected directly into the network without compensation and has a nominal power factor of around 0.93.
It is also claimed to have a high electrical efficiency of up to 97 per cent, which leads to reduced operating costs. Energy consumption is also reduced by the low output of the lamp when the UV system is in stand-by mode and the lamp output is at 20 to 30 per cent.
IST claims it is possible to reduce lamp output considerably. In this way the energy saving stand-by mode can be used during long pauses in production. Secondly, the ideal lamp output is selected anywhere between 25 and 100 per cent, depending on the print speed, to ensure excellent curing results and no waste of energy. This precise control over output is also an advantage when printing on heat sensitive substrates as production can begin with a low UV output to avoid excessive heat on the substrate, even at low speeds.
Phoseon Technology has entered into a technology evaluation and development agreement with Spectra which allows both companies to explore the possibility of providing Phoseon’s patented solid state UV light source technology to the UV inkjet market for curing.
UV III Systems has introduced the Sidekick, a high powered, air cooled, flood UV curing system, designed for use in smaller applications or in enhancing production lines. Lightweight, compact and durable, it can be handheld, used alone or in multiples in a production system, and with or without a robotic arm to cure coatings, inks and adhesives. Said to be inexpensive to purchase and economical to run, it produces UV wavelengths peaking at 365nm or with a Gallium lamp, 410nm.
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