With energy costs rising and additional price pressure on manufacturing, suppliers of drying and curing equipment are responding to the need to drive down operating costs.
For example, GEW’s new e-System Inert and SEECure on-line UV monitoring complement the company’s “energy efficient” e-System lines that are said to allow users to reduce CO2 emissions significantly while achieving maximum curing efficiency. The e-System Inert is a compact inert atmosphere UV curing system for the narrow web market. Enabling the use of inks and coatings with reduced levels of photoinitiators to minimize the risk of taint and odour migration, it can be supplied with new presses or retrofitted to most existing machines.
The SEECure is a fully integrated system that runs with the latest generation of GEW’s e-brick controls and allows continuous monitoring of all lamps in a system. An electronic sensor built into the lamphead receives a combined output of UV light from the reflector and directly from the lamp, ensuring the UV incident on the web is monitored. SEECure is offered as a cost effective alternative to handheld devices that can be used in conjunction with any lamphead configuration.
GEW md Malcolm Rae says: “Since the launch of the e-System range, we calculate that printers running with our electronic power supply have reduced CO2 emissions by over 4,800t based on the UK average of CO2 produced per kW hour generated. In addition, the related cost savings of curing with e-System products amount to a staggering £1M plus. We can only imagine the impact of this as a contribution in reducing the carbon footprint of the printing industry alone.”
Meanwhile, IST Metz has developed the ELC (electronic lamp control) range of power supply units which, it claims, operate with low energy consumption, are extremely efficient and provide a number of other useful benefits.
The ELC is available for lamp outputs from 4-32kW; electrical efficiency is in the range of 97 per cent; and electronic lamp ignition, electronic control and monitoring systems are all integrated. The integrated output control offers the benefit of consistent lamp output and accurate temperature control. A further advantage claimed is that these units can increase the service life of the lamp significantly.
During operation, lamp power and output are constantly monitored and voltage automatically adjusted to compensate for variations of up to +/-10 per cent in network supply, without any effect on lamp output. Any peaks in the supply are smoothed out, which can lead to additional savings in energy consumption.
IST says substantial energy savings are achieved during periods of press downtime, as the lamp output can be reduced to around
20 per cent in standby mode. In addition, the low output during standby means that it is possible to leave the lamp in this mode during a job change to reduce press downtime.
According to IST, the energy savings that can be gained from the ELC units, along with the other benefits they provide, has encouraged many printers to adopt them. The company has a costing program that printers can use to calculate potential operational savings by entering their specific production parameters.