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FLEXO Magazine : August 2013
Technologies & Techniques 220 Adams St. Riverside, NJ 08075 856-461-9111 firstname.lastname@example.org www.allisonblades.com Call, email, or visit our website to put the Allison Advantage to work for you! Dual Head Peristalitic Pump to Control both Supply and Return Flow from the Chamber OEM or Custom End Seals for most Flexo Chambers Composite Chambered Inker Systems to Replace OEM Equipment or for New Applications Extensive line of Metal, Plastic, and Composite Doctor Blades for any Flexo Over 45 Years of Quality and Service! Quality products and quick deliveries direct from Allison Systems, the manufacturer you can count on for all your doctor blade related needs. Systems Corporation Flexible, Low Maintenance, Earth Friendly & Efficient The Positive impact of uV leD By gregory s. Palm Printing using ultraviolet (UV) sensitive inks and a curing lamp has been around since the 1960s. UV curing, then, as today, offers the ability to produce high-gloss effects and add resistance to chemicals, thereby enhancing resistance to rub-off and scratching. Furthermore, the process continues to prove its true flexibility in terms of the vast array of substrates that can be printed upon. Most presses today still use 1960s technology, in the form of mercury (Hg) lamp systems, to gain these benefits. That prompts the question: “Has the technology failed to evolve and change with the times?” It would be presumptive to answer this question for every printer and press floor. Suspect, however, that part of the issue lies in the fact that there is a barrier to adoption that all new technologies face. Many converters believe that newer technologies have not yet shown that they have the sort of impact that justifies their cost. This article aims to help dispel this myth, particularly with regard to newer UV Laser Emitting Diode (LED) systems, which have a significant positive impact on productivity, on the environment, and on converter capabilities. Adoption of the newest UV LED systems (Figure 1) is likely to become more widespread as it becomes apparent that they can easily clear this invisible barrier to adoption. PRODUCTIVE, GREEN & CAPABLE Just what is this “barrier to adoption,” and how does UV LED overcome it? Conversations with converters have led to three general areas of concern that new printing and convert- ing technology needs to address. Only systems that can ad- dress all three of these concerns can justify the money spent PRODUCTIVITY BOOST? UV LED VS. MERCURY (HG) UV • No difference in production speeds • No time wasted for press warm up and cool down • Constant cure—no uncertainty • No lamp degradation, shutter failures/maintenance • Eliminates cost of spent Hg bulbs, new reflectors and shutter/lamp housings • Trims hazardous waste costs associated with disposal of Hg bulbs • Reduces or eliminates need for extra parts inventory • Curtails web breaks due to substrate touching “hot” lamps or housing 66 FLeXO augusT 2013 www.flexography.org Figure 1: Traditional mercury lamp, and a uV leD array. Photos: Mark andy. Press Buyer’s Guide