Mitsubishi’s LED-UV for Sheetfed
By Jon Robinson
A new Ultra Violet-based ink-drying system, which uses light-emitting diodes (LED), can now be integrated with specific presses from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The LED-UV system is suitable for installation on larger-sized sheetfed presses, such as the DIAMOND V3000 Series, that can accommodate sheets up to 1,050 mm (41-11/32 inches) wide. The UV-drying system can also be integrated on tandem-perfector offset presses, which are capable of 1-pass printing of front and reverse sides of sheets without sheet tumbling.
According to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), the LED-UV system enables reductions of 70 to 80 percent in electricity consumption when compared with UV ink-drying systems that use UV lamps. Explaining this conclusion, MHI states, “With UV printing, the ink on the sheet surface instantly hardens when irradiated by ultraviolet ray. By eliminating drying time, such systems enable immediate transfer to the finishing process and, as a consequence, shorten delivery times to customers, an advantage that has also contributed to market expansion of UV printing. However, systems using UV lamps consume considerable electricity and require a large initial investment that also entails a dedicated electric power supply source and exhaust ducting. LED-UV ink drying solves these drawbacks by switching the light source from conventional UV lamps to LEDs.”
MHI also points to the following LED-UV advantages relative to other UV systems:
1. No ozone generation: environment friendly and eliminates need for exhaust ducting,
2. Compact auxiliary equipment: reduced installation space,
3. Lower heat (fewer adverse effects on materials such as films and on printing press),
4. Instant light on/off (no latency time, whereas UV lamps require four minutes to light), and
5. Longer operational life (about 15 times UV lamps).