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Forum findings on UV LED prove ‘encouraging’

The British Coatings Federation held events across two days in October, which invited printers and sign-makers to discover the possibilities of UV LED.

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Chris Schofield presents to the BCF LED UV forum

“The British Coatings Federation Forum on UV LED was extraordinarily encouraging. Developments in equipment and consumables, not least inks, are rapid and there is a consensus that we are on the brink of this technology becoming commonplace,” says Chris Schofield, joint managing director of IST UK and a speaker and exhibitor at the events, which were held in Edinburgh and Sutton Coldfield.

Schofield adds: “It is clear that users have found genuine stand out advantages from the dry sheets and sharper quality that have allowed them to offer an added value product to their customers. Everyone knows that the inks are currently three or four times the cost of conventional inks (although you must factor in up to 30% less ink being required because there is no absorption) but there are savings in other areas.

… the future is UV LED because it is compact, sustainable and efficient and those who have adopted it recognise its effectiveness

“These include energy and spray powder, of course, but also coating/varnishing units, storage and press footprint space and time and material waste and work rejected for marking. We have seen a groundswell in interest in UV LED with enquiries from those wanting to understand the technology better through to those with a genuine interest in implementing the move.”

“After 40 years in the curing market, IST is well placed to see the trends. We have a strong base of UV systems and in recent years have supplied a number of UV LED systems, but the future is UV LED because it is compact, sustainable and efficient and those who have adopted it recognise its effectiveness. It allows printers to operate with confidence and minimal risk of marking which allows them to run presses to their full potential. Its targeted and on-off operation makes it ideal for printers handling shorter runs,” concludes Schofield.

IST supplies UV LED for sheetfed, narrow web and digital applications and recently launched a retrofit concept for rotary and flexo presses called LEDcure SCR. The UK has been significantly slower in embracing UV LED technology but with all main press suppliers now offering the LED option and roller, it is hoped this will change.

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