IST METZ Holds LED Event


NÜRTINGEN, GERMANY | IST METZ recently opened its doors to the first LED Tech Talk. Company says the event was held because of the increasing significance of LED technology, whose use in the printing industry has been growing for some years now. 

Company, which supplies both conventional UV systems with medium-pressure mercury discharge lamps and LED systems, answered questions including: How does the curing of inks and coatings with LED technology actually work? What are the differences between this and systems which use conventional UV technology? When is it worth switching?

According to the Yole market research institute, LED technology is expected to achieve a market share of about 30% in 2016, a significant rise compared to previous years. The technology currently makes up the greatest proportion of adhesive curing and inkjet printing. Stefan Feil, IST MET technical marketing manager, says that for the first time this year, partner company Integration Technology Ltd. sold an equal number of systems with UV lamps and with LEDs.

Feil also addressed the possibility of saving energy. The more highly reactive ink does mean that energy savings are possible in principle. A comparison between a conventional UV system and an LED system would have to take into account that this system also changes the chemistry of the inks. "An effective comparison needs to be made on the basis of a defined drying outcome, which in turn allows the necessary drying output to be derived. Standby/production times and average print format also have to be taken into account to make the result meaningful," said Feil.

A presentation on LED ink technology described the key difference from conventional UV inks as being the photoinitiators, which are adapted to absorb at wavelengths of >350 nm and thus to suit the emissions of the LED radiators.

The presentations gave the sales staff of IST METZ and Integration Technology the opportunity to introduce applications and advantages of the LED UV technology for the sheet-fed offset, rotary offset, flexographic, and inkjet printing processes. The use of LED technology was later demonstrated on both a flexographic printing press and a sheet-fed offset printing press. The MBS-6 LED-prepared concept was used on the narrow web flexographic printing press. Depending on the requirements of the print job, a conventional UV system can be replaced by an LED system, company said.

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