Source: LABELS & LABELING

UK-based Abbey Labels has installed its second MPS EF 340 press, which is the first in Europe fitted with the GEW ArcLED UV system.

With the first EF 340 MPS installed a little over two years ago, the second 8-color EF 340 is the third of five planned investments made by Abbey Labels during 2017.

‘The demand for the type of work the first MPS press could produce is constantly increasing, so we felt the need to quickly increase our capacity,’ explained Abbey Labels managing director Barry Pettit. ‘Already having an MPS press helps with the continuity of print quality, tooling and availability of trained operators. The installation and commissioning has gone very smoothly and the second press will help us to offer more capacity to our customers for multi-page peel and reveal labels along with mid to longer run reel and sheeting work.’

The new MPS EF 340 is the first of its type in Europe to be installed with the GEW ArcLED UV system. Pettit added: ‘When specifying the press, we looked at what other benefits it could offer besides the normal options. Upon hearing this, MPS offered Abbey the opportunity to be the first company in Europe to incorporate the GEW ArcLED UV LED curing system onto the EF 340 press. This was an opportunity that we simply couldn’t overlook.

‘The GEW ArcLED system has given us the option to change to LED when we, the ink manufacturers and our customers are ready. LED inks have been available for some time but we feel that we would be compromising our color gamut offering at the present time if we converted 100 percent to LED at this point. This situation we feel could change very quickly as the flexographic market plus our own customers demand more of the benefits and availability of LED ink. The new system from GEW will therefore allow us a much easier switch of technology thus reducing our time to market.’

The LED system will use up to 50 percent less power than the conventional UV methods of curing ink and radiates little or no heat onto the substrate. And while LED lamps are currently more expensive than their UV counterparts, they are claimed to last up to 20 times longer. MPS said this will assist Abbey Labels in reducing downtime and maintenance during the lifetime of the press.

‘We would seek to ensure that our clients would not notice any difference in ink colour or image quality when compared to a previous print supplied or existing jobs that come through the business,’ concluded Pettit. ‘They will however be safe in the knowledge that their labels are being produced in the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly manner possible.’