Source: GEW (EC) Limited

Likora GmbH in Germany upgraded an existing gravure printing line in order to save energy and to improve the efficiency of their operation.

Likora GmbH is a family-run business based in Horn-Bad Meinberg in Westphalia. The company was founded in 1983 and was originally located in Detmold. In 1991 Likora moved to their current production site and over the years, with their emphasis on quality, reliability and flexibility, were able to become a major international partner for the furniture and interior design industry. Likora manufacture mainly finish foils and decor paper for the furniture industry and interior design applications.

In 2016 Likora upgraded the final varnishing station on one of their gravure printing lines with a new UV-curing system replacing an older system. To this purpose they integrated three GEW-made 240cm-wide NUVA2 UV lampheads with RHINO power supply. The three UV lampheads are positioned vertically one after the other so as to achieve the maximum UV-curing effect. The UV system is mounted in a custom designed aluminium frame that integrates a retractable cooling panel and water-cooled quartz window to prevent the heat transfer onto the substrate.

The installation is based on a Cerutti machine with 5 print stations using water-based inks with IR drying. The configuration is now able to print and varnish substrates up to 2250mm wide with speeds up to 120m/min and mainly produces finish foils intended for wrapping and laminating on wood-based materials.

Managing director Christian Bungard explains: “On our previous system we certainly had issues with excessive heat radiation and the extremely short life cycles of the UV lamps. Our clients demand a quality product and expect us to be an absolutely dependable supplier. For this reason it was one of our main objectives to convert to a low maintenance operation with the highest reliability.”

The decision in favour of the GEW UV system was due to the requirement that major investments go only into reliable high-performance technologies. “GEW was able to offer us a comprehensive package of efficiency and reliability with UV lamp life cycles of several thousand hours.” Christian Bungard adds. For complete peace of mind the GEW package comes with the security of a 5-year warranty.

Embedded Service, which is part of GEW’s package, enables engineers to remotely access performance data and proactively detect parameters outside the permitted tolerances and immediately take the necessary maintenance steps even before a fault can develop. This type of preventive remote maintenance ensures that the entire UV system works at its peak performance at all times thus avoiding unplanned machine stoppages and waste of resources.

The new UV system based on GEW’s highly efficient NUVA2 lampheads boasts particularly fast switch-on and cool-down cycles achieving considerable electricity and time savings. Christian Bungard concludes: “The NUVA2 UV lampheads together with the RHINO power supply reduce our electricity consumption by some 50% allowing us at the same time to further increase our capacity and enjoy faster, more stable production.” Since the initial installation Likora have already invested in another two systems to harmonise their UV technology across their site.