Specialist flexible label printer Coveris has upgraded its Mark Andy 4150 flexo press with an energy-efficient GEW UV curing system.
Coveris Flexibles UK Limited operate from their site in Cramlington, Northumberland and in 2014 replaced their 20-year old UV lamps with a new state-of-the-art UV curing system manufactured by GEW (EC) Limited comprising ten E2C lampheads with their associated RHINO electronic power supply.
GEW UV systems are designed specifically for high performance energy-efficient printing presses with applications ranging from narrow web label printing to large format industrial applications working with a wide variety of substrates.
Coveris made the investment to support their effort in optimising reliability of production output, increasing uptime and reducing energy consumption.
David Dickinson, Group Engineer with Coveris, describes the situation: “With the running cost we had for spare parts and energy, we had come to a point where it was no longer viable to run the old system and we took the decision to upgrade to an alternative and GEW’s RHINO came out at the top.”
Dickinson is quite explicit about their decision criteria: “There was an obvious point in favour of RHINO: it comes with a 5-year parts warranty. Our spend on parts covered the cost of RHINO. On this site we have gone from spending a substantial amount on spare parts down to very little within the next 5 years and it’s all predictable.”
GEW’s E2C UV system with RHINO power supply comes with a comprehensive 5-year warranty to avoid any unscheduled downtime and unplanned maintenance costs.
Coveris say installing the GEW UV System meant it can provide customers with their proven range of labels with better reliability as far as volume and leadtimes are concerned, which they see as key elements in offering clients the best possible quality and service.
Roly Banks, Site Manager at Coveris’ Cramlington plant, adds: “We are no longer losing production due to component failure. The new system has improved our productivity massively. The thing we are most comfortable with now is that in the 9 months we have run RHINO here the system has been 100% reliable. We’ve had no failures.”
For Coveris operating in a more efficient and reliable set-up not only reduces costly stand-by periods and undesirable downtime but is crucial for the dependability of production and thus maintaining valuable business with established customers.
A major advantage of the new UV system for Coveris is the fast start-up and minimised maintenance time with consequently improved production efficiency and reduced downtime.
Dickinson explains: “We are now able to shut the lamps down for a break period which in the past we couldn’t have done. Now over a three shift operation we can save more than an hour and a half per day of running of actual lamp energy.”
Banks adds: “the short burn-in time has been a big saving for us. We actually shut lamps down for 5-colour, 4-colour, 3-colour jobs, so the energy and time savings are massive.”
In addition, the lower temperature output of the GEW system means less heat and CO2 discharge.
The improved curing efficiency of the new E2C lamp and reflector design meant press operators were more confident in running the press faster with less power.
Whereas older UV systems require regular cleaning to maintain optimum operating efficiency, this procedure is rarely necessary with GEW’s system. In addition the system’s high energy efficiency means that reduced lamp power can be used to run the press, resulting in significantly prolonged lamp life cycles. “We were used to changing lamps every 1000 hours and are now pushing forward to changing every 3 to 4000 hours,” confirms Banks.
“We’d recommend GEW,” concludes Dickinson. “We have worked with GEW on our site for the last twenty years. The improvement in technology is vast and it’s working for us. The investment we have put in RHINO has proven that. On the energy saving alone the cost of the investment cost is recouped within 17 months.”
Coveris have ordered another five systems to harmonise the new technology across their site.