GEW launches UV curing system for metal decorating

New electronic system saves energy costs, increases UV output and reduces carbon emissions

GEW (EC) Limited has announced the further development of its NuvaPlus air-cooled UV curing system as a solution for metal decorating applications. The new system comes complete with the company’s energy saving electronic e-Brick power supplies and offers greater UV output, reduced carbon footprint and lower running costs.

“The benefits of switching from a heat-set system to UV are well known and include the use of VOC-free inks, higher print quality and instant drying enabling faster work and turn.” says Managing Director, Malcolm Rae. “Many metal decorators already appreciate the benefits of UV curing on their presses, but are using older, transformer driven power supplies. We can replace this type of system with e-Brick technology. Electronically driven UV curing systems have greater benefits in terms of efficiency and this means faster curing times can be achieved giving greater productivity and reduced energy costs. Reducing power consumption also results in lower carbon emissions, something all printers need to be aware of in view of proposed new legislation.”

Another major advantage of UV is its small footprint.  A conventional heat drying oven often occupies a space up to 40 metres in length and is high maintenance, while the UV system only needs three metres or less. As well as saving space, UV has another advantage in that UV inks dry instantly with high abrasion and scuff resistance, avoiding the risk of damage by the mechanical handling system between the press and the oven.

Multi-colour printing of cans is also increasing to achieve greater visual appeal, and print runs have shortened due to designers wanting many variations in the canned or closure product.  This UV solution from GEW is ideally suited to meet these demands and gives printers the opportunity to increase both productivity and profitability.

NUVA Plus lamps boast a low stand-by power of only 18% when production is paused for set-up, cleaning or plate changing, which avoids energy wastage and heat transmission to the machine.  Further energy reductions have also been achieved with “GreenTimer”, a simple, user-friendly software package which allows the operator to program the system to start automatically after the desired amount of time, for example after make-ready or a lunch break, and to switch off after a pre-determined interval of being on stand-by.  Additionally, the total number of hours for which the system has been ‘intelligently’ switched off are recorded, so that managers can quantify the savings easily.

The e-Brick power supplies are housed in an air-conditioned cabinet so that they are fully protected from even the most arduous of production environments and are thus virtually maintenance free.  The lampheads feature a cassette system, which gives instant access to the lamp, shutter and reflectors for easy maintenance.  Lamp power is infinitely variable to perfectly match the machine speed.

The reflectors themselves have a dichroic-coating, designed to maximize UV reflection while reducing heat output.  A quartz window seals the UV lamp from the curing area in order to keep the lamp in a clean environment and prevent air movement affecting sheet transport.

GEW will shortly be offering two more added benefits to its customers.  The first of these will be the option of remote diagnostics via the Internet, where systems can be monitored from the company’s UK headquarters.  Conditions that affect UV curing performance, reliability and efficiency such as ambient factory temperature, unchanged filters or other minor maintenance issues can be diagnosed and corrected, eliminating unnecessary downtime and service calls.

The second will be a UV monitoring solution that simultaneously measures the output of all lamps in the system, and displays a percentage read-out of lamp power on the touch screen, relative to a brand new lamp.  As the lamps age, the decrease in their performance can be clearly seen, allowing the printer to replace the lamp(s) or increase the input power accordingly.  This makes it easy to ensure that a sufficient level of UV power is always available to cure the job being printed, and it also avoids wastage on cure-critical applications where lamps might otherwise be replaced more frequently than is necessary.

GEW (EC) Ltd. manufactures energy saving UV curing and systems for all makes of printing and converting machines and supplies both original equipment manufactures as well as UV upgrades for existing equipment.  Since 1991 the company has built itself a strong reputation as the global market leader of UV curing systems for the graphic arts industry.  Based near London, England, GEW manufactures all its products in-house, which are available together with spare parts and after-sales service in every continent through its satellite offices and distribution network around the world.