GEW are delighted to announce that the AeroLED UV curing system has been shortlisted for the Innovation Award (for companies <300 employees) in the 2023 Label Industry Global Awards. The prestigious awards ceremony will take place at the Awards evening on the first day of Labelexpo Europe in Brussels on September 11, 2023.
The AeroLED UV curing system represents a significant innovation in the label and narrow web field. It is an air-cooled, high-power UV LED curing system designed for full cure, printing, coating, and converting applications up to 60cm wide. One of its key advantages is being the only air-cooled ArcLED compatible system available on the market. The AeroLED system also offers a faster and more cost-effective retrofit solution when compared to existing products on the market, and highly impressive energy efficiencies.
The benefits of AeroLED:
The initial motivation behind AeroLED was a desire to address the need for a better air-cooled solution in the market, where air-cooling is considered more reliable and cost-effective than water-cooling. AeroLED’s air-cooled system utilises the same fan and ducting arrangement as the industry standard, mercury arc E2C system, giving it a unique concept even amongst its peers. This ground-breaking design ensures efficient cooling by pulling air through the lampheads and ducting, extracting it with a centralised fan positioned away from the press. AeroLED eliminates the need for integrated fans or delicate electronics inside the lamp, effectively reducing the risk of contamination and failure. Furthermore, AeroLED utilises negative cooling, resulting in quieter and more reliable operation without the need for noisy fans. Unlike forced air systems, no air is exhausted into the machine, eliminating the risk of excess heat and hickies on the press.
Furthermore, by preventing heat from being exhausted onto the press, AeroLED safeguards print quality and maintains a comfortable ambient temperature for operators. The elimination of air movement around the print stations significantly reduces the risk of print defects caused by dust. Maintenance is made simple with the lamp’s large air channels and robust heat sinks, eliminating the need for filters.
AeroLED’s air cooling concept also empowers printers to control the waste heat generated by the process. In hot factory environments, the waste heat can be ducted out of the building, while in cold settings it can be ducted back inside to reduce heating loads. This adaptable feature allows for optimal energy efficiency depending on the time of year, or for specific requirements. To add context, an 8-lamp 16″ LED system can generate enough waste heat to heat two four-bedroom homes every day. Harnessing this energy-conscious opportunity, AeroLED unlocks significant benefits for printers’ operations.
AeroLED also sets the industry standard for energy efficiency, with a maximum electrical power of 53W/cm. This translates to energy savings of up to 70% compared to traditional 140W/cm E2C arc lamp systems, and significant CO2 emissions reduction. This can have a significant impact on a printer’s bottom line – a typical 16″ eight-colour machine running two shifts could save between 30,000 and 50,000 Euros per year, based on electricity prices in the region of 20 to 25 cents a kilowatt hour. Every 5-cent shift in electricity rates alters this cost-saving by approximately 6,000 Euros. Depending on the system type purchased, the return on investment (ROI) is frequently achieved in less than one year based on energy savings alone. You can calculate your potential energy savings using GEW’s quick and simple online ROI calculator.
AeroLED delivers exceptional process reliability on two fronts. Firstly, the LED output remains highly stable over time, degrading evenly by around 2% annually. In contrast, arc lamp systems experience significant output variations due to ageing bulbs, reflectors, and other components. These variations can exceed 50% over a few thousand hours, introducing uncertainties into production quality. AeroLED’s consistent output eliminates this variability, ensuring reliable and consistent results. Secondly, GEW has maintained the core elements of the highly successful LeoLED system in AeroLED, ensuring a robust and proven design.
GEW’s renowned ArcLED technology provides unparalleled flexibility by allowing the interchangeability of UV arc lamps and LED arrays within the same housing. AeroLED integrates with the 140W/cm air-cooled E2C mercury vapour lamp cassette, enabling a swift interchange of lamp cassettes in under one minute. GEW’s RHINO or RHINO Lite (RLT) power control systems streamline the process by automatically adapting the power supply to suit. ArcLED empowers printers to configure their system according to their process and ink compatibility needs. The ability to upgrade a printing press with additional LED cassettes, even after the initial purchase, guarantees futureproofing.
Improved retrofit installation speed
The simplicity of AeroLED’s ArcLED-compatible design also improves installation speed. Jochen Christiaens, Product Manager at Zeller + Gmelin, comments on this: “I witnessed GEW upgrade an 8-colour 45cm machine fitted with E2C arc lamps to full AeroLED in less than 1 hour. This included the installation, software upgrade and testing. I did not believe it was possible in such a short space of time, until I saw it”.