Aquaflex machine at Phenix

UV retrofits

With new machine lead times often over 1 year, GEW’s UV retrofits, with a lead time as short as 6 weeks, allow printers to breathe new life into old equipment at a much lower cost.

What is a UV retrofit?

A UV retrofit is an installation of UV curing equipment onto a printing machine that is already installed or in use at the end customer. GEW can retrofit both mercury arc and UV LED curing equipment.

The new UV can replace or sit alongside existing drying technologies such as powder spray, infrared, hot air, electron beam or old arc and microwave UV.

Retrofits can refresh existing technology at the end of its life, increase productivity or speed of the machine and expand the range of manufactured goods. And increasingly UV LED retrofits can transform sustainability credentials and deliver huge energy cost savings.

GEW have successfully undertaken retrofits in almost every conceivable printing, coating or converting application and can provide detailed return on investment calculations for any situation.

Retrofit of a specialist UV curing system
GEW is the perfect retrofit partner for applications from wide web coaters, web & sheetfed offset, gravure, mid, narrow & CI web flexo, to digital inkjet and a vast array of industrial & medical applications.

How we retrofit

At GEW we have vastly experienced design and service teams who have installed thousands of UV curing systems in countries all across the globe.

In most situations, GEW will already have pre-existing designs for your press, making design and manufacturing extremely quick with guaranteed success on installation.

However, where there is any doubt, GEW use cutting edge technology to accurately measure any machine on site with minimal downtime, and our detailed design process ensures the installation is right first time:

  • A GEW Engineer visits your site and scans your press with a Portable Coordinate Measurement machine.
  • The scan is transformed into a 3D model of your press and a custom integration kit is designed.
  • GEW provide a turnkey solution for each installation, including the UV lampheads, power, control & cooling systems, all cables and interconnections and the integration kit.
  • All of these parts are fully assembled at GEW’s factory, and undergo a thorough operating & quality test at full power.
  • Installation on site, by GEW engineers or one of our worldwide partners, is quick, professional and meets all local safety measures.
  • Once installed, the system is constantly monitored through our IoT Remote Monitoring System. Our Service team proactively detect and correct issues before they can develop into a fault.

You can find out more about this process in our retrofit video:


Why retrofit with GEW UV technology?

Overall benefits

  • Increase capacity fast:
    • A new UV or LED system for your press can drastically change the productivity of the machine
    • GEW offer the fastest retrofit delivery (as little as 6 weeks) available anywhere
  • Access new business and create new products:
    • UV allows printing on materials that were previously inaccessible
    • UV achieves higher quality, more durable print and packaging
  • Step change your energy use and sustainability credentials:
    • LED retrofits can reduce energy consumption by typically 50-70%. High energy costs in today’s world mean ROIs often less than 24 months
    • No ozone or mercury and huge carbon footprint reductions make LED a sustainable choice for you and your customers
  • There are ArcLED benefits for customers who want mercury arc and UV LED on the same press.
E2C retrofit
Modular lamp array w/LeoLED Standard on retrofit

UV LED benefits

For printers without UV curing equipment on their machinery:

  • Sharper dots and vibrant colours, resulting in a better product
  • No more marking and scratching in the delivery or perfecting process, no more sealer
  • Instant drying means much faster turnarounds
  • UV LED polymer inks allow successful printing on almost all stock types
  • Reduced energy consumption

UV LED benefits

For printers with UV curing equipment on their machinery:

  • Step change process control:
    • UV LED output is consistent over its lifetime, giving perfect UV process control when compared to the more variable output of conventional arc systems
  • Cut your energy costs:
    • Reduce energy costs typically 50-70% and deliver ROIs in less than 2 years
  • Faster curing:
    • Industry-leading dose output supports the market’s fastest printing speeds
  • Print without limitations:
    • Unsupported films, shrink sleeves and other delicate materials can be processed without heat damage
An LED UV retrofit

UV retrofit case studies

Keeping our customers happy is our top priority at GEW. In our case studies section you can hear directly from GEW customers across a wide range of applications. You can find these case studies in our knowledge hub where we categorise case studies by application, or you can go to our LeoLED Cassette case studies for narrow web retrofit examples, or LeoLED Standard case studies for sheetfed offset examples.

Phenix Label case study

Kansas-based Phenix Label are power-users of GEW mercury arc and LED UV systems, with 44 lampheads operating on five of their presses. Phenix use ArcLED hybrid curing systems to get the best from both technologies, enabling them to optimise production efficiency and to reduce electricity and material costs. GEW have also revitalised Phenix’s 15-year old Aquaflex press with a full LED UV curing system retrofit, upgrading it to keep pace with ever more demanding production deadlines.

With 140 employees and a facility of 80,000 square feet, Phenix run production 24 hours a day. Around 60% of their work is related to food and food products, so they are highly experienced in working with low migration LED inks for food labelling.

Todd Fatino is Vice President of Innovation at Phenix Label. In this short video, he discusses his experience of working with both mercury arc and LED UV curing systems on a variety of flexo presses, over many years.

Watch the video and find out more.

CBS Printing case study

Read about one of our latest sheetfed press retrofits, at CBS Printing in Smeeton Grange, Australia. CBS now have a GEW LeoLED UV system on their Ryobi 754 press, a move described by managing partner Stephen Wilson as ‘bringing an old machine back to life’.

The company is led by a forward-thinking management team who are constantly developing the business to maximise its competitive edge amidst a cutthroat marketplace. Continuous investment in new technology is an essential part of that development programme and CBS has been a pioneer of new printing techniques, including the use of UV LED curing systems.

Here you can read more about why CBS were committed to retrofitting their Ryobi press with a GEW UV LED curing system.

CBS’s managing partners Nathan Wilson and Stephen Wilson with their Ryobi 754 press, retrofitted with a GEW LeoLED UV curing system.
CBS’s managing partners Nathan Wilson and Stephen Wilson with their Ryobi 754 press, retrofitted with a GEW LeoLED UV curing system.

Speak directly to our sales representatives

To find out more about our UV and UV LED curing systems and how we can retrofit to your printing press, please contact your region specific sales person from the list below:

Marcus Greenbrook

Region, International:
Marcus Greenbrook
Director, International Sales

T: +44 7764 986 911

Email Marcus directly

Jennifer Heathcote

Region, Americas:
Jennifer Heathcote
Vice President, Business Development

T: +1 440 381 5606

Email Jennifer directly

Jamie Neill photo

Region, UK:
Jamie Neill
Sales Manager

T: +44 7793 042 467

Email Jamie directly