GEW’s International Sales Manager Gary Doman joined Print Business Magazine’s round table discussion recently. The in-depth exchange debunked some of the myths surrounding the technology of litho printing with LED UV.
The discussion was to answer questions such as: Who is UV printing for? What do printers need to be aware of? What are the benefits of UV printing? Where is its place in the future of print?
Find an excerpt from the full printbusiness.co.uk article below:
The journey to LED is underway: Kodak, M Partners, GEW and VanSon discuss new generation UV
Myths and mistruths surround the technology of litho printing with LED UV. At the Print Business round table, experts discuss these issues with feedback from some of the successful adopters.
Gary Doman makes the Benny Landa prediction two-thirds of the way through the round table on LED UV printing. “In five years every commercial printer will be running LED UV. In packaging it will be ten years,” he says.
Like Benny Landa’s prediction forecasting the death of offset litho, Doman will be wrong. But about the date, not about the direction the technology is headed. LED UV printing for litho printers offers many, many advantages and few drawbacks. It will become the way that most printers operate.
Currently the take up of the technology is nowhere near this point, although the printers that have made the switch have not turned back to conventional litho printing. It was to understand why, what these barriers are and what the benefits can be that Print Business pulled experts from across the spectrum to a round table.
Present were Nick Sawyer, worldwide product manager for plates from Kodak; Ian Firman, technical sales consultant from VanSon representing the ink manufacturers; Robert Rowe, M Partners sales manager representing RMGT, the most successful LED UV press producer; and Gary Doman, international sales manager of GEW, flying the flag for the LED curing technology.
Light emitting diodes have a long history in print, being used in digital printing and as the laser in platesetters. These operate at the red end of the spectrum. For many years it was impossible to produce diode that produced blue light or UV energy for curing. In 2008 this changed, as Rowe explains.
“We showed it at Drupa on a B3 press. The print looked very flat and the quality was not great. People used the line ‘as good as digital’. And at the time that’s what it was.
The technology did not take off in the UK because of the recession, while it became a hit in Japan because of the lower power usage. Our first RMGT went in in 2014 and it has been a gradual process since. But as printers need to produce with faster and faster turnaround times, they want instant drying. Now over the last five years 90% of what we build in Japan is fitted with LED for commercial and packaging printers.”
GEW has more than 30 years’ experience in supplying conventional UV curing technology to narrow web flexo printers which have come to adopt LED curing because it does not add heat to the substrate when curing, so can print on thinner and heat sensitive materials. In 2018 GEW saw the opportunity to move LED UV into commercial printing.
Get ahead of the curve and have GEW’s LeoLED on your sheetfed offset press.
Alternatively, find Gary Doman on LinkedIn