Etygraf in Spain has installed a new Bobst M4L flexo printing press fitted with UV LED curing from GEW, making it one of the first narrow web presses fully equipped with UV LED curing in Europe.
Etiquetas y Gráficas (Etygraf) is based in Sueca not far from Valencia, Spain. It was founded in 1981 and today employs 65 staff working in two shifts. Last year, the company grew by more than 20 percent with a production volume of over seven million sqm of labels a year.
Etygraf uses a wide range of printing methods including aqueous and UV flexo printing, UV screen printing and digital offset printing. It serves a wide customer base of over 750 clients in the fruit, vegetable, wine and food processing sector, as well as pharmaceutical, health and general industries.
In 2016, Etygraf installed a new flexo press with eight printing/coating stations complementing three existing Nuova Gidue flexo machines also fitted with GEW UV systems. The new machine is based on a 400mm (15in) wide Bobst M4L printing press and able to print eight colors or coats in a single pass.
Etygraf production manager Salvador Mateu explained: ‘We mainly print and coat self-adhesive white and clear PP and paper labels with two-face versions at speeds of up to 120m/min. We particularly appreciate the possibility of switching between or running simultaneously with mercury arc and UV LED as not all inks and laminates are as yet available as LED versions.’
Etygraf eventually opted for a GEW UV system, comprising eight LW1 high power LED UV lampheads with hybrid Rhino power supplies. The ability of combined LED and arc UV hybrid operation whenever required by the ink formulation was a key point in the purchasing decision.
All new UV curing systems with Rhino power supply come as standard with GEW’s Embedded Service facility, which continuously monitors the UV system over the internet allowing the manufacturer’s service engineers to remotely analyse system performance data that enable them to proactively detect any out-of-tolerance parameters that may need maintenance and corrective action, well before a fault could develop.
José Carrasquer, responsible for machinery purchasing and quality control at Etygraf, added: ‘We use exclusively low migration inks and wanted to raise our quality standards for the complete production chain. For the UV curing component only GEW was able to offer us a package of efficiency, reliability and safe curing at high speeds.’
The LW1 LED UV technology adds the ability to print delicate, heat-sensitive materials and brings substantial savings in electricity consumption with the corresponding environmental credentials.
‘We are delighted with the GEW system,' concluded Carrasquer. 'We have now have increased our quality standards, improved reliability and productivity, and most importantly, gained additional happy customers.’