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IST Metz is launching its UV LED curing system, developed with its partner Integration Technology, reports Barry Hunt
With low energy outputs of around 50 W/cm, the technology is now seen as a feasible alternative to conventional UV curing for many applications. LED UV curing appeared on several digital inkjet presses, while several conventional flexo presses were shown with one or more LED lamp units at the show.
IST LED lamp assemblies share the same lamp housing as the company's MBS-6 UV lamp unit, introduced in 2011. This gives potential adopters the economical option to freely interchange the new LED curing units between both systems. The new LED units have a five to 10mm gap between the lamp and substrate. They operate on a wavelength of 350 manometers curing webs at up to 250 m/min.
Dirk Jaegers, managing director, told Labels & Labeling that IST Metz sees most growth coming from the digital inkjet sector, especially when printing heat-sensitive label stocks. 'As with the early days of UV flexo printing, the wider availability of LED UV-curable inks at a more economical price will be major factor in the determining the pace of adoption.'