Fujifilm’s Illumina, a retrofit system for converting any traditional UV or water-based flexo press to UV LED curing, has allowed for increased productivity and cost savings at Beau Label, a third generation family-owned New Jersey-based print services provider celebrating its 51st anniversary in 2018.
The UV energy emitted at Illumina’s 20 percent power setting is the same as the 100 percent power setting of other UV LED curing systems, it is claimed. Patented LED technology delivers up to 44 percent more energy toward the substrate, resulting in faster curing.
‘We recently converted our 9-color conventional UV, and our 8-color water based ink press (now full UV LED) to Fujifilm’s Illumina UV LED retrofit system. Our install took only about a half day,’ said Vincent ‘VJ’ Melapioni, president, Beau Label. ‘It was a very pleasant experience. We were up and running again very quickly.'
‘We made the switch primarily due to the cost savings in electricity,’ continued Melapioni. ‘Prior to our conversion, we were running 110 or 120 amps of 480 volt service to a press to run the UV’s, and with Illumina, we are now running 10 amps of 480 volt service. That’s a significant savings.’
The Illumina UV LED cure is an instant on/off process, lowering the energy usage and stress on lamp bulbs experienced in conventional ‘always-on’ UV mercury lamp curing. UV LED also eliminates the costs generated by cooling air blowers, ozone extraction and heat makeup systems. Illumina employs additional patented and patent-pending technology to achieve even greater savings, resulting in financial savings per retrofitted press per year. The patented design produces less heat than competitive LED technologies and heat-dissipation is also much more effective.
‘With our previous system, we had a noise factor due to the powerful blower extracting the heat, which was also taking out the (HVAC) heating and air conditioning,’ Melapioni adds. ‘Illumina has made a better working environment, which our operators appreciate. It’s quieter and more efficient to keep the temperature stable within our 30,000 sq ft facility.’ Beau Label is also experiencing increased press speeds with Fujifilm’s Illumina system.
‘Since installing the Illumina system we are seeing increased press running speeds upwards of 15 percent compared to conventional UV, and I know it’s capable of more,’ Melapioni said.
Beau Label is adapting to new output options since the Illumina install, catering to clients in the food, beverage, wine and spirits industry, as well as private label health and beauty segments, pet supplies, household, industrial and promotional products.
‘Illumina will enable us to run shrink films without chilled drum rollers,’ Melapioni said. ‘We are only a few months in, and that’s a possibility we are already entertaining.’
Beau Label converted to Fujifilm’s 300 Series inks when it converted existing UV presses to UV LED. The more efficient design of Illumina is optimized with Fujifilm 300 Series flexo inks, and the inks are uniquely designed to perform equally well under UV LED or conventional UV-arc curing.
‘Fujifilm manufactures the (300 Series) ink, so in the unlikely event we have an ink issue, I’m not going to be told ‘it’s the lamps not the ink,’ and I know Fujifilm stands behind their high quality inks,’ Melapioni said. ‘With the Illumina system, we’ve had no issues with curing or adhesion on any substrate, and the ink colors are more vibrant.’