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AMS Introducing a High-Speed LED UV System for Sheetfed Offset Presses

March 7, 2012
RIVER FALLS, WI—March 7, 2012—Air Motion Systems | AMS UV, a leading U.S. manufacturer of high-performance UV systems for the graphic arts industry, announces the general availability of a high-speed LED UV drying system for sheetfed offset printing that installs quickly on presses from half size to large format and from all leading manufacturers. The new platform, known as Titanium LED, is the first and only LED UV solution for sheetfed printers to achieve safe, instant-start UV drying with less energy at both interdeck and delivery locations.

The new LED UV platform will be first showcased at Print UV 2012 (March 11-13 in Las Vegas), where AMS customers and partners will be on hand to answer questions, and at drupa 2012, from May 3-16 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The system works without heat, mercury or ozone, providing a long operating life and featuring no moving parts. It operates at full press speeds on four/four process to straight multicolor work with inline coating effects on materials ranging from paper and board to foil and plastic.

LED UV Technology

AMS Titanium LED was achieved through several groundbreaking innovations in LED UV curing performance on sheetfed-offset presses arrived at via AMS’ patent-pending PEAK LED-UV product family. Titanium features two, all-new high-power LED UV module series—the XP3, designed for general commercial printing, and the XP5, intended for folding carton packaging, coating, plastics, point-of-sale and extremely high-speed printing.

Central to the innovations are breakthrough intensity levels at greater working distances available from a newer generation of high brightness UV LED chips equipped with AMS' proprietary Mirror Optics (MIROLED). The combination delivers LED ultraviolet intensities that surpass those of mercury-based UV lamps, and at working distances that accommodate any press drying location, from interdeck to delivery, at up to just one quarter of the electrical energy required of conventional UV systems.

With AMS Titanium, printers can replace conventional sheetfed interstation or end-of-press UV lamp modules outright with LED UV units through an innovative adapter, and can also introduce, and even interchange one or more low energy, ozone-free standard UV lamp modules in specific locations on a press if required to preserve compatibility with the entire range of existing UV ink and coating chemistries available on the market. 

“For the first time in sheetfed offset, we are providing printers an opportunity to completely specify high-performance LED UV drying units on a press, or to replace their existing UV interdeck and delivery cassettes outright LED units without concerns about cost, performance or availability of inks and coatings” said Hans Ulland, executive vice president of AMS. “Our extensive work on this technique with early adopters, ink partners and press makers has been nothing short of remarkable, and it will change the landscape of UV printing for many years to come.”



Extensively Tested

Prior to releasing the Titanium platform and the AMS LED UV drying system for general availability, two years of extensive reliability testing took place with early production adopters and testing partners in order to prepare the system for the rigorous, non-stop demands of full market availability. As solid-state technology, an extremely long operating life is possible from LED UV curing modules, and the sub-systems needed for ensuring reliable thermal management to the LED chips were carefully engineered to make this a reality.

The AMS LED UV system was ruggedly designed to even fit seamlessly alongside conventional UV units if required, and they carry the highest level of quality, durability and trouble-free operation available.

All typical sheetfed UV production scenarios have been established with AMS LED UV. From four/four perfecting without marking, heat or cylinder jackets, to multicolor interdeck wet or dry-trapping, to inline coating from flood gloss to strike-through effects, and from coated stocks to uncoated papers to synthetics, the AMS Titanium LED UV system is delivering results that surpass even the highest quality multi-lamp conventional UV printing systems available today.

High Market Availability

Up until recently, high-quality LED UV inks, coatings and varnishes were not readily available in the global print marketplace. This has now changed thanks to significant undertakings on the part of ink and coating manufacturers, whose efforts were recently boosted by the demand for high wavelength, low energy UV formulations that share the same characteristics as LED UV formulas. Any ink or coating engineered for the aforementioned processes is essentially compatible with the Titanium platform.

In a further step, AMS and other industry leaders are forming an independent International LED UV Association to serve as an information-clearing house for new LED UV technology and high wavelength compatible inks, coatings and curing options, and to provide resources and recognition for printers adopting eco-friendly LED technology over mercury alternatives. A new website and online registry of technology providers will be made available to facilitate the association and transition to LED UV.

Affordable Pricing

AMS LED UV was engineered to meet an affordable market price point comparable to that of conventional high-quality UV drying systems and similar to those of high wavelength, low energy UV press options being heavily marketed. However unlike other UV market offerings, the Titanium LED UV components are based on 100-percent environmentally safe UV LED semiconductors as opposed to mercury-arc bulbs, which are coming under growing scrutiny and regulation due to their limitations and challenges.

To further meet affordability goals, AMS and its partners are launching a trade-in program to accelerate the process of replacing existing UV systems.

Real Savings

“The time to make a decision on LED UV technology has arrived much sooner than most people expected” added Steve Metcalf, president and CEO of AMS. “The AMS Titanium platform essentially renders existing UV solutions outdated in many ways. Our customers and partners have proven that LED UV technology is now ready for mainstream adoption, and the production benefits, such as instant start, instant drying, no heat, rapid install, human safety and energy savings are simply too great to ignore any longer. AMS LED technology generates real savings, accelerates the on-demand nature of today’s print, and amplifies the quality of printing across the board.”

Available on All Presses

The Titanium platform and the AMS LED UV system can be specified on presses ranging from the smallest commercial printing machines to the fastest, largest format, multi-color machines used in specialty and packaging production. Through its extensive trial phase, AMS brought the LED UV technology into operation on a number of machines from leading sheetfed and web press manufacturers around the world.

In addition to providing seamless, direct installations on existing presses through a growing network of partners, Titanium can be factory integrated through select press makers. AMS maintains multiple relationships with leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to ensure its technology can be completely and safely integrated into machines at the highest level of compliance and feature compatibility.

About Air Motion Systems

Air Motion Systems | AMS UV is a global leader in both conventional high-efficiency and UV LED curing technologies for the graphic arts and other industries, and has a growing presence around the world. The company’s patented P3 UV system is now the leading system for high quality offset UV printing in North America, and its next generation LED-UV product family (www.leduv.com) and the Titanium curing platform are breaking new ground in the adoption of environmentally safe, energy-efficient, semiconductor-based UV LED light curing for the graphic arts and related markets. AMS technology will be on display at drupa 2012 in Hall 15, Booth 15-A / 21-5.

Source: AMS


 

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