Commercial Printer Druckerei Hertle Switches to LED Drying Technology
NÜRTINGEN, Germany—November 16, 2015—Printing firm Druckerei Hertle, based in Kirchheim unter Teck, Germany, has recently opted for LED technology and has now fitted its printing press with an IST METZ LUV (LED UV) system.
The firm's customers mainly come from the Stuttgart metropolitan area. Approximately 25 employees work in two shifts on typical commercial print jobs such as greetings cards, flyers, brochures, catalogs, etc. Recently, the company introduced personalized online portals on a Europe-wide basis, where customers can order and adapt recurring products.
"We have evolved into a media service provider," said Managing Director Robert Hertle, describing the family business, which last year celebrated its 65th anniversary. The printing firm has an interesting specialization. "We do everything that online printing services don't offer," he added. By this he meant special processing—for example with diecutting and hot foil embossing, digital personalization, but also typesetting, layout, and prepress, as well as additional processing options.
Recently, Druckerei Hertle installed an LUV 80 LED curing system from IST METZ. The motivation to invest in the system came from outside the firm. "Our delivery times were simply too long for our main customer, a greeting cards publisher," acknowledged Hertle. Three to five days needed to be scheduled for drying the cards. A significant amount of time and staff effort was also spent on sorting out waste.
"We needed to become more efficient whilst also improving our print quality. For reasons of space, we decided to fit out our existing Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 74-5," explained Gerhard Sperl, Druckerei Hertle's works manager.
LED immediately came up as an option, as the instant curing of colors and coatings and the elimination of powder meant that sheets could be ready for further processing straight away—thus achieving the desired time savings. But quicker delivery times weren't the only motivation for switching to LED technology. "Previously, we'd mainly printed on paper. With our new IST LUV LED drying system, we're planning to expand our portfolio of substrates to include foils, for example," commented Sperl.
Many other considerations preceded the decision to opt for a specific UV system: Which technology should be chosen? What are the benefits of LED? How does the curing work? Who could supply LED inks?
"It was obvious that someone would be able to supply us with a system, but we had to hammer out all the other issues first," explained Sperl. Both he and Hertle were convinced of the benefits of the drying technology when watching a printing demonstration. "We saw that it worked, and that the results were of a high quality," said Hertle, who belongs to the third generation of his family to run the business.
A trip to IST METZ's UV DAYS last June provided more information on the inks available. "We were positively surprised to see five or six ink manufacturers there offering LED inks. Until then, we'd assumed we'd have to purchase them from abroad," remarked Sperl. Tests will now reveal how the respective inks and coatings are reacting and how suitable they are for their intended purposes.
In addition to the new inks, switching to LED drying has also meant the adoption of various new practices around the printing press common to using UV curable products. "Another sort of gloves, two different lockers for work and non-work clothes, LED lighting in the printing room—we've had to consider a lot of things and learn some lessons," said Sperl.
About IST METZ
IST METZ develops, manufactures and sells UV systems for the environmentally-friendly curing of inks, coatings, silicones and adhesives. The systems are used in both graphic applications and a variety of other industrial sectors. More than 35 years of expertise in UV technology make IST METZ the expert partner. With its global service and sales network, the company guarantees fast and reliable on-site support.
Source: IST METZ.