Drying/Curing Equipment — Avoid Half-baked Systems
Greg Norris, marketing communications manager for Heidelberg Web Systems, notes that Heidelberg occasionally has customers in the high-quality commercial printing sector that equip their web presses for UV coating and drying/curing, and in these scenarios the UV systems are provided by a third-party vendor.
"Equipping a commercial web press for UV coating could provide the print-quality advantage of being able to produce UV coated products, as well as the environmental advantages of not having to use a conventional offset web press dryer to set inks," he says. "However, in most cases, there are major drawbacks that negate these advantages. Web presses equipped for UV coating generally must be run at slower speeds, significantly reducing their productivity. Also, consumables and some press components (i.e., rollers) must be designed exclusively to accommodate the UV coating process. This can significantly limit the versatility of a commercial web press."
According to Elinor Midlik, president of Prime UV Systems, printers considering a UV curing system seek reliability and high power, high gloss UV coatings, precision system control and an environmentally conscious system. She believes the Prime UV system answers all of these requirements.
"A Prime UV curing system is the most reliable UV system manufactured today," she says. "Another important part of the drying system is its ability to cure at the highest speeds. A high-powered Prime UV curing system will guarantee an instant cure of UV inks and coatings.
"High-gloss UV coatings are demanded by print buyers," she adds. "Our curing systems deliver the highest gloss possible, as well as abrasion and chemical resistance. A UV curing system should also offer superior control. A Prime UV system offers the Smart 2100 control platform, giving the printer precise control of the system so perfect printing can be achieved. Finally, printers need a drying/curing system that will meet environmental regulations both for today and the future. By purchasing a Prime UV curing system, the printer will meet the strict EPA regulations, and avoid permit issues altogether since our dryers eliminate VOCs and are recommended by the EPA as the best available control technology."