UV Inks & Coatings — Coldset Printers Shine With UV
The new UV coldset ink system also enhances the quality of traditional coldset printing applications by creating images with sharper colors and higher gloss. Commercial printers gain the high-end, lustrous look of heatset inks, with the production and environmental benefits of UV inks. Arrowlith UV inks contain sufficient amounts of soy to qualify for the Soy Seal of Approval, and are also 100 percent free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Coldset printers want to get into diverse and expanding business markets—markets which were previously closed to them due to technological limitations related to coldset printing. A publication printer, for example, traditionally has the cover printed separately, off-site in a heatset plant. UV coldset technology gives them an entry into a commercial printing market segment.
Another example is newspaper printers that often outsource full-color insert work to other printers. UV curing technology allows these newspaper plants to keep the jobs in-house, without dedicating an entire press to insert production.
Installing UV curing systems is considerably less expensive than heatset systems, which require pollutant-controlling equipment. Additionally, UV inks do not dry in the fountains, so they can remain overnight if necessary. This results in less spoilage in the ink fountains. And while UV inks are slightly more costly than conventional ones, less ink is used and the results are better.
Scott Stewart, president of Nebraska Printing Center in Lincoln, is another commercial web printer printing on newsprint and coated stock that is benefiting from new UV coldset technology.
"We represent to our customers that the UV coldset process is an excellent first cousin to heatset," notes Stewart. "Every customer we've sold on UV coldset has stayed on UV coldset. And we have not even started to tap the potential market."
Stewart's business caters to a diverse customer base, with web press customers including grocery and lumber retailers; real estate; automotive; specialty publications; religious, veteran and fraternal publications; and government and healthcare publications. The results of printing with the UV coldset ink system have been so well received that the company is currently running UV coldset on two separate press lines.