Gapen on UV

Darren has worked in the printing industry for 30 years and spent more than 12 years at two of the nation's leading high-end commercial printers: Bradley Printing in Des Plaines, IL, and Williamson Printing Corp. in Dallas, TX. During that time, he operated conventional and UV 40˝ sheetfed presses and also successfully managed a $15-million pressroom equipment transition. Darren also was Lead Press Instructor for Heidelberg, where he directed specialty equipment startups and was involved in all aspects of the printing process by teaching both instructor and pressroom employees.

In addition, he served as a troubleshooter for various printing companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. As operations manager for a start-up specialty folding carton company, he played a key role in achieving more than $6 million in sales within two years. Currently Darren is president of D.G. Print Solutions, a consulting firm that supports printing companies of all sizes. He specializes in growth development planning, pressroom color management and pressroom training through specialty print applications.

Starting out with the topic of LED UV, Steve Metcalf and Jon Graunke gave an update on where this new technology is currently and where it’s going. They noted that AMS successfully installed its first production unit in Japan on a four-over-four machine last fall, with more units to be installed here in the states this year.

With yet another sold-out conference last week, Print UV 2011 opened with a record audience count. The attendee list included almost 170 participants with representatives from more than 60 individual printing companies, along with some of the leading vendors.

Regardless if you’re a veteran printer or new to the UV game, you will quickly realize that if you want to be successful, you must put the necessary time, money and energy into R&D. But when the dust settles, the smoke and chaos clear, you stand back and look at the finished product with admiration.

Back in the day, two- and three-roller coating systems made UV coating look as deep and smooth as a sheet of glass. Then it all changed with the introduction of the new closed-chamber, anilox style coating units. They were sold by the OEMs as “pressman proof.” They enabled management to have the ability to make sure that all of the pressmen apply the same amount of coating regardless of the individual or knowledge level.

The objective is to use a sufficient amount of energy to dry the inks correctly, but not to distort the plastic so it looks like a potato chip. Dyne levels of the plastics along with chemistry compatibility continue to have a large effect on successful adhesion and end result.

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