Illuminating Innovation: UV LED Transforms Commercial Printing
UV and UV LED curing technologies are transforming the capabilities of commercial and sheetfed offset printers. To learn more about the latest innovations and opportunities in this area, we spoke with Gary Doman, International Sales Manager, GEW, a global supplier of UV curing systems. GEW recently partnered with GMH UV to better serve the U.S. market.
PI: How is UV and UV LED curing in the commercial / sheetfed offset market developing in the United States? What opportunities are there?
Gary Doman: The commercial marketing in the U.S. is developing very well for GEW. This is particularly true since adopting GMH UV as our sole distributor for this region, both for UV and UV LED. It was always to going to take a company with true “local” knowledge and understanding to make the breakthrough that we’re now experiencing, particularly in a market that is as sophisticated as the commercial print market.
The opportunities are vast considering we are still considered the new kids on the block in this particular application, even if we are, without a doubt, the biggest UV and UV LED supplier worldwide. Our know how is allowing us to disrupt the market and shake off the old school attitude of what is and what is not possible for UV and UV LED combined; ArcLED being a really great example with what GEW offers that is different to the norm.
PI: What impact has the GMH UV / GEW relationship had on GEW’s ability to penetrate this market?
Doman: The impact of GMH UV has been huge, as they offer local level support for printers in the sheetfed offset market. Each member of the GMH team has a brilliant track record in being a reliable partner. Their ability to offer the right GEW solution by understanding our customers’ needs was vital in our choice of partner.
We have seen the impact they’ve had already. Sales are rising rapidly within this market as we disrupt the UV companies that previously held larger portions of market share in the offset market in the US. Our partnership with GMH means we’re currently ahead of the game in our bid to establish ourselves as the go-to UV supplier for offset printers in the United States.
PI: What is GEW’s current product offering for the sheetfed offset market? And what advantages does this give GEW, compared to the competition?
Doman: We offer LeoLED, the worlds most advanced UV LED system, which comes in a cassette format and a compact format, specifically for sheetfed offset presses. LeoLED offers huge benefits for offset printers — the ability to print on almost all stock types, no more marking and scratching, and no more sealer. But crucially, LeoLED offers instant drying, meaning faster job turnaround and quicker dispatch to customers.
Our conventional UV system E4C is now broadly offered across many sheetfed press models and gives ultimate reliability in operation and curing with the added feature of outstanding safety with our patented positive purge system for the end of press positions.
The icing on the cake for our customers is having the ability to run with our patented and unique ArcLED system, allowing printers to switch between UV LED and mercury arc technology on press, if necessary, or to build the press with both technologies in set positions, as demanded by the customer.
You can find out more about GEW’s offering for the sheetfed offset market on the GEW website: gewuv.com/sheetfed
PI: Why is ArcLED such a valuable technology for offset printers?
Doman: The US is a very sophisticated, mature UV market. There is a great understanding of what is best for a given process application when producing a printed product, whether that be a magazine, brochure, box packaging, or simple leaflet.
Most often customers want the efficiency and energy saving of UV LED curing, but there are times when due to preferences or requirements for different jobs, UV may be more appropriate. With ArcLED it is simplicity itself in swapping between UV LED and UV. As long as the press is built to allow for the technology and the system is specified as ArcLED, then that’s it, there is nothing more to do but enjoy the benefits of using both technologies without hindrance.
PI: Why is UV LED such a valuable innovation in the offset market?
Doman: UV LED offers very low energy consumption, almost zero maintenance (where LeoLED is concerned) and little to no heat generation. This makes it simple for even the smaller mum and pop shops who are considering its adoption.
By switching to UV LED, commercial printers open up the ability to produce a greater variety of work on a much greater variety of substrates. It cuts down job turnaround time and reduces waste. LED also negates the use of spray powder with the mess this makes, and the need to seal (WBC) jobs to enable faster downstream processing. If you want to never use spray powder again, or you no longer want the cost of WBC sealer, then a UV LED system is for you.
PI: Where can readers go to find out more about GEW’s product offering for this market?
Doman: There are two options. Offset customers in the US can go straight to GMHUV, whose contact details can be found on their website at gmhuv.com.
Or customers can go to the GEW website in the first instance to find out more – gewuv.com. There is a dedicated Sheetfed page at gewuv.com/sheetfed for customers who want to find out more about the products we offer, as discussed above.
Ultimately you will work directly with GMHUV who will be your main point of contact on a local level. They can guide you through the purchase and installation process. They can put you in direct contact with similar customers who are currently using GEW UV LED and UV systems.
They will also be your point of contact for after sales support, although GEW also offer support through our Service team based out of Ohio, and through our Remote Monitoring system that gives us live feedback for your system.