Screen Printing - April/May 2013 - (Page 16)
this roundtable discussion focuses on
UV inkjet printing and the emergence
and impact of UV LED technology.
echnology changes many industries eventually. Though
UV curing has been in the printing industry for more than 20
years, LED curing technology for UV printers is a modern
technological twist in digital imaging. For a new technology to
catch on, users have to feel a compelling need to accept it.
How is the technology taking hold? We talked to some
printers about UV inkjet printing and UV LED inkjet systems
and their experiences. We also interviewed industry professionals whose companies supply UV LED printers to get
their perspectives. Our particpants in the conversation are:
Emily Williamson, president of Columbus, OH-based Franklin
Imaging; John Dziak, owner and CEO of Printscape Imaging
and Graphics, Pittsburgh, PA; Paul Meek, VP of operations
at Indianapolis, IN-based Firehouse; Steve Cutler, marketing product manager, mid-range inkjet, at Fujifilm; and Paul
McGovern, sales manager, USA, at Mimaki.
Is UV LED cUrIng morE EffEctIVE than aLtErnatIVE
cUrIng mEthoDs for InkjEt prIntIng?
Williamson: For us, the only lamp curing we do is UV, and
[conventional] UV printing is very effective. As the prints
come out of the machine, they are cured and require no additional dry time. We can move on immediately to finishing
steps, such as lamination, cutting, and mounting.
Meek: I think that curing is more consistent with LED. With
LED curing, it’s on or off. When you are using UV, the consistency can change due to the fact that each time the light
flashes, the bulb gets less intense. Therefore, the curing can
change over time. With LED, that is not an issue. Temperature
makes a difference. Whereas the standard mercury lamp is
hot when curing, the UV LED is not. Therefore, the latter
gives more consistent, cooler curing. (Figure 1 shows an
example of a retail display his shop produced on a UV LED
Is It a growIng trEnD to UsE UV LED
cUrIng In InkjEt prIntIng?
Dziak: I believe so. It is more convenient and can be used on
a wider array of materials.
Meek: We’ve seen an increase in the industry. A year ago, I
only knew of four or five printers using LED; now I know at
least 15 printers using it. There are certainly more LED machines in the field now than at this time last year.
Williamson: UV-cured printing is a popular option. It allows
us fast turnaround times for print projects, flexibility in
choice of substrates, and consistent color throughout the
why DID yoU DEcIDE to or not to UsE InkjEt prIntIng
wIth UV LED cUrIng capabILItIEs?
Dziak: We went with UV alone because we needed a machine
with more versatility (Figure 2) than solvent and aqueous
Figure 1 this 10 x 10-ft window display was produced by
Firehouse on a UV LED inkjet printer.
Meek: Our customers are hyper-critical when it comes to
color results, and UV LED gives more consistent color. Also,
UV LED helps by using less energy, making it less expensive
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - April/May 2013
Screen Printing - April/may 2013
Keeping Pace With Digital
Creating Artwork for DTG
Perspectives on UV LED Curing
Form and Function: Digitally Decorated Textiles
Diving Into Digital Workflows
Screen Printing - April/May 2013