via PrintWeek: Flint Group Launches Sheetfed UV LED Retrofit Service

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Flint Group has launched Vantage LED, an LED UV retrofit service for sheetfed offset printers.
The full suite of products and services included in Vantage LED consists of pre-conversion consulting and training, dedicated LED inks and coatings and matching pressroom chemicals and blankets as well as full customer support during and after conversion.

At the heart of the service package are EcoLux LED lamps supplied by high-power LED UV curing systems provider Air Motion Systems (AMS).

Flint Group said Vantage LED is beneficial for both users of conventional UV looking to switch to LED UV as well as printers who have had no previous exposure to any UV curing methods but are keen to take advantage of its benefits.

The company said its technical team will walk each individual customer through the process step-by-step to ensure the full potential of UV LED technology is always realised.

Flint Group Packaging & Narrow Web global UV business development director Jim Buchanan said: “Vantage LED has been developed to ensure those wishing to convert to LED curing can do so with confidence in a very short space of time. Our expert print technicians will audit an operation in the first instance and a full cost-benefit analysis will follow; a press can be converted in as little as one day.”

OEM technical co-ordination director Richard Wilson added: “LED UV retrofit has started to take off in the last two years but with real pace in the last year, and again accelerating massively this year with, in my view, one of the main interests at Drupa for sheetfed being LED.

“Everything now is being driven by customer service and fast turnarounds. With digital print everybody can get something on demand and have it the same day, and now they’re asking standard commercial conventional printers to give the same kind of service.

“To be able to offer such a fast turnaround service, the need for accelerated drying is huge. UV has always offered us that but it’s at quite a cost, whereas LED has come in and revolutionised the market. One lamp can do what three standard mercury lamps can do and the running costs are 30% of what UV was and there’s no heat or ozone created with the LED.”

Wilson also pointed out other benefits of LED UV, including the ability to free up factory space as pallets of work are no longer sitting around waiting to dry, the ability to print on a wider range of substrates and the elimination of spray powder.

“Retrofits allow people to test the market first before going out and spending on a full installation, and it also brings a bit more life to a press and enables printers to tap into more niche areas and offer something they couldn’t do before,” said Wilson.

The cost of the Vantage LED service is dependent on a number of factors, including the width of the press to be retrofitted and therefore the number of lamps required.

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