May 1, 2003 -- Heidelberg can now supply users with oxygen-reduced UV-drying technology for the Speedmaster CD 102 in the form of CoolCure UV. The process was developed jointly with IST Metz in Nürtingen. This innovative concept now makes light work of printing plastic films or aluminum-coated paper with UV ink. The chamber between the printing stock and UV interdeck dryers is flushed with nitrogen which expels most of the oxygen. Oxygen prevents polymerization, a fact that conventional technology has to compensate for by increasing the lamp output and thereby transferring heat to the printing stock. CoolCure UV can reduce the output of the UV lamps, boost the efficiency of the drying process and transfer far less heat to the printing material.
CoolCure UV pays for itself
This is a particular benefit if films and foils made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or PE (polyethylene) are printed with UV inks. Film printing is a growth industry with products such as labels, stickers, store cards, credit cards, advertising signs and mouse pads. The fact that CoolCure UV employs reduced oxygen levels during printing offers a number of distinct advantages: The substantial reduction in the amount of heat transferred to the printing stock ensures better register accuracy and thus high print quality at fast production speeds. Even materials that are sensitive to temperature can be processed with ease. Since the pile temperature, even at maximum printing speed, is only a few degrees Celsius above the temperature of the printroom, the user can immediately move onto another processing operation or a further press pass. CoolCure UV can also be used for working with full piles without worrying about the sheets sticking together. UV printshops normally work with pile temperatures over the range 50 to 70°C and cooling times of 1 to 2 days per pass. This is an area where CoolCure UV has immense potential to make significant savings. One very attractive side-effect is that the odor generated by the UV printed matter is greatly reduced.
Higher quality through CoolCure UV
The print quality of the modified press at Multicolor Druck und Selbstklebetechnik GmbH & Co. KG in Ellerau in Northern Germany is being particularly well received. This printshop has Germany's first sheetfed offset press for oxygen-reduced UV printing - a Speedmaster CD 102-6+LYLX with the new CoolCure UV system developed by Heidelberg andIST Metz. "The registration is perfect. Since less heat is generated the film no longer distorts", confirms Harald Eichlohn, printroom manager at Multicolor. "Even processing opaque white is now child's play, since the greater efficiency of the drying process means it can be applied in thicker coatings and no longer splits at the next blanket", he adds. Multicolor primarily uses the press with CoolCure UV for foil and film printing. This can take the form of sticker and adhesive labels consisting of a film substrate, bonding layer and cover sheet being printed in a single pass with opaque white and ink. The time saved can be enormous and the print quality exceptionally high. "The next Heidelberg press will also be equipped with CoolCure UV,"
states Harald Eichlohn.
A few weeks ago, the Speedmaster CD 102-6+YLX in the demonstration center of IST Metz GmbH in Nürtingen was equipped with a CoolCure UV system. This provides interested printshops with an opportunity to check out the features of the system for themselves.
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