- Detailed information provided at the LE UV days at the Print Media Academy in Bern
- One in two printing press quotations submitted to Swiss customers across all formats include LE UV
- New potential applications for small-format printing - AquaPrint runs a Speedmaster SX 52 LE UV primarily for high-finish postcards
- Appenzeller Volksfreund produces high-quality results on uncoated paper with its Speedmaster XL 75 LE UV
- BVD Druck+Verlag AG investing in a Speedmaster SX 102 LE UV perfecting press and Speedmaster SX 52 LE UV for greater surface finishing and value added
Print buyers appreciate high-quality, high-finish print products and short lead times. During drupa 2012, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) unveiled DryStar LE UV drying technology (LE stands for "Low Energy"), an energy-efficient process that enables commercial print shops in particular to harness UV technology. Printers in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, where there is strong demand for uncoated papers and surface finishing, have been particularly quick to explore the potential of this new technology and have become pioneers in LE UV printing.
In response to this trend, Heidelberg Schweiz AG has installed a Speedmaster SX 52 five-color press with coating unit and LE UV at its Print Media Academy in Bern and is staging a wide variety of LE UV days and customized presentations up to the end of the year. Only recently, 25 printers attended one such event in Bern, where they were won over by the benefits of LE UV technology. Print shops using this system can, for example, utilize a diverse range of surface finishing operations, achieve high gloss values, eliminate the use of powder, speed up postpress and cut delivery times thanks to immediate drying, and print on a huge range of materials such as paper and film. The Speedmaster SX 52 LE UV opens up new application options for small-format printing in particular and enables print shops to stand out from the crowd and offer their customers added value.
Over the course of the LE UV day, a huge range of coating applications were put on show - high-gloss, drip-off, and matt coatings using the printing unit and even matt-coating effects in two passes, which would normally only be possible when operating high-specification UV presses. This opens up new applications that can of course also be pursued in other print formats. It is no wonder, therefore, that half of all the printing press quotations that Heidelberg Schweiz AG submits to its customers across all formats already include LE UV technology.
New potential applications for small-format printing - AquaPrint runs a Speedmaster SX 52 LE UV primarily for high-finish postcards
"I am very impressed by the Speedmaster SX 52 LE UV as it helps me achieve very high quality standards and print on an extremely wide range of materials. The sheets also come off the press dry and can be fed to postpress straight away," sums up Kevin Bein, Managing Director of AquaPrint in Bern, Switzerland. The full-service print shop recently installed the five-color press with coating unit and Prinect Easy Control color measuring system. The team of six at AquaPrint specialize primarily in high-finish postcards and serve customers across the whole of Switzerland. It has also established a dedicated postcard publishing house called "Freshfish". "Our motto is 'small but beautiful'. We are not interested in long runs, but rather in postcards that utilize innovative materials such as uncoated paper and films, and motifs that lend the underlying message an emotional and compelling edge. You could say we produce small works of art," explains Bein. That is why the company's machine is equipped with the option for extending printing stock thickness, which enables it to work with materials up to 0.6 mm thick. Run sizes are between 100 and 4,000 and the company's ten-year history proves that its business model works. "By specializing in one area we can avoid having to compromise on price and the new Speedmaster SX 52 LE UV enables us to offer our customers great materials and a broad range of surface finishing options," says Bein, who is optimistic about what the future holds in store.
Appenzeller Volksfreund produces high-quality results on uncoated paper with its Speedmaster XL 75 LE UV
Druckerei Appenzeller Volksfreund (DAV) is also utilizing the benefits of LE UV technology and operates one of the first six-color Speedmaster XL 75 perfecting presses with coating unit. Founded in 1875, the print shop supplies the Swiss canton of Appenzell and the Gais municipality with local newspapers produced using web offset. It uses sheetfed offset for all sorts of high-quality commercial products for the consumer goods, investment goods, and tourism sectors. The full-service print shop employs more than 40 staff and delivers a third of its products to customers in Appenzell and the remaining two thirds to customers across the German-speaking parts of Switzerland. "We very quickly realized that we had to stand out from standard printing operations by using coatings and different materials, for example, and of course by keeping to our deadlines. All that requires appropriate investment, particularly if you want to win customers and keep them," explains Markus Rusch, Managing Director at DAV. "We are all very pleased with the new Speedmaster XL 75 LE UV because we can offer our customers added value and we have better process reliability in the print shop. For instance, we don't need to use powder anymore, which means that mailing campaigns can be printed reliably with optimum contrast on offset printing papers. These benefits more than make up for the increased cost of highly reactive UV inks." The fact that the ink dries immediately stops the ink density from dropping and yields a visibly improved brilliance in hues, particularly when using offset and uncoated papers. Furthermore, immediate curing prevents ink transfer and scratching.
The press is also extremely versatile. "When using this press I can relax and rest assured that the LE UV technology will come through. We've even received orders from other print shops. What's more, the service network and response times from Heidelberg Schweiz are excellent," confirms Rusch. "We're already considering replacing our current four-color Speedmaster SM 52 perfecting press with a six-color Speedmaster SX 52 with coating unit and LE UV when the time comes."
Another investment is in the pipeline in digital printing - in September, a Linoprint C 901 is being installed in the Teufen plant, where three employees produce flyers and business cards.
BVD Druck+Verlag AG investing in a Speedmaster SX 102 LE UV perfecting press and Speedmaster SX 52 LE UV for greater surface finishing and value added
BVD Druck+Verlag in Schaan, Liechtenstein, also wants to tap into the many benefits of LE UV technology. The print shop is investing in a complete package from Heidelberg that includes an eight-color Speedmaster SX 102 perfecting press with coating and LE UV - a world first -, a four-color Speedmaster SX 52 LE UV, a Stahlfolder KH 82 combination folding machine with automated changeover, and a Polar N 137 AT high-speed cutter with Compucut. The company aims to use this technology to enhance its specialization in uncoated and creative papers and achieve more added value through extended use of surface finishing. The investment project will also see BVD make the leap from 4-page to 8-page format. "With up to 96 gloss points, the new equipment will enable us to achieve almost all the results that were previously only possible with offline coating or film lamination," explains Peter Göppel, CEO of BVD, with confidence. "Another major advantage of LE UV technology is that there are no harmful emissions around the press and the print products are odor-neutral. Thanks to the huge range of potential printing stock, which includes both uncoated papers and plastic materials, we are aiming at new niche markets." Göppel is certain that creative professionals in the advertising and graphics sectors will make the most of the many opportunities on offer. One specific application is lenticular technology, where the image changes when viewed from different angles.
Another benefit for sustainable print production is the technology's low energy consumption. "When running the eight-color press in two-shift production with an 82 percent level of utilization, we can cut CO2 emissions by 89 metric tons per year," says Göppel. This is particularly important for the 50-strong workforce at the full-service print shop, as more than 70 percent of its products are supplied with an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certificate and environmental protection is a key issue throughout the company. Both presses feature the "CO2-neutral" label, which indicates that all the CO2 emissions associated with their production have been offset through support for officially recognized climate projects.
Further information on LE UV printing and user reports is available at: