14 May 2020, Lanskroun

"The Future of UV LED Flexo"
Webinar

More than 350 representatives from the flexographic printing industry attended the webinar to learn about the quickly evolving UV LED technology and to understand its benefits.

SOMA, Flint Group and Phoseon Technology conduct a successful webinar "The Future of UV LED Flexo".

Niklas Olsson, Global Brand Manager NW of Flint Group, opened the webinar with a speech about inks, ‘UV LED INKS – high performance and compliance’. This was followed by a presentation by Adam Robak, Phoseon Technology Regional Sales Manager – EMEA, on the benefits of UV LED technology for CI flexo. Petr Blasko, SOMA´s Marketing Director, concluded with a conversation about ‘The SOMA Optima: flexo for a variety of applications’.

In addition, SOMA conducted a live, online demonstration of the Soma Flex Optima 1050 – 8 UVG LED. The Soma Flex Optima produced food packaging-related motifs utilizing CMYK + white, surface printed on a metallized BOPP substrate. It was a joint project with a customer that has several SOMA UV presses in production-showing excellent print results of various designs using Flint EkoCure ANCORA UV LED inks.

While running the press at a high production speed (300 m/min) and changing two different jobs, a number of unique features that make the SOMA OPTIMA flexo press an excellent choice for short run printing were shown. The demonstration featured UV LED technology solutions including: The SOMA Ink Cartridge system, which reduces ink consumption of spot colours or expensive inks; an advanced ink thermal stabilization and special doctor blade sealing to prevent heat transfer from anilox rollers to the ink; an Ink connection swap system for simple colour order changes without the need of an ink wash-up; and a hybrid water-based drying system that allows printers to combine UV LED inks with water-based varnish on the last printing deck.

Benefits of UV LED
UV LED has had a significant green impact on environmental sustainability while maintaining quality. It operates on up to 50% less energy, at higher speeds, and with an instant ON/OFF mode, unlike mercury lamps. Consumables like shutters, bulbs and reflectors aren’t necessary. Compared to solvent printing, UV LED requires fewer infrastructure exhaust systems, air exchange and power delivery. It is a VOC-free process, with no ozone extraction required. Since no solvents are involved, there is no need to conduct a wash-up at the end of the shift, and the press is ready for printing the next day. There is no compromise on quality and colour gamut, more opaque whites, brighter fluorescents, and truer metallics, with better cure and adhesion—and with lower operational costs.

Due to the above benefits, UV LED is expanding in narrow and wide web flexo. Adam Robak from Phoseon claims, “UV LED technology is growing much faster than the old UV mercury lamp technology. UV LED is not a niche - nor new - product. In fact, it has become a proven technology in the narrow web and is now gaining a foothold in the mid and wide web flexo market as well.”

Food compliance
Niklas Olsson from Flint comments, “It’s a milestone development to present Food Contact material approved UV LED inks that are compliant and pass migration testing using most stringent end-user requirements. Combined with high colour strength, very good adhesion to a wide range of synthetic substrate proves that UV LED inks can be used for many packaging applications.”

Petr Blasko, from SOMA, concluded the UV LED webinar, stating, “Behind such a project, you need a complete, joint team effort from SOMA, Flint Group and Phoseon. This team is ready to provide a turnkey solution for our customers.”

Anyone with questions about UV LED flexo should contact SOMA’s Globe technology centre: globe@soma-eng.com

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Petra Maresova

Kontaktperson

Petra Maresova, PR Manager
pr@soma-eng.com