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Welcome to  ‘Ask The Expert’.  This page is moderated by industry consultant, Steve Wilkinson.  This page features the answers to your questions. Our visitors can also post comments to these questions/answers as well.  You can learn more about Steve’s background and our ‘Ask The Expert’ page by Clicking Here.

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September 12, 2013

We seem to be hearing more about LED UV cured inks being the future for many markets. Do you agree with this and what are its pros and cons verses conventional UV inks?

There is no doubt that LED UV curing systems offer some tremendous advantages with their ability to switch on and off and hence no need to warm up or cool down, giving the printer tremendous productivity advantages. This in turn leads to much longer lamp life, (Potentially 10 x longer than typical mercury lamps), and considerable less maintenance needs, as they do not need shutters or fans.  LED cured inks do have to be specially formulated and just like the conversion from water to UV will take time for the variety and volume to become available on a global basis.

Another major advantage of LED technology is its much lower energy requirements so much so that it is at least 50% less than conventional UV.  Environmentally, LED also leads the way not just with less power consumption, but it also does not use mercury and being cool does not generate any plasma. From a safety perspective the lamps are always cool to the touch and do not create a short wave, meaning less risk to the eyes and skin of the operator. As with all new technologies it does presently cost significantly more to purchase but based on its many benefits its payback could be in less than 12 months for most printers.

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