“Our strong R&D team allows us to develop the right-fit solution for almost every existing printing system in the graphics art market as well as for applications in industrial fields, such as converting, automotive, bonding, cleaning and more,” says Joachim Kranz, head of sales, sheetfed, IST Metz. “Once our systems have been produced in our facility in Nürtingen Germany, they are tested under production conditions before they leave the plant.”
Kranz says thousands of customers are deploying IST Metz curing solutions that perform extremely reliably and are at the same time optimised for curing performance and energy consumption.
Saying that curing with conventional UV lamps is a well established technology in the graphic arts market Kranz agrees that IST Metz recognises a growing demand for LED UV solutions.
“The advantages of LED UV, such as energy saving, format switching, minimum heat to the substrate and immediate on/off of lights are beneficial for label printers and commercial printers. In those segments, LED UV is already establishing itself besides the UV lamp curing solutions,” he adds.
In other segments, such as packaging and security printing, LED UV is still in the early days but on a growing path. “We believe over time LED UV solutions and UV lamps will be supplemental curing technologies. This will take several more years. Timing is dependent on factors such as availability of LED inks, development of LED lights for lower wavelengths and legislation changes related to mercury,” he says.
He adds, “LED UV is already suitable for many applications and ink manufacturers are continuously expanding their portfolio of LED inks. We have several customers successfully curing opaque white with IST’s LED cure solution.”
Currently, the price for LED UV ink over UV ink is indeed higher in most countries but eventually will be more balanced with the growing number of LED UV curing installations.
IST Metz installations
Together with its subsidiary Integration Technology, IST Metz has a worldwide installation base of thousands of customers using its conventional UV curing as well as LED UV curing solutions.
“In India, we are almost exclusively delivering to our partner Heidelberg where most of its products are designed and prepared for a perfect integration of our solutions,” Kranz concludes.