Why choose a UV-LED printer?

The rise of UV-LED printers is increasing and whilst LED will not be replacing conventional UV lamps, it’s all about choosing the right curing method for the application. So now, with Jetrix printers you can now choose, LED or UV and we also give our customers the option of testing both, so they can ensure they are making the exactly the right decision for their business. LED is becoming more popular for a few reasons; firstly, the ability to print on to heat sensitive substrates and secondly, less electricity consumption is making them an increasingly appealing option. The former is adding a new dynamic to printing in terms of what can be produced.  As a consequence InkTec are finding that there is some interest in texture style printing as the lack of heat means that layer upon layer can be applied to create a 2D effect. Granted some of this is likely to be being driven by 3D printing becoming more prevalent and accessible with people potentially wanting to use some of these principles to add a new raised dynamic to simple flat printing. However, combined with longer lamp life times and the obvious environmentally friendly messages, not to mention the much appreciated reduced running costs, more printers are turning to LED as their preferred large format printing option.

InkTec are looking to introduce a wider range of LED printers to add to the JETRIX LXi8 launched last year, including the JETRIX KX6U-LED UV Printer at Sign and Digital and more recently at Fespa.

The cost of these machines is fractionally greater than their traditional mercury lamp equivalents, but due to the overall running cost savings, particularly on the lamps; means they can work out costing less overall.

As Joey Kim, Managing Director at InkTec says, “InkTec have always invested in innovation particularly in-house and in fact over the last five years a minimum of 12% of turnover in research and development has been invested. So aside from the developments in the LED JETRIX printer series we are also currently developing single pass metal sheet printers and inkjet label printers which are likely to come to the market within the next 3 years.”

He continues, “Our colleagues in South Korea are also working on some really exciting ink innovations. This includes a well-established production line of printed electronics, including Silver Nano ink, printed memory boards, flexible PCB, reflective film and EMI Shielding Film. The scope of which is significant as technology advances and the speed to market for new electronic products accelerates. We are also involved in developing many different types of ink for inkjet applications including for industrial scenarios, such as ink for metal sheet printing.”

But in the immediate term for inks there is a big push to continue taking head on the alternative inks market with the launch of a UV curable ink for Mimaki printers. Contrary to many suppliers in the market these are predominately self-developed by InkTec’s in-house research and development teams. Alternative inks for the leading brands of large format printers have always been received with some scepticism however wrongly or rightly, but this should no longer be the case with InkTec. They really do offer a viable alternative to manufacturer own inks and as they are generally at a fraction of the price it seems a no brainer to use them particularly if your machine is out of warranty.