Flint Group unveils new UV inks and plates

Flint Group has launched a range of low energy UV and UV LED cured inks for sheetfed offset applications alongside an update to its Nyloprint flexo plate range.

The new ink range includes Ultraking XCURA, a UV-cured ink suitable for use with modified low-energy mercury lamps (UV LE/HUV) that have a spectral output between 290nm to 460nm.

These lamps, which can be retrofitted to existing presses, require less energy and produce less heat than standard mercury lamps, making them ideal for printers looking to get into UV printing with a minimal upfront investment and enabling printing on heat-sensitive films.

UV LE/HUV lamps also eliminate the production of ozone in the ink curing process (due to the filtering out of wavelengths below 290nm), leading to improved worker and environmental safety and removing the need for exhaust systems.

Richard Wilson, UV product management director, Flint Group, said the Xcura range would be attractive to the fast turnaround conventional printers and web-to-print businesses.

"As commercial printers are pushed to offer shorter and shorter lead times, work-in-progress must be kept to a minimum and jobs have to be turned around for next-day delivery. Low energy UV curing will allow the conventional commercial printer to manufacture to these new targets," said Wilson.

"We can see the web-to-print sector in particular being early adopters of this technology because of the dramatic reduction in manufacturing time and the lower entry cost than traditional UV."

The second new ink, Ultraking XCURA LED, has been developed to match the 395nm wavelength of high power UV LED lamps, which require as much as 40% less energy to operate than traditional UV lamps.

In addition to eliminating heat and ozone generation, UV LED lamps are said to require low maintenance and have a significantly longer lamp life than standard UV (20,000 hours versus 2,000 hours).

Both inks are suitable for commercial and non-food packaging applications and can be used with coated and uncoated papers and boards, as well as certain non-porous substrates.

Meanwhile, Flint Group has also unveiled a new water-washable coating plate for UV varnishes, Nyloprint WA-S and WA-S Digital, which is aimed at security and banknote printing and has a processing time of 25-30mins.

The new plate launch follows the announcement of an upgrade to the Laser Ablation Mask (LAMS) layer of all digital Nyloprint plates, which is said to enable a productivity increase of up to 100% thanks to the reduction in lasering time needed to image the plates.

Plates with the new LAMS layer are being phased in immediately, with conversion due to be completed by mid-2014.

Finally, the manufacturer has recently expanded its flexo plate processing equipment range with the launch of the Nyloflex Dryer FIII and the Nyloflex Light Finisher FIII, which complement the Nyloflex Next Exposure FIII.

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