KBA has become the latest press manufacturer to offer UV LED curing after securing a deal with US-based curing kit manufacturer Air Motion Systems (AMS).
KBA UK managing director Andrew Pang said the deal, which encompasses new presses as well as retrofits, “was extremely exciting”.
“It gives the customers that are investing now the opportunity to future-proof their business with KBA technology,” he said.
AMS will supply LED curing systems to KBA in Germany as a factory-fitted option on the manufacturer’s range of presses from the small-format anilox Genius all the way up to its super large-format Rapida 205.
The two firms have developed an LED curing system specifically for KBA’s VariDry system, which fully integrates with the press’s control console.
KBA UK will also offer a retrofit service to its UK installed based of UV and conventional presses, it will also offer the service to non-KBA presses installed at KBA customers. In the cases of non-KBA customers looking to upgrade a rival manufacturer’s presses then it will liaise with AMS Europe.
KBA UK hopes to secure sales of its first new LED presses and retrofits by the end of the year.
“All technologies have their natural sweet spot, there isn’t a one-size fits all. LED is still very specific to a certain customer type so we plan to work closely with customers to work out of it right for them. AMS systems are a very established technology and, for the right work mix, LED can be substantially cheaper in terms of running costs and productivity gains,” said Pang.
AMS Europe’s Carsten Barlebo said that the firm’s latest diodes offer a 60% energy saving over highly reactive and low-energy UV systems, are comfortable running at speeds of up to 20,000sph and have a lifespan of 20,000 hours.
AMS has around 140 LED installations worldwide.
While Komori and Heidelberg offer H-UV and LE UV systems respectively, KBA will join Ryobi and Sakurai as the only press manufacturers offering an LED curing as a factory-fitted option.
Ryobi was the first to market with the technology, launching its LED press at Drupa 2008, and has subsequently secured a significant number of installations across Europe.
While Ryobi’s UK agent Apex Digital Graphics has a five-colour B2 Ryobi installed at its headquarters in Hemel Hempstead, with a number of deals in the pipeline, so far Sakurai is the only manufacturer to have a UK installation, with B&B Press installing a four-colour LED press this summer.