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Need To Know

Drying technology

Quality drying systems can significantly save time and costs for print service providers. With this in mind, we cast an eye over some of the latest solutions

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Home and dry

To put it simply, if your drying technology is not up to scratch, you are likely to be slowing down production. Printed work will remain wetter for longer, meaning you cannot move to the next stage of the process until it has dried, leading to – often unnecessary – delays.

However, the good news for print service providers (PSPs) is that there are plenty of new and innovative options when it comes to drying print. Adding this technology to your set up will help increase production and allow you to take on more work as a result.

Here, we speak with several providers of drying solutions to find out more about their latest technologies and how integrating this kit can help PSPs to improve their overall production.

Maximise energy

First up is print brand Komori. Craig Bretherton, EMEA product marketing manager for Komori Europe, says with energy prices as they are at the moment, efficiency is key, and drying can play a major role with this.

“The best UV drying systems use reflectors to ensure the maximum amount of UV energy is directed towards the sheets being printed,” Bretherton says, adding: “The geometry of these reflectors is critical for efficient drying.

Additionally, a by-product of the UV drying process is infrared energy which can generate heat.

“The reflectors Komori uses are ‘dichroic’ which means they allow the excess heat to pass through lowering the demand on the lamp cooling components and crucially keeping heat away from the sensitive materials being printed.

“Komori was also the pioneer of H-UV printing in 2009. It was an innovation that changed the direction of many printers and with over 700 installations globally it continues to be hugely successful. The systems are highly energy efficient as several inks can be cured using a single lamp.

“Komori now also offers H-UV L that employs LED UV, which reduces power consumption by using on/off technology. LED UV has no infrared energy present which means no heat is introduced into the sheets which can be a huge benefit for printers of plastic and other sensitive materials.”

Komori offers HUV-L that employs LED UV, which reduces power consumption by using on/off technology

As to the danger of not investing properly in this technology, Bretherton explains inefficient curing or drying is a potential disaster for printers. If the curing fails, it can result in marked print, or worse still, sheets stuck together in the piles, which almost certainly means reprints for the printer and lost time on press and additional waste.

Therefore, he says that it is very important to consult with manufacturers to establish which kinds of materials they wish to print to establish the type of drying they need.

Casting an eye over the latest developments at Komori, Bretherton says that H-UV remains enormously popular and orders for new presses fitted with this and H-UV L are always in process. However, he is keen to highlight a new innovation to benefit commercial printers that want to do more with less.

“We have a number of successful installations of our G38 web presses, which are fitted with either H-UV or H-UV L (LED) drying instead of the costly-to-run gas drying systems typically fitted to web presses,” Bretherton says, adding: “This has been a game changer for those that have made the switch.