UV Systems

March 6, 2009

Ultraviolet curing systems today offer more sophisticated power supplies, more precise curing and decreased heat on the substrates.

UV Systems

Ultraviolet curing systems today offer more sophisticated power supplies, more precise curing and decreased heat on the substrates.

By Jack Kenny

AAA Press International

The Versiflex power supply
The Versiflex System is the company’s most popular model. It includes a PLC controlled digital electronic controller which is fully operator programmable. The touch screen interface allows the operator to program UV intensity settings proportional to press speeds in 50 watt per inch (WPI) increments to run in auto mode. Operators can also program split-second shutter timing (open/close) to eliminate material waste on stop/starts, UV bulb timers, routine maintenance reminders and many other valuable effects. This model includes automatic troubleshooting and auto fault protection, which electronically senses one of eight critical faults (over/under temperature, over/under current, shutter operation, etc.) and will shut the press down in the unlikely event of a fault so that the operator is not printing waste. The Versiflex system includes a two-year/2,000 hour warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

The Microstep system is identical to the Versiflex model, but is programmable to run at 12 WPI increments, ideal for running extensible films and heat sensitive materials. The micro programming and closed-loop variable speed exhaust blower reduces heat at the web, allowing operators to easily change ramp timing so that maximum UV output is achieved without the heat at lower press speeds. This model is used primarily for curing on thin films and extensible substrates.

The Pro-Cure is an economical, scaled-down, three stage digital model that does not include any programming features and is manually adjustable in three stages at 100 WPI increments. This is ideal for simple varnish applications and non-critical coating. This model includes a one-year/1,000 hour warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

All systems include the Slim-line cassette style lamp heads that allow fast removal of the lamp head without tools to reposition it in another station or perform routine maintenance (cleaning or bulb changes).


GEW recently launched IsoCure, a UV curing system for mid and wide web printing and converting applications. The system is designed for high performance UV curing of inks, varnishes, coatings, silicone release and hot melt pressure sensitive adhesives. Either conventional free radical or inert atmosphere technology can be supplied for high press speeds and specialized applications.

IsoCure system
IsoCure is described by GEW Managing Director Malcolm Rae as “a versatile, fully water cooled UV curing system,” designed for medium and wide formats in arc lengths from 50cm (20") up to two meters (78.75"). “Typically, UV systems require large exhaust fans, ducting and manifolds to remove the ozone and heat generated by the UV lamps when curing,” Rae says. “IsoCure seals the lamp in its own temperature-controlled micro-climate in isolation from the plant or print room, eliminating the expenditure of ambient air for cooling and ozone extraction. Instead of being ducted to the outside of the building, ozone is safely destroyed within the lamphead. This gives unprecedented savings in UV system operating costs because expensive heated or air-conditioned factory air is no longer consumed. This also yields increased lamp life as airborne contaminants and dust particles are not sucked into the lamphead. Furthermore, since no ducting or exhaust fans are needed, IsoCure allows neater, more compact installation with significantly reduced noise levels.”

The company has taken the step to cease manufacturing its UV systems using traditional transformer supplies and now only uses electronics.

Concludes Rae, “IsoCure represents both an economic and ecological advancement to the marketplace with its design and runs on our electronic e-Brick power supply that provides additional benefits in cost reduction as well reducing CO2 emissions.”


IST offers a range of different UV curing systems for various areas of the graphic arts industry and industrial applications. The BLK system offers both water and air cooled units and lamps in lengths up to 2200mm. The energy output of the lamps depends on the length and can be up to 200 W/cm. BLK systems are fitted with CMK reflectors (cold mirror) which reflect the UV energy and allow the heat from the IR energy to pass through into the water-cooled absorber profile.

The MBS-system is a compact air cooled unit which uses lamps up to 550cm in length. New developments in reflector geometry and integrated URS technology mean that the MBS5 can produce curing results using 140 W/cm lamps, which could previously only be achieved using higher wattage lamps.

In the BLK-U system, oxygen in the UV curing unit is replaced by an inert gas (nitrogen). The result of this is faster curing of the UV ink. Oxygen-reduced systems are offered as open and sealed units.

Prime UV Systems

The newly designed Prime UV S-2100 MiniScan 3C incorporates the company’s low heat curing technology with the its Smart 2100 control platform.

Prime UV MiniScan 3C processors
installed in a press
Described by the manufacturer as “customized, compact and cool,” the MiniScan 3C “provides the highest speed, cool cure of all UV chemistries, installing easily on all new and existing flexible film and narrow web tag and label converting lines.” The Prime UV MiniScan 3C high power air-cooling provides an effective low heat cure, the company says. “This ultra cool cure provides maximum airflow and low substrate temperatures while curing heavy ink densities at maximum press speeds.”

The new system is controlled by the Smart 2100 Control Platform, which provides total computer control of the MiniScan 3C UV processors. Smart 2100 users also benefit from on screen system diagnostics as well as remote diagnostic capabilities via direct access with the company’s service technicians.

The Prime UV S-2100 MiniScan 3C is recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency as BACT (Best Available Control Technology). The processors are available with a complete range of metal halide UV bulbs and dichroic reflectors.

Prime UV also has introduced the Perfect-Cure lamp system, designed for the food packaging converter. Engineered specifically for installation on CI flexo presses running flexible films, the system guarantees complete cure of UV inks and coatings at speeds over 2,000 fpm. Perfect-Cure is designed to fit between color units on a CI press, and to install inline after the UV varnish application.

The new FPA approval of UV chemistries for direct food contact has led to increased interest by all converters serving the food packaging industry. Prime UV says that its curing systems eliminate all natural gas expenses.


UVT’s PowerSmart is a completely stepless power supply, the company says, designed to minimize energy usage and floorspace requirements while maximizing printing speeds and curing capabilities. With a modular design and a variety of maintenance-friendly features, UVT claims that thePowerSmart ensures the highest uptime of any UV curing system available.

VT’s PowerSmart UV power supply
Capable of being fully integrated into the press, UVT PowerSmart offers a self-diagnostic feature. System issues are identified and reported via an on-system, allowing for quick diagnosis and resolution.

UVT says that the PowerSmart suppy features a compact design with a reduced footprint; offers reduced downtime, because ballasts are easily accessible within the power cabinet, resulting in convenient replacement of parts; compatibility with Maxim and Maxim Cool Cure cassette systems; increased cure speeds; efficient power consumption; and full integration into most Comco and Mark Andy presses.

UVT adds that its products are supported throughout the life of the system.

XericWeb Drying Systems

The Maxwellcuring unit from XericWeb Drying Systems
Since 2006, XericWeb has marketed the Maxwell UV curing system, designed in Italy by UV Ray. According to the company, the Maxwell system has a quartz dichroic reflector that removes excess heat, offers faster curing with less power, and requires less exhaust air.

It features four lamp power levels, a programmable touch pad or display, and the power supply has a small footprint.