“The demand for the type of work the first MPS press could produce is constantly increasing, so we felt the need to quickly increase our capacity,” says Abbey Labels managing director Barry Pettit. “Already having an MPS press helps with the continuity of print quality, tooling and availability of trained operators. The installation and commissioning has gone very smoothly and the second press will help us to offer more capacity to our customers for multi-page peel and reveal labels along with mid- to longer-run reel and sheeting work”.
The new MPS EF 340 is the first of its type in Europe to be installed with the latest GEW ArcLED UV system. “When specifying the press, we looked at what other benefits it could offer besides the normal options,” says Pettit. “Upon hearing this, MPS offered Abbey the opportunity to be the first company in Europe to incorporate the GEW ArcLED LED UV curing system onto the EF 340 press. This was an opportunity that we simply couldn’t overlook."
The system installed offers Abbey Labels the opportunity to change seamlessly from traditional arc UV curing to LED curing in a matter of minutes. “The GEW ArcLED system has given us the option to change to LED when we, the ink manufacturers, and our customers are ready. LED inks have been available for some time, but we feel that we would be compromising our color gamut offering at the present time if we converted 100% to LED at this point. This situation we feel could change very quickly as the flexographic market plus our own customers demand more of the benefits and availability of LED ink. The new system from GEW will therefore allow us a much easier switch of technology, thus reducing our time to market.”
The advantages of having this type of GEW LED curing system gives Abbey Labels an ability to react to the near and longer term demands of the labels and packaging market, and gives the potential and confidence to lead their customers in ways at looking to improve the environmental impact. The LED system will use up to 50% less power than the conventional UV method of curing ink and also has the added advantage of radiating little or no heat onto the substrate.
The LED lamps are currently more expensive than their UV counterpart, but they have the distinct and very practical advantage of lasting up to 20 times longer. This will assist in reducing downtime and maintenance during the lifetime of the press, which will further reduce the carbon footprint of Abbey Labels’ new investment.
“We would seek to ensure that our clients would not notice any difference in ink color or image quality when compared to a previous print supplier or existing jobs that come through the business. They will, however, be safe in the knowledge that their labels are being produced in the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly manner possible,” remarks Pettit.