The UV energy emitted at Illumina’s 20% power setting is the same as the 100% power setting of other LED-UV curing systems, Fujifilm says. Patented LED technology delivers up to 44% more energy toward the substrate, resulting in faster curing.
“We recently converted our 9-color conventional UV, and our 8-color water-based ink press (now full LED UV) to Fujifilm’s Illumina LED UV retrofit system. Our install took only about a half day,” explains Vincent ‘VJ’ Melapioni, president, Beau Label. “It was a very pleasant experience. We were up and running again very quickly.”
“We made the switch primarily due to the cost savings in electricity,” says Melapioni. “Prior to our conversion, we were running 110 or 120 amps of 480 volt service to a press to run the UV’s, and with Illumina, we are now running 10 amps of 480 volt service. That’s a significant savings.”
The Illumina LED UV cure is an instant on/off process, lowering the energy usage and stress on lamp bulbs experienced in conventional “always-on” UV mercury lamp curing. LED UV also eliminates the costs generated by cooling air blowers, ozone extraction and heat makeup systems. Illumina employs additional patented and patent-pending technology to achieve even greater savings, resulting in financial savings per retrofitted press per year. The patented design produces less heat than competitive LED technologies and heat-dissipation is also much more effective.
“With our previous system, we had a noise factor due to the powerful blower extracting the heat, which was also taking out the (HVAC) heating and air conditioning,” adds Melapioni. “Illumina has made a better working environment, which our operators appreciate. It’s quieter and more efficient to keep the temperature stable within our 30,000 square foot facility.”
Beau Label is also experiencing increased press speeds with Fujifilm’s Illumina system. “Since installing the Illumina system, we are seeing increased press running speeds upwards of 15% compared to conventional UV, and I know it’s capable of more,” adds Melapioni.
Beau Label is adapting to new output options since the Illumina install, catering to clients in the food, beverage, wine and spirits industry, as well as private label health and beauty segments, pet supplies, household, industrial and promotional products.
“Illumina will enable us to run shrink films without chilled drum rollers,” says Melapioni. “We are only a few months in, and that’s a possibility we are already entertaining.”
Beau Label converted to Fujifilm’s 300 Series inks when it converted existing UV presses to LED UV. The more efficient design of Illumina is optimized with Fujifilm 300 Series flexo inks, and the inks are designed to perform equally well under LED UV or conventional UV arc curing.
“Fujifilm manufactures the (300 Series) ink, so in the unlikely event we have an ink issue, I’m not going to be told ‘it’s the lamps not the ink,’ and I know Fujifilm stands behind their high quality inks,” says Melapioni. “With the Illumina system, we’ve had no issues with curing or adhesion on any substrate, and the ink colors are more vibrant.”