TechnologyKomori H-UV Curing System
Komori H-UV is a new approach to efficient press operation. It is a new and innovative technology for drying/curing inks and coatings on a sheetfed press.
Currently there are two methods to dry or cure ink on press: adding IR dryers or adding UV dryers. H-UV provides a third method. H-UV is a unique alignment between ink and energy to optimize performance. In other words, the energy output of an H-UV lamp is precisely aligned with an H-UV ink's needed curing range. This results in a number of extremely valuable benefits.
A single H-UV lamp (one bulb) can cure up to 400% ink coverage plus coating at maximum press speed. This dramatically reduces the amount of energy required for curing compared to either IR or UV. Aligned benefits from the single lamp are low heat output. A printed sheet immediately from the press is only about ten degrees warmer than ambient air temperatures. "There is less heat from the press into the plant, thus it lowers electrical and energy costs for substantial savings to the printer. In addition, the equipment investment could be reduced by as much as one-third," estimated one judge. It also eliminates stock deformation from excessive heat resulting in better color fit and easier second passes through the press.
H-UV lamps can be located in the end of press or inter-deck when a dry trap application is required. When installed solely in the delivery, the H-UV light does not affect the makeready speed of the press at all--either from repacking blankets to match sheet size or by cooldown/warm-up periods when cylinder washing. An H-UV lamp emits no ozone (as is the case of a UV lamp); therefore the life of the equipment is extended and no roof venting is required. "Because H-UV is odorless, we were not required to take on the additional expense of installing an exhaust duct to control heat emissions," stated Morinobu Ohkuchi, senior managing director, Seio Printing, Co., Ltd., Japan.
H-UV ink performs very similarly to conventional UV ink with minimal dot gains, similar ink gloss, and true dot shapes. There is no "dry-back" as there is with oil-based inks so H-UV color remains true over time. Also like UV, H-UV ink provides dramatic color on uncoated or matte stocks. "We can complete jobs that used to take us three days with conventional inks in only one day with H-UV inks," remarked Tomie Yamamoto, president, Fujitoppan Printing Co., Ltd., Japan.
H-UV coating is a very high-gloss coating with glosses typically in the mid to upper 90s and can be successfully applied with an anilox coating roller that is also used for aqueous coating.
The coating is dramatic when coupled with H-UV varnish, and many different types of special effects (similar to UV) can be achieved. According to Masami Motoyoshi, a press running H-UV can easily be switched to conventional ink and coating if desired. In addition, H-UV inks perform flawlessly under aqueous coating if that is desired. Spray powder can also be eliminated when running H-UV. Another judge stated, "For a high-quality printer that doesn't print UV, the opportunity to start printing UV at this cost is very attractive."
In summary, H-UV offers the same type of quick cure as UV ink. It offers the beneficial print look and characteristics of conventional ink while lowering the heat and reducing the electrical energy needed. It can produce higher coating gloss than UV as well as certain special effects such as reticulation, contrast, etc., while maintaining all of the makeready efficiency of a conventional press.