Heidelberg has been focusing on developing LED lamp technologies and associated consumables as an alternative to the proven UV technologies since 2005, when more powerful UV LEDs first came onto the market. The company first unveiled the DryStar LED drying system during Drupa 2012.
Since 2013, Heidelberg has been involved in the series production of this technology on particularly developed markets such as Japan and Taiwan. To optimize the benefits of the LED dryer system – such as the excellent flexibility in various applications in commercial and packaging printing, high energy-saving potential, ability to integrate into existing automation processes, Remote Service facility, and extremely long service life – inks and coating combinations need to be perfectly matched to the lamp technology. Saphira LED consumables and the DryStar from Heidelberg thus represent a powerful package where the company is planning to next launch it in Europe. In mid-2014, Heidelberg began print tests to approve their partners’ ink systems for this application and to optimize them in terms of quality and printing properties. It was also around the same time when the company began to develop coatings specifically for LED-UV technology.
The Saphira portfolio already offers a complete package of coordinated consumables for LED-UV drying, consisting of ink, dampening and washup solutions, blankets, and a variety of cleaners. Heidelberg will soon start offering an LED-UV coating series as part of its Saphira portfolio.
Light-emitting diodes are becoming increasingly widespread in many areas of our daily lives. This will affect the level of investment costs in LE/LED dryer technology as well as price trends for consumables, which naturally also depend on the volumes produced.
Heidelberg is betting high on LE/LED-UV print production. It also hopes to win through on the market when it enables its customers to access appropriate consumables quickly and easily using e-commerce solutions as more and more customers are tech savvy and interested in technology.