Ultraviolet (UV) inks and coatings have been a growing technology for many years now, and the latest iteration is LED curing. “LED curing is growing faster than any other type of curing technology across all printing technologies,” says Marco Boer, Vice President of I.T. Strategies, and author of the new PRIMIR study, Adoption of LED UV Curing in Printing.
The benefits of LED curing are clear: it’s more productive, more efficient, and more cost effective than traditional ink chemistries, but the value of LED curing is highly dependent upon the specific print technology, be it offset, flexo, or inkjet. There are also important variations by application, and even the geographical region where it is deployed.
According to the study, new sheetfed offset and flexo press sales are tipping in favor of LED-curable ink technology, and retrofits of conventional ink presses are growing even faster. “LED curing technology is still in the early stages of development in terms of its future potential,” says Boer. “The technology is well-proven after seven years, but the upside on wider availability of LED-UV curable inks and coatings remains great.”