UV-LED printing used to be considered a specialist technology, but in the past decade, it has seen enormous growth in popularity. Even die-hard devotees of the more widespread eco-solvent, latex or resin printers have invested in UV printing to build their businesses and create new revenue streams
But what makes UV print so desirable for print professionals? In this article, we’ll look at the key selling points of this technology.
In the competitive market of print services, businesses need to be flexible enough to adapt to a wide range of customer demands. UV-LED printing is a powerful tool as it lets businesses expand their offering with the capability to print on an almost-unlimited range of substrates.
Because the ink is cured instantly with low-temperature UV lamps, it’s possible to print on heat-sensitive materials without problems. This also lets print operators print directly onto electronic devices which might otherwise be damaged by high temperatures.
The speed of production is one of the main reasons print professionals are adopting UV printing devices. Guaranteeing a fast delivery has a big influence on which supplier a customer chooses. Because the ink is cured instantly, UV prints are ready for shipping as soon as they leave the printer.
For customisation and direct-to-object printing, direct UV printing is much faster than screen or pad printing and requires no additional tools. Not only is the printing process faster, but there’s no delay while custom screens are made, so there is no set-up time either.
For sign and display companies, creating large boards usually involves printing onto vinyl, applying the output to a board and then adding a lamination film. With a flatbed UV printer, printing onto foam boards or other rigid boards is a single-step process.
UV ink can produce more durable prints and the output is less prone to fading when exposed to direct sunlight meaning the finish can be longer lasting without lamination. This is ideal for shorter term applications such as direct printed safety boards for building sites. For UV roll-to-roll printing applications requiring maximum longevity, however, we would still recommend a quality, matched laminate.
One of the most interesting features of UV print is the ability to print spot UV effects using a transparent ink known as gloss ink. This functionality opens lots of opportunities to enhance printed products with glossy highlights, raised textures and embossed lettering to name a few. You can even print Braille text much easier, cheaper and faster than other methods, allowing for a wide range of accessibility signage and packaging prototypes.
As you can see, there are several reasons for investing in a UV printing solution to give your business more flexibility and your customers more choice. We don’t suggest that UV will replace all other ink technologies, but its advantages make it a powerful addition to your print business.