Meet Ultraflex, the C.I. UV LED hybrid

(UV-LED + Solvent/Water based ink)

KYMC, with more than 50 years of experience in Flexographic press design and in application integration teamed up with TSLC and Rainbow Pigment Co., Ltd to develop the next generation of CI Flexographic press. TSLC is a leading LED manufacturer and technology developer. TSLC has more than 10 years of experience in the LED industry providing reliable and quality UV-LED solutions to the global market. Rainbow Pigment is the ink expert with a strong R&D team to meet the demand of the market spanning
across product lines and industries. Together, the work of art is born. We call it the Ultraflex.

The Ultraflex press is an integration of 3 key technologies, the UV-LED ink application, solvent/waterbased ink application and the central impression (CI) design. This type of application was never to be seen in the Asia Pacific region. The Ultraflex press is a representation of flexibility, cost reduction and efficiency. There are many advantages to the UV-LED ink application. However, UV-LED is not without flaws. Therefore, with the Ultraflex press, printers can select between UV-LED ink or solvent/water-based ink or
both at the same time for different production jobs. On top of the hybrid design, the UV-LED application on CI drum design is superior over the inline UV design in terms of production speed, registration and tension control.

With the Ultraflex press, printers can obtain 3 technologies with one press. Let’s look at the Ultraflex press from 6 perspectives….

Opened Up New Business Opportunities
From the business standpoint, the Ultraflex will open up new business opportunities with the expanded production line for printers. PET shrink films, in mold label, pouch packaging that are traditionally produced on the inline UV presses can now be achieved easily on the Ultraflex press.

High Print Quality
From the quality standpoint, the high opacity of the ink is perfect for reproducing solid designs. To use the UV-LED print stations for the solid prints and the solvent/water-based print stations for the halftone areas.

Leveraged Ink Operational Efficiency
When it comes to the ink operational efficiency. The UV-LED ink stable characteristic can reduce setup time and reduce the amount of time needed to control the ink properties. It does not require the operators to make constant adjustments.

Reduced Waste
In terms of waste, the UV-LED print deck allows for low printing speed during print setup as the ink does not dry up under room temperature. This will reduce the amount of substrate and ink being wasted during print job setup.

Improved Working Condition
When compared to hot air drying, the UV-LED curing operates at a much lower noise level. Therefore, it will greatly improve the working conditions for the operators.

Rise in Eco-Friendliness
Lastly, the UV-LED is an environmentally friendly solution as it does not emit VOCs. The UV-LED ink goes through a curing process, unlike solvent and water-based ink which goes through a drying process. During the drying process the solvents (VOCs) will be evaporated into the surrounding causing environmental hazards and at the same time detrimental to human health when inhaled.

In the constant changing market, to take on the challenge and to remain competitive, printers need to adjust to the needs of the market. To be flexible, cost effective and production efficient. The best quality comes with high cost. The question is, will the customers pay for it? Low quality can be achieved through low cost. The question is, will the customer accept it? The printers that are able to find the balance between quality and cost are the ones that will remain competitive on the market. There is no one right formula for production as there are various types of customers on the market.

KYMC understands printers’ challenges by responding with the Ultraflex. The best part of Ultraflex is that you do not need to choose between a UV-LED press or a solvent/water-based press. You can have it all in one. Printers can take advantage of the UV-LED print stations on the Ultraflex when they can, and draw back to the solvent based or water-based print stations when needed. In a nutshell, Ultraflex is a 2 in 1 investment designed to help printers get the most out of their investment.

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Written by Kevin Gambrill