UV - Interview with Erich Midlik, Prime UV
Erich Midlik is executive vice president of Global Sales for Prime UV.
From Erich Midlik is executive vice president of Global Sales for Prime UV
Midlik: I would like to preface our answers with a little history of UV curing for high-speed web presses.
As you know, UV curing became a commercial technology as a replacement for heat set ovens in both industrial coating and printing industries nearly 50 years ago.
When UV technology was first developed UV chemistry formulators were only able to devise UV coatings and UV inks that would cure in an oxygen-
Thankfully, about 10 years after these first UV chemical products became commercial, UV formulators of inks and coatings made a major breakthrough with their developments of UV chemistries, and were able to offer new UV inks and coatings that would cure in air atmosphere, and not require oxygen exclusion.
With this advance, many thousands of printers and coaters adopted UV technology in their press room. Without the need for nitrogen inerting UV lamps system, UV equipment was far less expensive. This also eliminated the cost of nitrogen as a component of the curing process.
The second major breakthrough occurred 20 years ago, in 1988 when PRIME UV was founded and developed a new type of UV lamp system that would provide enough UV energy to cure UV inks on high-speed web presses.
At that time, most UV processors were installed in sheet-fed presses, which required water-cooled UV lamps to fit within the confined spaces of a sheet-fed press or on slow moving label presses or coating lines. Top speed for this type of installation is perhaps 500 fpm.
Prime UV’s mission was to replace heat set ovens on high speed newspaper and commercial web presses with GREEN technology!
We developed a finely focused UV system that delivers enough UV energy to cure at 3000 fpm. It is an affordable technology that does not require the added expense of chillers or water piping.
Since the time Prime UV introduced high intensity, air cooled UV systems to the web printing industry we have installed more than 5,000 Prime UV processors throughout the world.
Our experience has proven to us and our customers that cost-
IFRA: At IFRA Expo 2007, Prime UV claimed to be the world leader in newspaper installations with more than 60 4-
Midlik: Since our first commercial installation on a 4-
Many of these are multiple-tower installations such as C.A. Diario Panorama, Venezuela, who equipped four (4) Tensor T400 towers with Prime UV and Nowata Printing in the U.S. equipped 3 Goss Magnum towers with Prime UV, Central Ontario Web in Canada equipped 2 Global Web System towers with Prime UV Curing Systems.
Other newspaper publishers utilising Prime UV are:
IFRA: Why do you think that your air-
Midlik: Prime UV first manufactured our Optimum Series Air-
In our opinion, it is not always the case of one UV processor outperforming another – the UV curing system should match the application it is being used for and maximise the printers R.O.I. by reducing capital, installation, energy and maintenance costs as well as ensuring the press can cure a maximum press speeds with minimal downtown.
Prime UV’s extensive research (1999-
IFRA: What is the maximum web speed (meters per second) with one UV lamp per web side to assure sufficient curing of the ink?
Midlik: A Prime UV Optimum Series Air-
IFRA: Is it possible to increase the web speed by adding more UV lamps?
IFRA: What is the maximum length of a UV lamp?
Midlik: Prime UV offers Optimum Series Air-
Prime UV has installations on wide-
IFRA: Is there a possibility to use wider webs (for double-
Midlik: Yes, we have been installing UV lamp systems on very wide coating and printing lines for the past 15 years.
IFRA: What is the wattage of a UV lamp and what is its life span?
Midlik: Prime UV Optimum Series Air-
We have customers who report that they run more than 5,000 hours on a single Prime UV lamp before a replacement is required. Over the 20 years Prime UV has been manufacturing UV Curing Systems, we have engineered our UV systems to maximise lamp longevity.
IFRA: Is it true that in your installations the UV lamps on the two sides of the webs are not placed opposite each other but in different positions (which influences the dimensions of the dryer installation)? Why is it done this way?
Midlik: In our installations we do offset each lamp so one doesn’t directly face the other; if a customer required (due to space restrictions) the lamps to be oriented facing each other, web slides would be installed for the printer to utilise when running a small web width so that exposed portions of the UV lamp do not deliver UV energy to the facing lamp.
The lamps are offset to provide easier access to the press and UV lamps and this configuration allows the customer to print multiple web widths without the need to make adjustments to the Prime UV system.
IFRA: What would be the approximate investment needed to equip a 4-
Midlik: Typically, capital costs including installation for a doublewide are less than US$ 250,000. Prices vary depending on actual web width. This price is very affordable, and allows the newspaper printer the opportunity to install a green technology in his pressroom.
IFRA: When is it more appropriate to use UV drying instead of heatset on a newspaper press?
Midlik: Prime UV recommends that every newspaper press be equipped with UV lamp systems if the newspaper publisher wants to run vibrant four-colour printing, heavy solids and fine line registration on coated or supercalendared paper stocks or even on newsprint.
UV curing, otherwise called “UV drying” in the printing industry, is the technology of the future -
Page first published: 29.04.2008