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Etygraf installs pioneering LED UV flexo press

Etygraf in Spain have installed a new Bobst M4L flexo printing press fitted with an LED UV curing system by GEW to boost efficiency and curing performance. It is one of the first narrow-web presses fully equipped with LED UV curing in Europe.

Etiquetas y Gráficas, SL (Etygraf) is based in Sueca not far from Valencia, Spain. The printing methods used are aqueous and UV flexo printing, UV screenprinting and digital offset printing. Etygraf serves a wide customer base of over 750 clients in the fruit, vegetable, wine and food-processing sector as well as pharmaceutical, health and general industries.

The company’s product range comprises innovative labelling solutions using digital printing, flexographic printing and screenprinting technologies. The company’s business strategy is built on innovative added-value design, solid quality assurance management and technologically advanced solutions including design, material selection and production. The company was founded in 1981 and today employs 65 staff working in 2 shifts. David Baldovi, marketing and communication at Etygraf confirms: “Over the past years Etygraf has enjoyed tremendous commercial success with growth culminating at +20% in 2016 and our production has reached over 7 million square metres of labels per year.”

In 2016 Etygraf installed the new flexo label printing system with 8 printing/coating stations complementing 3 existing Gidue flexo machines also fitted with GEW UV systems. The new machine is based on a 40cm-wide Bobst M4L printing press and able to print 8 colours or coats in a single pass. Production manager Salvador Mateu explains: “We mainly print and coat self-adhesive white and clear PP and paper labels with two-face versions at speeds of up to 120m/min. We particularly appreciate the possibility of switching between or running simultaneously with mercury arc and LED UV as not all inks and laminates are as yet available as LED versions.”

Etygraf eventually opted for a GEW UV system, comprising eight LW1 high power LED UV lampheads with hybrid RHINO power supplies. The decision in favour of the GEW UV system was due to Etygraf’s desire that larger investments only go into futureproof high performance technologies. The ability of combined LED and arc UV hybrid operation whenever required by the ink formulation was a key point in the purchasing decision.

The new equipment provides advanced capabilities for high added-value labels with special finishes generating high expectations as for consistency of output and productivity. José Carrasquer, in charge of purchasing and quality at Etygraf, explains: ”The LW1 is an LED UV curing solution that brings us consistent output and stable quality over time with the added benefits of instant on-off switching, long-term reliability and extended life cycles of the LED technology.”

José Carrasquer adds: “We use exclusively low migration inks and wanted to raise our quality standards for the complete production chain. For the UV curing component only GEW was able to offer us a package of efficiency, reliability and safe curing at high speeds.”

All new UV curing systems with RHINO power supply come as standard with GEW’s Embedded Service facility which continuously monitors the UV system over the internet allowing the manufacturer’s service engineers to remotely analyse system performance data that enable them to proactively detect any out-of-tolerance parameters that may need maintenance and corrective action, well before a fault could develop. This type of remote preventative maintenance ensures the entire UV system operates at peak performance at all times thus avoiding unplanned machine stoppages and wasted resources.

Moreover the new GEW UV system, based on the LW1 LED UV technology, adds the ability to print delicate, heat-sensitive materials and brings substantial savings in electricity consumption with the corresponding environmental credentials. Adds Carrasquer: “For us LED UV is a logical technological evolution. With the installation of this UV LED flexo press, Etygraf have taken a pioneering role in the label printing industry in Europe.”

Carrasquer concludes: “We are delighted with the GEW system. We have now have increased our quality standards, improved reliability and productivity, and most importantly, gained additional happy customers.”