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01-02-22
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GEW launch AeroLED

UV curing specialists GEW have announced the launch of a major new product for both the company and the narrow web printing market. AeroLED is a fully air-cooled, high power UV LED system for full cure, printing, coating and converting applications up to 60cm wide. AeroLED delivers power and reliability with a totally unique concept which eliminates many of the operational problems in existing air-cooled LED systems on the market. Moreover, the innovative design makes AeroLED extremely cost-effective and step changes the accessibility of LED printing.

In an AeroLED system, the first significant innovation is in the air-cooling process. Cool, filtered air is distributed from a single centralised fan sited away from the press and exits through the UV lampheads, for quiet and reliable operation. The remote positioning of the fan avoids common problems caused by ink mist and dust ingress, while large air filters reduce the filter replacement cycle. There is no need for integrated fans or electronics in the individual lampheads, which eliminates the high pitched noise and contamination issues that these bring. AeroLED features the same LED chassis and core components as GEW’s LeoLED lamphead, for proven reliability straight from launch day. As with LeoLED, the new lamp uses GEW’s standard cassette design for easy maintenance, with tough watertight seals to protect the LED modules from ingress and to make cleaning easy and safe. Every aspect of the design has been carefully considered to deliver robust performance and long-term reliability.

AeroLED’s efficient optical design enables the lowest energy usage of all GEW products. This delivers energy savings of typically 50-70%, when compared to a conventional UV arc system. In addition to offering greatly reduced operating costs, printers upgrading to LED are able to free up a significant level of mains capacity, which can then be used to install new machinery and subsequently increase production capability. Two AeroLED systems have a lower electrical supply requirement than just one conventional arc UV system.

In addition to the sustainability benefits of AeroLED, GEW highlight the ease of installation to those considering a retrofit upgrade. Robert Rae, Managing Director of Sales at GEW, explains: “As AeroLED has GEW’s familiar E2C cassette design, upgrading an E2C system with RHINO/RLT power only requires switching to the AeroLED lampheads and the addition of a fan filter unit. All other components on press remain the same. This means that a retrofit upgrade can be implemented in as little as one day, and makes AeroLED the most cost-effective route to LED printing available, worldwide.” He adds: “Those new to GEW products will find the cost of a complete new AeroLED upgrade to be highly competitive, and something that pays for itself typically within two years through energy savings, not to mention the increased productivity that LED systems bring to press.”

A further advantage of LED in the curing process is its predictability and stability of UV output. AeroLED delivers a step change in process control by ensuring stable UV output year after year, and eliminates the uncertainty of conventional UV lamps, reflectors and mechanisms to ensure consistent production quality.

As is the case with all new GEW UV products, AeroLED uses GEW’s RHINO power supply and control range, for ultimate reliability with Industry 4.0 approved, IoT Remote Monitoring as standard.

UV LED is no longer just a technology for the future, it has become an essential technology for the present day. This change has been driven by the recent and dramatic increases in global energy prices, creating an unprecedented demand for low-energy, sustainable LED solutions as well as improved ink technology and availability. Technological advancement is leading to ever more efficient and cost-effective UV LED products, as is demonstrated by the introduction of AeroLED.

Robert Rae summarises his view on the current market: “At GEW we are seeing a record number of orders across all system types and LED business significantly increasing from both OEMs and end customers alike. In the next two years, LED could reach 50% of GEW’s output and we are gearing up for this, with a recent major investment in further new UK production facilities.” He concludes: “With the introduction of AeroLED, with its unique concept and highly competitive cost, the case for printers to upgrade to LED is stronger than ever before. The opportunities are huge and we are convinced LED will soon become the dominant technology in our narrow web market.”