LED UV Flexiproof 100 Development


The concept of UV curing involves using an energy source to bring about a physical-stage shift of ink from a liquid to a solid and opaque form. Or to put it another way, to manipulate light (energy) to penetrate a thick pigment ink film, which is actually designed to prevent the penetration of light.

UV radiation forms part of the spectrum of the electromagnetic radiation. It is adjacent to the short wave part FLX100 UV LED editedof the visible light and reaches to the ionising radiation.  The UV band is in itself sub-divided into discrete areas such as UVA long wave radiation, UV B medium and UVC short wave radiation. Curing involves the cross polymerization of a photosensitive material, which can be an ink and adhesive or a coating, generally in the long range UV-A  portion of the ultraviolet bandwidth.

UV curing has found favour with many over time. UV cured products look good and many customers have appreciated the high gloss levels and scuff resistance of UV products. Printers like features such as the fact that ink stay open and do not dry in the pan.

UV made its printing debut back in the 1970s but it took time to address many of the concerns, not least of which has been the problem of managing heat. The mercury vapour lamp for instance at optimum output of around 365nm also emits infrared heat (energy), which distorts heat sensitive substrates.

It would be true to say that many of the issues associated with the development and use of UV technology have been largely resolved through workaround and refinement to existing technology or the development of new approaches. One of the most recent and exciting developments is UV LED, which extends application possibilities, provides production efficiencies, and much else beside.

There are many benefits driving companies towards using UV LED. The LED technology is both ozone and mercury-free making it environmentally more friendly; UV LED utilises small input power units and offers instant on/off capability, they need less maintenance and reportedly use up to 50% less energy than conventional mercury lamps. As less heat is generated a printer, converter or other producer now has the option of running certain extensible films and speciality materials.

A compact LED (Light Emitting Diode) UV curing system for use with LED optimised flexographic inks is now available from RK Print Coat Instruments Ltd and which can be integrated in as an option with the FlexiProof LED UV. The LED UV lamps offer a tailored output either at the important 385nm or 395nm wavelength.

LED UV extends possibilities. For instance: in the area of prototyping or trialling for instance the FlexiProof makes it possible to create accurate prototypes without taking a production press off line or without recourse to outsourcing.  Because the Flexi Proof with LED UV can print directly onto a substrate and cure inline the customer ‘proof of concept’ is made much easier and speedier.

RK’s Tom Kerchiss points out that LED UV is specifically targeted towards a set nanometre wavelength. For this reason and in order that the broadest range of substrates can still be accommodated the FlexiProof UV will still be provided with dichroic mercury arc vapour lamps.

The FlexiProof UV and new variant FlexiProof LED-UV is designed to enable producers and users of flexographic UV inks to resolve colour communication and print/process issues including: colour matching, printability, gloss, scuff and chemical resistance, and so forth off-press; quickly and with minimal waste.  Printing and curing in-line on the FlexiProof UV highlights pin holing and other problems, enabling corrective action to be undertaken quickly.


RK backs a LeMans winner


Around 250,000 spectators including, sponsors’ RK Print Coat Instruments watched as Ben Barker of the Parr Motorsport team took the lead during the final lap of this 62 car race to win the Porsche Carrera Cup GB/Carrera Cup France at Le Mans on Sunday June 14th.

RK Print Coat Instruments Managing Director Tom Kerchiss says: “ In terms of sponsorship this was very much a last minute decision on our part. As a company we have never been involved in sponsorship, let alone motor racing but it has certainly paid off. The RK logo was highly visible on the side panel of the car and on the front of Ben’s helmet and we were pleased to support Ben and proud to be involved in this on-the–edge-of –your-seat venture.”

Continuing Tom Kerchiss noted: “ Ben Barker wasted no time at the La Sarthe circuit, posting the second fastest time in free practice despite his lack of experience on this particular circuit. Overall the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup race proved to be a lively run up to the famous main event, Le Mans 24-hour race.”

Ben Barker’s appearance at Le Mans is just part of a busy schedule for this up and coming driver who hails from Cambridge – RKs own part of the world. So far Ben’s motor racing has taken him from Spain to Belgium, Monaco and Austria. Not to mention making his US motoring debut at the IMSA series in Detroit.

Finish“Wow!” a wide-eyed Barker exclaimed, “If I loved Le Mans before, I really love it now! That was an incredible race at an incredible venue and I am so happy to have come out on top. I got a great start and was able to pick Dillmann off early on, and then Bamber’s problem meant that I was able to hunt Estre down. It’s unfortunate that he suffered the puncture when he did, but that’s racing – it happens to all of us at some point – and I was glad that I was there to pick up the win.

"I want to say thanks to RK Printcoat Instruments, Ramair and Sesanti for their support for this iconic event and I pleased I could give them something to cheer.”

RK Print Coat Instruments may never have run a race, but they are no strangers to winning printing industry/trade press awards. The company won in the media hosted Innovation in Pre-press Technology category for the Flexiproof 100. A scaled down version of a flexographic production press that enabled users and producers of flexo inks to replicate real world production conditions and provide reproducible presentation samples.

The bench top FlexiProof 100 now joined by a dedicated UV system, the FlexiProof UV enables users to simulate flexographic printing for all pre-press applications; eliminating the need for product trials to be run on production printing presses and enabling a user to set standard procedures.  Both the original FlexiProof 100 and newer FlexiProof UV can be used for quality control purposes; for R & D and computer colour matching, etc.

New High Speed Gravure Proofer (GP100) launched at IPEX

The IPEX show in Birmingham served as the launch pad for the introduction of the latest generation colour communication system from RK Print Coat Instruments – the quality control, product development and print/coat/ laminating technology specialist.

The K Gravure Proofer is a compact bench top device that enables users of press viscosity gravure ink to generate high quality proofs on any flexible substrate instantly.

The device incorporates a microprocessor- controlled servo-drive and employs the same electronically engraved printing plates that are used to great effect on the company’s revenue generating Printing Proofer system.

For more info click here.

University of Cork gives thumbs up to K202 Control Coater

To the uninitiated or those with only a minor knowledge of coating, the aims of a coating practitioner seem relatively easy to define: one must deposit a specially formulated fluid substance onto a high-speed (usually) web (substrate) and then dry it or cure it. If asked if that was all there was to coating, they would perhaps go on to say that the coating must be of a prescribed thickness, deposited in a uniform manner and in terms of appearance must be free of imperfections.

In practice coating is much more involved. It is an increasingly complex process directly and in-directly dependent upon many supply chain providers, including technology providers such as RK Print Coat Instruments Ltd, manufacturers of quality control, product monitoring and research and development devices and systems.

RK supply Renowned Blue-Chip Organisation with 3rd VCM

According to Tom Kerchiss, Managing Director of RK Print Coat Instruments, the colour communication and print/coat/laminate technology specialist: coating is a fast moving and more often than not a situation specific field, which can make it difficult for product manufacturers, their research and development personnel and for their suppliers – to be knowledgeable across the spectrum of technology.

For more info click here.

RK’s Offset & Flexo Colour communication device take the UV path at Lavelexpo

RK Print Coat Instruments Ltd, the colour communication and print/coat monitoring and product development technology specialist will show the NEW Paste Ink Proofer (PIP) with integrated UV curing capability at Labelexpo, Brussels – September 23rd -26th. The Paste Ink Proofer (PIP) with UV curing provides for quick, repeatable and highly accurate proofing of UV litho inks, UV web offset inks, UV letterpress inks and UV curable varnishes. The Paste Ink Proofer offers automated operation, eliminating the need to weigh or measure ink samples.

Hand Coaters donated to Worthy Cause

Sample preparation system and coating technology specialist RK Print Coat Instruments is to ship three K Hand Coaters to medical research centres in Africa.

Tom Kerchiss, RK Print Coat Instruments Managing Director says that one Hand Coater is to be supplied to the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology at Mbita Point, Kenya. The second Hand Coater is being supplied to the Ifrakara Health Institute in Tanzania, while the third, is scheduled for supply to the National Institute of Communicable Disease in South Africa.

For more info click here.

Repeat Business, 5th FlexiProof for Toyo Inks

No matter what sort of manufacture a company undertakes, when a customer places a repeat order, an OEM has a right to feel pleased, for by and large it means the system or equipment supplied is fit for purpose and that the customer is satisfied with overall performance. However, when a repeat order is followed by another, and then another – there is good cause to pause and wonder what makes the equipment supplied so special.

For more info click here.