UV LED – The new superstar of printing technology

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Published 30 August 2019
In the last few years, UV LED printing has been making waves in the print industry. With faster turnaround times, increased efficiency and more versatile options, it’s no wonder this cutting edge method has quickly emerged as the industry’s new favorite. But what exactly is LED UV printing and how does it work? Continue reading for a crash course in UV LED!

An effective print – whether it be a brochure or catalogue – can make or break a sale, especially when it comes to luxury products. And, according to B&BPRESS, luxury is where UV LED printing truly shines. In UV LED printing, heat no longer plays a part in the drying process. Instead, it’s all based on photochemical reactions – light.

Koeni Bauer Rapida

This image by Adhesives & Sealants Magazine illustrates provides a quick overview on the science behind UV LED printing. The UV LED exposure causes a chemical reaction in the applied liquids – inks, coatings or adhesives. The exposure causes a chemical reaction in the liquids, making them harden instantly. Thanks to its consistency, the speed of the process, and the ability to print on a wide range of papers and materials, the method is perfect for luxury printing.


Now that we roughly understand how the technology works, what does it deliver besides increased consistency and speed? According to Koenig & Bauer, a whole lot. The world’s oldest still-active printing house has been one of UV LED’s pioneers, and sees the technology as the wave of the future.

These are just a few of UV LED printing’s benefits mentioned by Koenig & Bauer:

• Higher production speed
• Improved print quality on uncoated papers
• The elimination of odours and heat input into the substrate
• Waste and energy savings
• Reduced powder and coating consumption
• Less need for cleaning of post-press machines

UV LED dryer

UV LED dryer