UV printing involves printing direct to substrates and curing the ink with UV lamps; the high intensity UV lights create a chemical reaction in the UV reactive inks which dries the inks immediately. This differs from solvent printing where the solvents evaporate into the air and are absorbed into the coating of the substrate. With UV printing the ink sits ontop of the substrate rather than being absorbed into the substrate.
There are a few main advantages to UV printing over solvent and aqueous printing. As the ink is dry once it has been printed, the whole manufacturing process is sped up as other methods require a short waiting period before they can be cut.
As the ink sits ontop of the substrate it means that materials don’t need to have a specific coating to be printed on – this opens up the possibilities of materials that can be printed on, such as wood, plastic and PVC. It also reduces the print cost as specialist coated materials are more expensive than uncoated materials.
Another big advantage of UV printing is that the inks are very flexible so we can print, crease and cut materials such as cardboard and display board without any cracking in the ink. This reduces the piece rate cost of many products as they don’t need to be laminated or have paper mounted onto the boards and because we don’t need to run the extra process of lamination or mounting it also speeds up the production time. A lot of our products that are printed using a UV process are therefore quicker and cheaper than other printing methods.