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UV vs Latex Printing

UV vs Latex Printing

The large-format print industry is evolving rapidly and experiencing growth & change with the influx of technologies in the market.

The big question is -which of these technologies to invest in?

The ongoing need for sign companies and print service providers to enrich their product offerings, deliver their output in a shorter time window, and improve their profitability is a key drive.

UV Printers offer many benefits in LFP market. UV Curable printing always offers opportunities to reduce the impact of printing on the environment relative to solvent based printing. It is still considered to be fast growing technology in the wide format market.

UV printers are excellent for any application which involves the printing of a variety of substrates. The inks are cured and fixed with UV light. Both flexible roll materials and single sheets, but also rigid print media and even glass can be printed on. Latex printers require preprint and post print heaters to cure the media, resulting in higher energy consumption compared to other inkjet technologies. Some substrates may buckle under the higher temperatures.

Main Advantages of UV Printers over Latex:

1. UV Curing provides more Print options in various substrates
2. Lower Picolitre drop sizes compared to Latex
3. Less Maintenance
4. Less consumables
5. Less Operating Cost
6. Reduced Material Cost
7. Less Downtime in production vs a Full day in Latex
8. 1-2 or even fewer print heads to be replaced compared to 20 to 30 printheads in Latex over its life.
9. Ink Yield is 25 to 30 % more
10. Ink consumption is cheaper than latex.
11. Less Power consumption.
12. Lower cost per sqm.

According to a survey, print service providers have started shifting their buying preference more towards UV printers than latex. (50% favoured UV while 32% indicated to purchase Latex).

Latex inks have a limited choice of materials because the ink must be fixed under heat. However, UV ink dries instantly, which makes it excellent for non-absorbent substrates such as PVC, carton, wood, aluminium, glass, and ceramics, and substrates can be stacked, rolled, and finished immediately after printing. UV inks are also suitable for Printing on rigid and uncoated print media. UV Prints are extremely durable (UV-resistant, water-resistant, scratch-resistant), gives true colour output and exceptionally high quality. It is generally possible to print much faster using UV ink than with aqueous or solvent inks.

Get in touch with us to know more about new technologies in the Print & Advertising sector. Our experts are here to help.