Empire Screen Printing, a manufacturer of screen printed products, works with suppliers throughout the industry to replace traditional solvent-based inks and mercury UV-cured inks with a more sustainable option.
Developed to replace UV curing via mercury bulbs, UV LED curing technology is now used across 80% of Empire’s business. UV LED is 98% more energy efficient than traditional UV mercury curing. The combination of UV and LED in the manufacturing process doesn’t produce ozone emissions or harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), eliminating the need for ventilation systems to cope with irritants and pollutants. The curing process uses light, instead of heat, allowing the company to print on thinner substrates and eliminate material distortion.
“Now that we’ve developed this LED curing technology, we’ve learned that there is simply no downside to sustainable printing and production,” says John Freismuth, president of Empire Screen Printing. “The end product is of the same or greater quality, which, thanks to our ongoing process improvements, is exceptionally high.”
With their exclusive registration system, Empire’s UV LED press holds mechanical tolerances of .001” and can hold color-to-color registration between .005” - .007”, which can improve efficiency in quality and lead times for customers.
The UV LED ink curing technology has many advantages. The company says this technology provides a healthy working environment for employees. Another advantage is the reduction in energy and HVAC demands on the company.
“The benefits to our manufacturing process and the cost savings are great side effects to achieving our primary goal of protecting employees,” says Freismuth. “By taking steps to protect our employees, we have also managed to protect the environment and provide sustainably-printed products to customers. The efficient processes we’ve developed means we can offer more environmentally-friendly products to our customers without any additional cost.”
For more information, visit www.empirescreen.com.