KBA sheetfed LED-UV drying technology now modular

KBA VariDry LED-UV Technology.
KBA VariDry LED-UV Technology.

KBA’s research and development team in Germany, along with its ink partners, have successfully integrated instant cure-to-print technology as a modular, interchangeable LED-UV curing platform into its press line. Called VariDry LED-UV, the system’s notable advantages include:

  • Low energy costs to power LED-UV – a savings “up to 50%” in power consumption and energy costs versus conventional UV dryers.
  • No heat on the printed sheet, thus eliminating distortion of plastic substrates.
  • No spray powders or other chemicals.
  • Yields “more than 15 times” the lifespan of conventional lamps.
  • Flexibility to easily move LED-UV lamps interchangeably on press depending printing applications.
  • Inks can be cured at “up to 340%” total coverage at standard densities.
  • All stock types can be utilized – including gloss and matte coated papers, uncoated offset papers, paperboard for packaging, non-porous synthetic papers, foil-laminated sheets, and plastics such as lenticular as well as most plastic packaging, card and label stocks.
  • Environmental and safety benefits. UV, HUV, HR-UV or LED-UV all rely on mercury lamps. LED eliminates the risk of mercury or ozone contamination and is 100% compliant with future bans on mercury for human safety.

“We’re at the forefront in this rapidly-accelerating transition to LED-UV drying as this new technology gains fast acceptance,” said Chris Travis, KBA Director of Technology (pictured previously). “KBA is the only large-format press manufacturer that can offer LED hybrid presses using both traditional UV and LED-UV processes. We are also the only large-format press manufacturer that produces its own dryer. This means the KBA VariDry system is fully integrated into the press – allowing for easy operation no matter if it’s infrared, hot air, traditional UV, HR UV or LED-UV. KBA has been supplying traditional UV long perfecting presses for a number of years and, with the introduction to LED-UV, the process is a perfect fit for perfecting configurations. Over the last year, ink development has increased and we’re now seeing a number of suppliers offering LED UV inks. We continue to test and help to develop new products at our headquarters in Germany to provide valuable feedback and recommendations for our customers,” he added.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.