Now that green printing is becoming a bigger issue in the printing industry, you should see what ultraviolet (UV) technology is doing.
UV allows green printers to use ink without toxins, unlike solvent-based ink. Because there are no solvents, UV inks can be successfully applied to both flexible and hard surfaces. As a result, more equipment manufacturers are introducing inkjet printers that use UV inks. Finally, because they’re UV inks, they’re actually weather resistant, which makes them ideal for long term outdoor use, unlike some vinyls and laminates.
With UV printing, you don’t have to mess with release liners, solvents, and lamination. Most traditional solvent-based inks have 60 – 70 percent solvents, which contain VOC toxins that have to evaporate off. In other words, 60 – 70 percent of the ink is being “wasted” in the printing process. Needless to say, having these solvents evaporating into the air isn’t good for your employees or the environment.
UV inks are environmentally friendly, because unlike solvent-based inks, 100 percent of the ink is used. UV ink is a two-part acrylic epoxy, the A part is the ink itself with recepters to be activated by the B part which is UV light. The UV rays from a light source quickly activate and start a cure process to harden the ink, rather than bieng evaporated like solvent based ink. UV ink is an instant cure (dry) process, which means no dry time, that means no wasted time. Some forget about that resource.
What about the quality?
In the Lloyds of Indiana shop, we have a wide format (sign) UV printer. It’s basically a giant inkjet printer. They’re great for printing photos and complex graphics to create signs and banners. Realtors can have their photo and large images of the on a sign to visualize the real estate, event organizers can create large outdoor exhibits and tradeshow displays.
Green technology isn’t just for the printing industry. Many business owners and executives are starting to ask themselves how they can make their products and services greener. With new advancements in technology, like UV ink, it’s becoming a question of when, not if, they can make it happen.