Epson debuts new digital UV label press

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Epson has taken delivery of and installed Australia’s first high productivity SurePress L-6534VW industrial UV digital label press, at its new Experience Centre in Yennora, Sydney.

Performance and precision: Craig Heckenberg, CEO, Epson, with the news Epson Surepress L-6534-VW
Performance and precision: Craig Heckenberg, CEO, Epson, with the news Epson Surepress L-6534-VW

The new SurePress L-6534VW prints at speeds of up to 50 meters per minute for higher productivity, with Epson citing  the quality, ease of use, and potential for profitable printing as key factors. 

It uses wide gamut CMYK inks with a “high opacity”” white as standard, and includes what Epson says is an innovative in-line digital varnish, which delivers smooth gloss, matte and spot finishes.

Craig Heckenberg, CEO Epson ANZ said, "The investment in the new L6534-VW shows Epson is committed to the label market, and to the transition from analogue to digital. Label printers who install the new Surepress will benefit from perfomance, precision, and the ability to add value inline. It is based on the proven PrecisionCore technology, with a host of innoavtive features to deliver real value and opportunity."

 Label applications: Epson Surepress L6534-VW

Label applications: Epson Surepress L6534-VW

The L-6534VW label press combines Epson PrecisionCore printheads around a central impression drum, in conjunction with a narrow platen gap. Epson says it delivers precise droplet placement without web meandering or skewing. It says its LED pinning system also helps deliver finer tonal gradation and sharp images.

Epson’s proprietary Nozzle Verification Technology (NVT) and automatic head maintenance efficiently help the L-6534VW label press print through each shift without operator intervention.

As the L-6534VW label press supports a wide range of label applications including food and beverage, the labels it produces are also weather resistant. Durable labels on industrial products are a key target market.

Standard features for the L-6534VW include corona treater, web cleaner, ioniser and additional UV curing kit for increased ink adhesion on difficult substrates, all of which combine to help the press provide the highest level of versatility in print production.

Greetings from head office: Epson president Yasunori Ogawa spoke at the launch by video
Greetings from head office: Epson president Yasunori Ogawa spoke at the launch by video

According to Epson the PrecisionCore linehead is the key behind the high performance and reliability of the SurePress L-6534VW. Each of the six lineheads are comprised of PrecisionCore print chip modules (printheads), delivering what Epson says is precise quality with accuracy and high resolution.

Smooth and natural gradation and colour tone, from highlight to shadow, can be reproduced with 600 x 1200 dpi resolution, using a minimum droplet of 3 picolitres and Variable Sized Droplet Technology.

Epson says its PrecisionCore linehead, the “highly accurate” web feeding technology, and Epson-developed UV ink, enable high-speed printing up to 50 m/min with “high reliability and reduced down time”. It says the L-6534VW saves time on every job with its many automated and efficient productivity features.

Epson says its own LED UV pinning system semi-cures and stabilises, controlling ink spread for finer tonal gradation, sharp images and vivid colour. UV light is applied immediately after each colour is printed. This allows “perfectly round drops to be placed in their correct positions”.

According to Epson the Drum Platen is an accurate web feeding technology which prevents meandering and skewing of the web. The gap between the printhead and substrate is kept to a minimum, which enables accurate ink placement, for crisp text and fine lines.

Meandering and skewing of the web does not occur, because the substrate is held tightly around the drum. In comparison, the camber type platen of other presses requires manual adjustments when the substrate is changed, in cases such as Y-direction skew adjustment and colour adjustment (substantial waste of substrate). The SurePress registration adjustment is electronic.

The substrate is “fixed” to the drum, as it passes all printhead colours, hence it provides excellent colour-to-colour registration.

Nozzle verification technology is an automatic nozzle check system with “advanced” ink droplet detection technology. A drive signal is sent to the piezo actuator. The same piezo element is used as a sensor to measure the pattern of the residual vibration. The residual vibration is analysed in milliseconds, reporting the nozzle status. All nozzles are checked after cleaning and before printing. A manually printed nozzle check pattern is not required to check if a nozzle is firing.

Auto head maintenance cleans the nozzles automatically to eliminate manual cleaning during each shift. It is fully automatic with no operator intervention required. Wash fluid is sprayed on the head surface and then the head is cleaned
automatically with the cleaning wiper. The auto self-head maintenance function cleans heads periodically to avoid nozzle clogging based on print duty cycle and results of the nozzle verification test. After maintenance, the press returns to printing again with no operator interaction or interruption in job sequence.

The operational status of the SurePress is monitored using a remote monitoring server. The L-6534VW has an extensive network of sensors which feed into a diagnostic system. This allows, at any time, a quick response and predictive
analysis, all done in advance of a repair visit.

The L-6534 has the Epson innovative digital varnish ink. A gloss or matte finish can be printed selectively as a varnish. High value and appealing accents can be added to lift the visual appearance of specific areas. The different finishes are achieved by changing the way the digital varnish is jetted from the printhead.

Epson says this means brand owners now have digital flexibility with spot varnishes. Digital varnish delivers smooth and even gloss, matte and spot finishes. The auto gloss varnish control function enables the appropriate amount of digital varnish to be applied to select areas according to the amount of WCMYK ink. The company says this achieves a smooth, even and glossy finish.

The single-pass high-opacity white ink provides “high-density performance” equivalent to screen printing and the ”ideal base layer” for printing vivid colour on clear or metalised substrates. The bright white ink also gives the ability to print opaque, fine text and lines, even when printing clear labels for clear packaging. It offers the flexibility to print white on top of colours.

Clear film can be printed with colour ink first, followed by white ink using a printing method that allows you to view the results from the back of the film (reverse printing).

L-6534VW has a function to rewind the substrate. To print white over colour (reverse print) on clear film, you can rewind and print without replacing (returning rewind to unwind manually) the roll. Waste of substrate is reduced by resuming printing after proofing by simply rewinding and resuming printing.

Epson label inks reach major milestones in Food Contact Materials compliance. Epson inks used in SurePress inkjet label presses are compliant with EU Regulation framework (FCM EC No. 1935/2004), Good Manufacturing Practices Regulation (GMP EC No. 2023/2006), Plastics Implementation Measure Regulation (PIM EU 10/2011) and included in Swiss Ordinance (SR 817.023.21) on Food Contact Materials for food packaging printing inks.

A high concentration of pigment particles and UV pinning, which prevents ink drops from spreading or deforming, enables wide gamut and vivid colours. Wide gamut enables the reproduction of a wide range of desired colours that brand owners require. Epson says the gamut volume of L6534VW is larger than printing standards of offset coated paper like Fogra, GracoL and Japancolor.

You can get a demonstration of the new SurePress L-6534VW industrial UV digital label press at Epson’s Experience Centre in Yennora by contacting Epson Australia here.

The new Epson SurePress L-6534VW is shipping now, and for more information on Australian sales contact Epson Australia or for sales in New Zealand contact Aarque.

Under the hood: Terry Crawford gets into the new Surepress L6534-VW
Under the hood: Terry Crawford gets into the new Surepress L6534-VW
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