Find out how UV LED exposure units can speed up your production and increase your efficiency!
The popularity of UV LED exposure units has increased rapidly since they were introduced to the screen printing market only a few years ago. If you haven’t upgraded to a UV LED exposure unit in your screen printing shop, you’ve likely considered whether a new exposure unit would be worth the investment. In making your decision, it helps to understand the benefits of these newer exposure units and what your shop stands to gain from an upgrade.
Ask any screen printer why they chose to upgrade to a UV LED exposure unit, and the first reason they’ll give is faster exposure time. UV LED lights offer a targeted exposure experience. The units emit UV light in a specific wavelength range, generally somewhere between 390 and 405 nanometers. When you pair your UV LED exposure unit with an emulsion that will cure within your LED range, full screen exposure will happen in a matter of seconds. In addition, UV LED exposure units require no warm up time, unlike metal halide units which can take a few minutes to warm up. Those factors can increase the rate at which your shop exposes screens, from just a few screens an hour, depending on what type of exposure unit you’re currently using, to as many as 50 or more screens an hour. If you feel like your shop’s production is slowed down by the amount of time it takes you to expose screens, you stand to gain significant productivity with a UV LED exposure unit.
Another major benefit to shops in switching to UV LED exposure units is lower energy usage. Most UV LED exposure units consume around 100 watts of power, compared with around 10,000 watts for a high-efficiency metal halide unit. This, of course, can save your screen printing shop money on your monthly energy bills, but there are other benefits. With lower energy requirements, UV LED exposure units can be plugged into standard outlets, rather than requiring the installation of a 220 outlet. That allows you to set up your shop in the most efficient way without requiring an electrician to ensure that your shop has been wired specifically to accommodate the unit. If you choose to rearrange your shop in the future, you won’t have to worry about relocating your exposure unit based on where there is an adequate energy source.
When you invest in a UV LED exposure unit, you can trust that your exposure unit will last for years without requiring bulb replacement and without impacting your exposure process. The long lifespan of LED lights can save you hundreds of dollars each year over traditional exposure units. And unlike other types of light sources, UV LED lights won’t degrade over time. Where other light sources will weaken over time and require adjustments to your exposure times, UV LED exposure units will maintain their initial strength year after year without impacting your exposure process.
UV LED exposure units truly have been an industry changing technology, due to the many benefits they bring to the screen printing exposure process. They stand to lower your exposure time, provide you with crisper stencils and save your shop money through lower energy usage and long-lasting bulbs that don’t wear down over time. Determining whether it’s time for your screen printing shop to upgrade to a UV LED exposure unit means looking at the benefits and seeing how they would improve your operations and, likely, your efficiency and profitability.