Why Print is so much more than just printing
Innovations at LONGO: UV-Offset printing and SPECTRA7
There’s printing, and then there’s Print – and there are so many good reasons why we rarely refer to ourselves as mere “printers” .We spoke with Robert Berlanda, Technical Manager Print & Service at LONGO, about the new terminology, changes in the printing sector and our new innovative UV Offset and SPECTRA 7 print technology.
These days we tend to use the English “Print” rather than the German equivalent, ”Druck.” Why is that?
Well, it’s probably mainly due to internationalisation and modernisation. We work together with companies from all over the world and the entire printing process has now become digitalised, leading to a tendency to use English terminology. A further reason – at least in our case – is the spectrum of activities and skills the world of print comprises nowadays: while in the past, “Druck,” or “print,” referred only to the printing process itself, the word “print” today encompasses all the processes from start to finish, including pre and post-production.
Thanks to our significant investment in R&D, here at LONGO we are extremely well-positioned in every sector of Print. We have become much faster and more flexible in terms of putting our clients’ requests into practice; consultation is more rapid, and production times are shorter. New technology also allows us to create complex products in fewer steps .
What is possible today that was unthinkable in the past?
Today you can order a product online and have the final result in two hours, a concept beyond all imagining five years ago. Together with high-performance software, e.g. the Marketing Toolbox, companies can now respond to requests in the shortest time possible, and bring the flexibility of online life into the real world.
Furthermore, the time-consuming, tedious phases of prepress proofing and adjustment have been vastly simplified. Nowadays, an efficient prepress phase in the initial stages allows us to access and import data directly in the subsequent phases (plate production, printing).
Currently, we’re focussing first and foremost on improving the results. Techniques developed by LONGO, such as Spectra 7 and new technology, such as LE-UV printing (Low Energy) make it possible to create complex products in vastly reduced times and with fewer phases.
What does LE-UV printing consist of?
The special feature of UV offset printing is that photoactive inks are used in the printing phase which, the second they come into contact with paper, are immediately dried and fixed by ultraviolet light. This cuts out the drying process, making it possible to move on to the next phase immediately. Additionally, we no longer need to lacquer coat the surface, and can print even on highly-absorbent materials.
Thank you for the explanation! Robert Berlanda tells us more about changes in the printing industry in this blog post: What does a Technical Manager Print & Service at LONGO do?
So what is UV offset printing, exactly? Let’s take a look:
Here’s how UV offset printing works:
Greater brilliancy and more intense colour vibrancy – that’s what we can achieve with UV-offset print. This print technique delivers pictures with enhanced three-dimensionality, vividness and motif depth. Our innovative inline method enables combinations of matt and glossy varnishes in UV-offset printing.
UV curing technology converts all the component parts of the paint or varnish into a strong polymer compound, which allows them to harden rapidly. Unlike conventional inks, the UV inks used in this process do not contain components that oxidize or evaporate, but rather contribute directly towards polymerization. The UV ink is, therefore, 100% embedded within the dry colour layer.
UV offset printing opens up entirely new opportunities for our customers: This technique allows us to print on an incredibly wide range of materials, such as thin films or adhesive sheets, which would otherwise be too sensitive to heat or prone to deformation,
In contrast to matte film lamination, inline UV coating enables even the smallest of print details to be highlighted. Exact-fit cut-outs and perforations can also be performed in one single phase, thanks to our state-of-the-art printing presses. UV LED lamps also contribute to speeding up our work processes, as there are no drying times between finishing and painting.
And we can protect the environment at the same time: Our UV LED lamps are streets ahead of normal lamps as they consume 60% less power, and contain neither mercury nor ozone.
LONGO’s UV offset printing technology brings ultra-high quality together with efficiency and environmental awareness. And last but not least, this technology offers superb value for money. Why not see for yourself!