MET UV INKS
MET operates its plant at the highest environmental standards, using enviro-liquids and recycled paper stock whenever possible. The use of Ultra Violet (UV) inks for all products is now standard practice. Since their introduction into mainstream printing, UV inks have become a benchmark for environmental printing practices.
At MET, we use MET UV Energy Cured UV Inks. Energy Curing is the term that refers to inks and coatings that have been converted to a solid by exposure to radiant energy, such as ultraviolet (UV) light that binds the organic components almost entirely in the polymerization process. This technology has seen rapid advancement in the printing industry, and has been fully operational in our plant since 2004. These inks are a benchmark for environmental printing practices; they release no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) Emissions into the atmosphere — any waste, unused ink or coating is subsequently re-manufactured into black ink. In recent years, both local and state regulators in the U.S. and Europe have elevated their concerns about the harmful effects of VOC’s on workers and the public at large.
Since their introduction into mainstream printing, UV inks have become a benchmark for environmental printing practices. While complex to use, their environmental and quality benefits make it the right choice.
MET UV Inks not only improve the printing quality — the clarity and brightness offered is unsurpassed — but also produce faster make-readies, which significantly reduces the amount of paper and ink used.
The need for press wash ups and disposal of waste is dramatically reduced; fewer press passes require less energy. UV inks convert to a solid upon exposure to a short burst of UV light, and it is dry to the touch the moment it comes off the press. Thus, what you see is what you get on press. We can immediately convert to finished product in our bindery — saving time, space, and energy.
“The environmental benefits alone (for UV inks) are significant enough to believe that the government will eventually mandate that UV technology be fully adopted by the print industry. Even if you have a brand new press, be prepared to say good-bye if it uses old technology.”
GDC National eNews
“Without a doubt the most innovative technology in eliminating toxins from the printing process has been Ultra-Violet (UV) printing. Polymer-based UV printing inks trump traditional printing inks in lifecycle analysis. While this technology uses energy for curing the inks, the trade-off is sound, holding impressive results for the discriminating designer while pleasing the rational environmentalist. UV inks are virtually solvent and VOC free. This makes UV inks safe for workers, safe for the end user, and kinder to the planet. Unlike traditional inks that leach toxins into soil and water, UV inks bond directly to the substrate and stay put until recycled. And they offer stunning matte/gloss contrasts with virtually no dot gain.”
Demand for printing on tree-free surfaces such as wheat paper, styrene, plastic or metallized paper has increased. Printing on these surfaces is best accomplished with UV inks, adhesion is unsurpassed and UV inks typically prevent any leaching and cure with a much harder rub resistance.
UV Inks Are Better Because:
- Faster project turn around (we don’t have to wait and dry).
- MET UV inks release zero VOC’s (not low VOC, but ZERO VOC’s).
- UV inks are completely recyclable.
- UV inks enable stunning special effects and specialty finishes.
- UV inks sit on top of uncoated paper, NOT drying into it. Images are more vibrant and reproduction is superior to vegetable based inks.
- UV inks allow us to maintain a smaller physical footprint.
Our UV presses not only improve the printing quality, but also produce faster make-readies, significantly reducing the amount of paper and ink used. This also enables jobs to go straight from press to the bindery, thus reducing storage space that would otherwise be required for drying time. In addition, the UV dryer requires minimal floor space, making UV presses more space efficient. They also promote a healthier work environment for employees; the inks are safe to handle and MET no longer has the strong solvent smell that came from previous inks and required thinners.
In 2012, MET added a SUN Chemical MX12 Robotic Ink Dispenser. This unit will allow MET to reduce ink waste immediately – up to 15% – and minimize ink-related press downtime as well as increase our colour quality.
As a result of MET’s commitment to UV inks, our plant and office facilities are almost entirely free of greenhouse gas – one of the few printing facilities in North America.