Sign & Digital Graphics

February '18

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36 • February 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS How long can you safely store UV-curable inks, and what conditions are best for ink storage? Eicher says inks do expire after one year from date of manufacture. "Each bottle is labeled with a manufacture date, expire date and a batch number to ensure that expired ink is not inserted into a machine. The inks are ideally stored at temperatures between 0 and 30 degrees C. The temperature may exceed these limits by 10 degrees C for short terms (a few days)." "Shelf life and ink storage can and does vary widely depending on manu- facturer and chemical composition of the ink itself," says Conrad. "Typical shelf life of UV LED inks is generally 12 to 18 months. It is also recommended that you store UV LED inks in the same environ- mental conditions as your printer. This will help maintain the most consistent output when it's time to print." "UV-cure ink does have a shelf life," Goodearl says. "Light-blocking contain- ers prevent ambient cure (turning solid), however like any mixture in suspension, parts can separate and settle if not agi- tated periodically. To prevent accidental damage and to ensure consistent uptime, printing companies should only use inks recommended for their particular device." Goodearl points out that specifically to EFI's inks, the inks should be stored indoors tightly capped at a temperature between 41 and 104 degrees F, with rela- Other ink system issues to consider include printhead maintenance, timely filter replacement and following the recommended mainte- nance procedures for daily, weekly and monthly tasks. Pictured is the Novus Ultra 3200. (Image courtesy of Novus Imaging) Mutoh's Dave Conrad says that improved viscosity means that inks now jet easier and more freely, resulting in less clogging and less daily maintenance. (Image courtesy of Mutoh America) EFI's Mark Goodearl points out that a big development has been in the application of UV LED inkjet printing in the corrugated space, with EFI's new Nozomi corrugated board press. (Image courtesy of EFI)

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