Fujifilm’S Illumina Led-Uv Retrofit System Lowers Energy Use And Expands Production Capabilities At Beau Label
“Since Installing The Illumina System We Are Seeing Increased Press Running Speeds Upward Of 15 Percent Compared To Conventional Uv.” – Vincent ‘Vj’ Melapioni, President, Beau Label
Beau Label has been serving customers worldwide for over 50 years. So when it comes to providing custom printed labels to the food, beverage, wine and spirits, health and beauty, pet supplies, household and industrial products, it’s no wonder they are known as the label authority.
With a strong history of expansion, along with continuous adoption of new technologies, Beau Label, a third generation family-owned New Jersey-based print services provider, has realized steady growth under the leadership of Vincent ‘VJ’ Melapioni, Beau Label’s president.
So when Fujifilm introduced its new Illumina LED-UV retrofit system, VJ was quick to consider how the new technology could benefit his operation. Illumina, which represents the most powerful new or retrofit LED-UV curing system on the market, allows for increased productivity and cost savings compared to running water based drying or traditional UV curing.
The Illumina LED-UV cure is an instant on/off process, dramatically lowering the energy usage compared to conventional “always-on” UV mercury lamp curing. LED-UV also eliminates the costs generated by cooling air blowers, ozone extraction and heat makeup systems. The UV energy emitted at Illumina’s 20 percent power setting is the same as the 100 percent power setting of other LED-UV curing systems. Patented LED technology delivers up to 44 percent more energy toward the substrate, and the patented design produces less heat than competitive LED technologies.
Prior to its conversion, Beau Label was running 110 or 120 amps of 480 volt service to a press to run the UVs. With the Illumina, it is running 10 amps of 480 volt service. “That’s a significant savings,” says VJ.
“With our previous system, we had a noise factor due to the powerful blower extracting the heat, which was also taking out the (HVAC) heating and air conditioning,” Melapioni says. “Illumina has made a better working environment, which our operators appreciate. It’s quieter and more efficient to keep the temperature stable within our 30,000 square foot facility.”
And since Illumina is able to cure ink faster, Beau Label is also experiencing increased press speeds. “Since installing the Illumina system, we are seeing increased press running speeds upward of 15 percent compared to conventional UV,” Melapioni says. “I know it’s capable of more.” Beau Label will also be able to expand its substrate and application range with the new Illumina system. “Illumina will enable us to run shrink films without chill drum rollers,” Melapioni says.
“We are only a few months in, and that’s a possibility we are already entertaining.” Beau Label converted to Fujifilm’s 300 Series inks when it converted its UV presses to LED-UV. The more efficient design of Illumina is optimized with Fujifilm 300 Series flexo inks, and the inks are uniquely designed so that they perform equally well under LED-UV or conventional UV-arc curing.
“Fujifilm manufactures the (300 Series) ink, so in the unlikely event we have an ink issue, I’m not going to be told ‘it’s the lamps not the ink’. I know from experience that Fujifilm stands behind their high quality inks,” Melapioni says.
“With the Illumina system, we’ve had no issues with curing or adhesion on any substrate, and the ink colors are more vibrant.”
Beau Label, which opened its doors in 1967, was started by Melapioni’s father, who previously worked for his father’s offset business. Over the years, the business has grown through capital investments, acquisitions, real estate and its people. “My father and two of his partners started in the label business many years ago,” Melapioni says. “My father will soon be 78 years old, and he still comes in to work every day.”
The company employs more than 30 full-time employees, with many of them being long-term staffers—several with 30-plus years of service.
With continuous investment and expansion on the horizon, Melapioni looks forward to adding Illumina to his other presses in the near future. “Beau Label is always looking for more business. If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking, you’re going backward.”