Choosing the Right Ink Set for Your UV-LED Printing Projects

Steve Weist is the CEO at PDS Equipment. Steve started as a service technician installing Heidelberg and Komori offset presses. He has brought that level of precision into the UV inkjet world. Steve now focuses his efforts in the flatbed UV market because he feels it is unlimited and is the future of print and decoration. He can be reached at 615-812-3001 or steve@pdsequipment.com.

The ink set selected determines what products you will be able to produce and offer to your customers. (Ink sets can be swapped out if needed.)

One ink set will not cover everything; there is not a “do everything” ink. You will need to decide what your best opportunity is and gear up for that.  

I have the most experience using Mimaki UV printers, so I will go over those inks as examples of what each ink is best at. There are many other brands available: Direct Color Systems, Mutoh, Roland, ColDesi, LogoJET, and GCC all offer UV printers. It’s crucial that you do your research in order to determine which one is best for you and your business.

Mimaki LH 100 hard inks— these offer strong adhesion to glass, wood, crystal, acrylic, stainless steel, hard non-flexible plastics, aluminum, and endless other hard materials.

Mimaki LUS 150—150% flexible, and great for leather, thin plastics for IP applications, coroplast, cloth, direct print to textiles, POP displays that will need to be folded, and packaging that will be die cut and folded.

Mimaki LUS 350— 350% flexible, designed for thermo forming but works great on many other flexible applications. 

Each ink has sweet spots, and you need to test your products to determine what ink is the best fit for you and your customers. 

—Steve Weist, PDS Equipment

For more information on ink for UV printing, visit the January ’19 issue of A&E.