"Green" large format printing pays dividends
Purchasers of large format print systems focus mainly on aspects such as productivity, application possibilities or investment costs and profitability. However, sustainability is gaining ground as a criterion – not only due to corporate values but also because it is increasingly seen as a social and political requirement. The good news: you can achieve the above-mentioned criteria by making sustainable changes and with careful use of resources.
Here are five sustainable approaches to consider when assessing a large format printer:
Ink and curing systems determine whether there are more or less emissions. When selecting inks, it pays to avoid solvent-based systems. This eliminates the need for ventilation systems that entail additional investment and operating costs. Emissions can be kept to defined limits by using low-pollutant or certified inks – such as Greenguard. In return, this opens up a wide range of applications because the printed products can also be used in sensitive environments.
Systems with LED lamps also offer more advantages for UV printing than mercury vapour lamps, which have to be disposed of as hazardous waste because of their composition. They also have shorter service lives than LED lamps, so operating costs are higher.
Use energy efficiently
Large format printers are operated with electricity and it should be used as efficiently as possible. ISO 20690:2018 sets standards here. The example of UV printing shows that LED systems also perform very well here as their power demand is low and they give off almost no heat. Room air conditioning and heat-sensitive media are the keywords. Another factor is that – unlike mercury vapour lamps – LED lamps do not have a warm-up phase, so they are only switched on and using energy for the actual curing process.
As well as drive systems, computers and monitors, significant power consumers also include vacuum pumps which are used to hold the media down securely in flatbed and hybrid printing. Underpressure-controlled vacuum systems reduce their speed as soon as the required underpressure has been reached which, in addition to saving energy, minimises noise pollution.
Use machines with long service lives
Manufacturing a printer leaves an ecological footprint behind due to the materials built into the machine and the energy used for transport and production, and all these activities generate emissions. Therefore, the longer the machine is operated, the more this impact will be offset. And the same applies to the investment costs.
Opt for low-maintenance equipment
CO2 emissions are also influenced by the frequency of service calls and consumable parts that need replacing. Reliable, low-maintenance machines keep emissions down because travel, transport and the consumption of resources are minimised. And this has a side effect in terms of business management as users can plan and calculate downtimes and costs.
The examples given above show that a sustainable strategy boosts profitability. Moreover, many governments now subsidise environment-friendly solutions. Germany, for example, offers support for energy-efficient printing systems at Federal State level. The process may involve some effort on research and paperwork but will be valuable long-term.
When purchasing a new large format printer, it, therefore, pays to consider the sustainability aspect – at multiple levels. Last but not least, an active contribution to environmental protection is also an image factor that can then be marketed.
swissQprint users generate high value while keeping their ecological footprint small. That is because we see equal importance in maximum customer benefit and environmental protection. For more information, visit swissQprint at FESPA Global Print Expo 2022 on stand 1.2-C30 where you can attend live demos of the latest innovations from swissQprint, including the generation 4 flatbed that sets new standards in terms of output quality, and neon inks for dazzling signage.
Register to attend the event at www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com and use code FESM212 to save €30 on your entry.