Sun NEO UV-LED Evolution UV-curable printer with LED curing lamps Print
Sun Booth whit printers reviews and examples
LED UV curing printer of Sun LLC in their booth at FESPA 2008

At each trade show the Sun NEO UV-LED Evolution has new improved features. The first iteration was shown at FESPA Digital in Geneva, in early May. By the end of the month an upgraded version was shown at DRUPA ‘08.

The booth of Sun LLC was in the same hall as Durst Rho, so clearly Sun is rising in prestige on the international scene.

Unfortunately, then the economic crisis hit the world, including Russia. So most printer companies have down-sized a bit. So at FESPA 2009, most of the people I knew from Sun LLC in earlier years were not there any more. One of their former key people was, by coincidence, in the booth of KonicaMinolta printheads about 20 meters away from Sun LLC.

The Evolution printer features ten KonicaMinolta printheads and double the number of LED-curing modules as past models. The electronics offer new features too, especially so the operator, and also the printshop manager, can know what is going on remotely. On the November ’08 version the LED lamps are slightly off-set from each other.

Sun now has distributors in some European and Middle Eastern countries. Technoplot for Germany is one example, Summo for Spain, and their distribution now extends to Australia: Advanced Sign Supplies. The most active distributor is in the UK. But there is no distributor for Sun LLC in the US or Canada.

Sun NEO UV-LED Evolution, LED UV curing lamps
Some samples in raised relief by the Sun NEO UV-LED. FESPA Amsterdam, 2009.

There is not yet a FLAAR Report on the Sun NEO UV-LED Evolution because it has not been possible to organize a visit to the new factory. When I was in the Sun factory and ink labs two years ago the LED Evolution was not yet finished. I will need to return in order to finish an evaluation.

I would have preferred to update the FLAAR Reports for 2009 on the LED-curing system from Russia, but since this has not been possible, I accepted an invitation to visit Summit UV LED company in Indiana, in June 2009, a week or so after FESPA Digital Europe '09. Summit has exhibited at several trade shows in the US. The LED system of Summit is worth looking at.

Although the Inca Spyder 150 is the first functioning printer to use LED curing lamps, that is a dedicated flatbed. Sun’s NEO UV-LED Evolution is the first combo system to employ UV curing lamps in a production printer at wide-format sizes.

Sun NEO UV printer’s LED lamps can print on glass and other materials

Most industry people are skeptical of LED curing. So all kinds of myths have grown up, such as “The…. brand UV printer with LED lamps can print only on paper…” (I heard this recently). So I went to check on the LED curing printers at VISCOM Germany, mid-November 2008.

The NEO UV-LED Evolution printer from Sun LLC exhibited samples printed on diverse materials, especially glass. The printer is precise enough to accomplish 16 passes twice over the same area to raise up a 2-dimensional coating of ink. This is a 3-dimensional effect that beats the Roland LED-300.

Sun NEO UV-LED Evolution UV-curable printer reviews
The Sun NEO UV-LED Evolution, LED UV curing lamps, glass, Plexiglas, acrylic
Sun NEO UV-LED Evolution UV-curable printer with LED Curing Lamps at FESPA 2008.

Sun NEO UV-LED Evolution evaluations
The Sun NEO UV-LED Evolution UV-curable printer showing some samples at DRUPA 2008.

LED UV-curing for the future

Dilli has been exhibiting LED-curing on their UV printers discretely for several years. They do not yet list LED lamps in their brochures, but if you look carefully at their printers at some trade shows, you can see they are using LED-curing occasionally.

Phoseon, Dr Honle, Integration Technology and all the other companies are moving ahead with LED curing. This is why FLAAR makes the effort to learn about LED-curing for UV-curable wide-format inkjet printers, since many manufacturers come to FLAAR to ask which brand of LED lamps to consider.

Summit Black Diamond UV: specializing in advanced UV LED curing technology.

Since the engineers, owners, Directors, and staff of Sun LLC has worked hard on becoming the first and only Russian producer of UV-cured printers, FLAAR would be open to inspecting their new facilities outside Novosibirsk, or doing a demo-room testing of their printer in a distributor in western Europe or the UK. But since that has not yet been organized, we have continued to inspect other LED-cured systems elsewhere in the world. The hybrid Mimaki UJV-160 uses LED curing lamps and both Mimaki USA and Mimaki Europe have been hospitable, since our Technical Writers rather obviously need access to the printer. It is estimated that the LED lamps used by Mimaki come from Japanese sources.

The Roland LEC-300 uses LED curing lamps, but they put varnish over all prints so there is no way to know whether the LED ink is fully cured, or not. This is why FLAAR does not issue any recommendation on this Roland UV printer until we can visit the factory demo room or at least a headquarters demo room. But a helpful booth attendant at Photokina 2008 facilitated a FLAAR inspection of the LED-curing Roland printer at this German trade show last year, so we have an initial report.

In both cases these are among the only actual evaluations by experienced Technical writers. 99% of what is written on UV printers elsewhere is simply PR releases.

 

Plenty of other hybrid UV-curable flatbeds are available: ColorSpan HP Designjet, DEC Legend 72HUV, Neolt, etc.

Plus you may want to read the FLAAR Report on classifications of UV printers to understand the difference between a hybrid and a combo and a true flatbed.

 

Most recently updated June 18, 2009, after FESPA Digital Europe in May.

June 19, 2008, after DRUPA. Updated November 5, 2008, after VISCOM Germany.