GEW launches air-cooled LED

GEW has announced a fully air-cooled, high power UV LED system, called AeroLED, for full cure, printing, coating and converting applications up to 60cm wide.

GEW has developed this air-cooled AeroLED curing unit for narrow web presses up to 600mm wide.

Generally speaking, LEDs produce very little heat from the light source, which is one of the major benefits over conventional mercury lamps. However, the back of the LEDs where the connection junction is can get hot and this has to be controlled to maintain consistent output from the lamps and to realise greater light output as well as longer life. Most vendors offer a choice between water-cooling with a chiller system or air cooling, which can be active cooling with a fan or passive cooling with a heat sink. As a general rule, water cooling is more efficient because water is denser than air and so it can produce higher peak irradiance that’s suitable for both narrow and wide web presses. But the chiller system adds a level of complexity and therefore cost.

The new AeroLED uses the same LED chassis and core components as GEW’s existing LeoLED lamphead, but without the chiller system that’s used to cool the LeoLED heads. Instead, the AeroLED uses a single centralised fan that can be sited separately from the print units with the air filtered through the UV lamp heads. This avoids common problems caused by ink mist and dust ingress. The system uses large air filters to reduce the filter replacement cycle. Fans, unlike a chiller system, do have a reputation for creating noise but locating the fan off the press should help with this. It’s maximum operating temperature is 35ºC. 

The standard AeroLED produces 395nm wavelengths though 365nm, 385nm and 405nm LEDs are also available. It can produce 20W/cm² with a typical dose at 100mpm of 180 mj/cm². For comparison, the water-cooled LeoLED produces a typical dose of 270mj/cm² at 100mpm, with 30W/cm² irradiance at the window. Also, the AeroLED is limited to 600mm in length, suitable for narrow web presses, whereas the LeoLED can be up to 170cm. 

GEW claims that the AeroLED has a very low energy draw, typically less than 50-70 percent of a conventional UV arc system, a significant saving for anyone thinking of upgrading to LED UV curing. GEW says that the unit should have a life of more than 40,000 hours. 

It uses GEW’s standard cassette design, which should allow for easy maintenance. It works with GEW’s Rhino power supply and control range, which comes with IoT remote monitoring as standard.

Robert Rae, Managing Director of Sales at GEW, explains: “As AeroLED has GEW’s familiar E2C cassette design, upgrading an E2C system with Rhino/RLT power only requires switching to the AeroLED lampheads and the addition of a fan filter unit. All other components on press remain the same. This means that a retrofit upgrade can be implemented in as little as one day, and makes AeroLED the most cost-effective route to LED printing available, worldwide.” 

He adds: “Those new to GEW products will find the cost of a complete new AeroLED upgrade to be highly competitive, and something that pays for itself typically within two years through energy savings, not to mention the increased productivity that LED systems bring to press.”

Rae says that the market for LEDs is continuing to grow steadily, noting: “At GEW we are seeing a record number of orders across all system types and LED business significantly increasing from both OEMs and end customers alike. In the next two years, LED could reach 50 percent of GEW’s output and we are gearing up for this, with a recent major investment in further new UK production facilities.” 

The AeroLED is available now and you can find further details from

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