Combination CTS/LED exposure unit produces washout-ready screens .
M&R is billing its i-Image STE system as the first to combine computer-to-screen imaging with UV LED exposure, producing washout-ready screens from a single device. On the inward pass, the unit images an emulsion-coated screen using high-resolution inkjet heads and water-based UV-blocking inks to take the place of the film positive. On the return pass, a built-in UV LED system exposes the screen more quickly than traditional curing units and with less energy. Touting the ability for UV LED light sources to last for decades, unlike metal halide bulbs, M&R provides a limited lifetime warranty on the LEDs against failure in normal use.
The i-Image STE is available in two sizes. The STE 36 can accommodate screens up to 26 x 36 in. with a maximum image area of 20 x 23 in., while the STE 43 accepts screens up to 26 x 43 in. with a maximum image size of 20 x 30 in. Both units are available with a choice of one, two, or three printheads. M&R says the single-head unit can image up to 150 screens per 8-hr shift, while the three-head unit can process screens in as little as 30 sec and do up to 350 screens per shift.
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