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UV Printer & Prints Making us Sick

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by Gocutouts, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Gocutouts

    Gocutouts New Member

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    Mar 19, 2020
    Cleveland Ohio
    I wanted to reach out & see if anyone had any problems with UV printed products making them sick. We bought a new Roland LEF 300 back in November & we just started our first major production run. We are using ther Eco UV 4 Ink. We have the printer setup with a BOFA Filter that gets vented outside. The finish products are literately making me & my staff sick. When we first started using the printer making a few items a week it was fine. Now that we are ramping up the overall smell from the products is horrible, they smell of straight chemicals. We have products that still smell weeks later. We have had customers complain & return several items. We stopped shipping products and removed all products from our Office & have them sealed up in our warehouse.

    Has anyone else had an issue like this ?? I seen a few post from 2015-16 about this same topic.
    We are printing on Baltic Birch Plywood & Painted MDF Board. We are printing wood textures on them. We contacted our sales rep & he stated hes never seen this problem before & several customers run multiples of these units in small spaces.

    Any Help would be Greatly Appreciated
     
  2. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    I've never had prints on wood, but when you order coroplast signs from Signs365 they are UV printed, and we used to have a nearby supplier that used an HP UV flatbed, and they all stink. Never got sick from them but when we get a box of 18x24's it makes the front room of the shop stink until the customer takes them away.
     
  3. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    Yup UV prints stink, whenever we get UV printed products in from a wholesaler the shop stinks for days. I don't know if it's harmful but it's noticeable.
     
  4. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    Our Arizona prints smell for a couple of days until fully cured then no smell.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. thomlov

    thomlov Member

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    Jun 8, 2012
    Norway
    Hey!

    Try putting more power on your UV curing lamps. If it's not possible to adjust the power, you can try printing with more passes and less ink for each pass.
    If that's not possible you can try adjusting profile to lay less ink. It will affect your colors but if it's a case of not being able to print...

    I don't know about you materials, but remember, any material that is porous where ink can go places beyond the surface, the UV curing lamps isn't curing properly. It's just not possible with the technology.

    This is generic advice for UV ink, i don't know your printer.
     
  6. Ldireprophil

    Ldireprophil Member

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    Mar 29, 2018
    Atlanta
    Interesting. I have a HP UV flatbed, and when it goes through it’s automatic printhead maintenance cycle you can smell the ink...especially when standing next to the machine but otherwise no noticeable smell. Maybe because I have a 4,000sf open floor shop with high ceilings?? I also keep yard signs up on my customer pickup counter at the front and never smell them.
     
  7. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    Sep 3, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Our Colorado’s prints are pretty stinky. Luckily 95% of the stuff we do is laminated so that deals with that. I did make a 60” x 40” canvas that was smelly upon putting my face up at it, but it was only smelly for ~1 week. We do have quite a large space though.

    are you certain everything is curing properly etc?
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. CMYKENGINEERING

    CMYKENGINEERING Member

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    Jul 29, 2015
    Santa Monica
    FYI the prints are stinky because the chemical solvent is air drying. Only very ink heavy prints do not fully cure under UV lamps. There are, however, UV inks that barely smell at all.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. WYLDGFI

    WYLDGFI Merchant Member

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    Linden, NJ
    Just to compare.....Our UV printer has no significantly noticeable smell to it thankfully. Our old printer from EFI was terrible and when we ran heavy volume, it had to be vented. Our newer printer is great. It have very little odor upon finishing the prints and we are not required to vent it. We have more issue running our 1500 latex printers on banner and such where the vapor accumulates esp. with heavy ink coverages. We have to open windows or turn the overhead vent fans on for those.
     
  10. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

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    We run an Oce Arizona w/ 256 series ink, Roland XR-640 w/ Nazdar ink, and a Mimaki UCJV w/ LUS-170 ink. I think the Mimaki ink is the worst out of the bunch and I do notice having a sore throat after running solid coverage prints all day.

    I've looked into standalone air scrubbers in the past but haven't come across one I was completely satisfied with. I think the best solution would be to have ducts running up to each individual printer but haven't had a chance to price this out.

    Regarding the OP's issue - if the prints are that bad after printing, I would be looking into curing issues. Depending on the inkset you can still smell most UV inks even after they're cured but if they're making you and your staff ill I suspect they're not curing properly/entirely.

    Stay safe out there.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Jun Lanon

    Jun Lanon Member

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    I've worked with different uv flatbeds and from my experience Roland flatbed smells the worst. I am using Stratojet and no smell at all compared to others.
     
  12. Gocutouts

    Gocutouts New Member

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    Mar 19, 2020
    Cleveland Ohio
    Wow Thank you All for the advise and helpful comments - We found the problem to be when we are printing on wood it has a huge odor. We did some test prints on a few other Surfaces (Granite & Acrylic) & the odor was almost none existent. We have a service tech coming out today to give the machine a quick look over. We literally used the machine for months printing on wood without issue but now it horrible. I wonder if the UV Lamp strength in this machine fades over time (Not sure if thats even a possibility). Our Sales Rep also mentioned maybe our Plywood supplier is using a new chemical in the wood causing a reaction in the wood to take place. We might try sealing our products & see if there is still a strong smell.
     
  13. Jun Lanon

    Jun Lanon Member

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    Oct 9, 2018
    California
    If you are using a mercury vapor uv lamp, yes it fades. Usually those types of lamps have a 600 hours lifespan and cost an arm and a leg. I've been printing on all types of wood using an LED UV lamps. The lamps lifespan I'm using is 23,000 hours. Let me know if you would like to save and I can provide you info on helping you on productivity, durability and quality.
     
  14. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

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    Apr 6, 2018
    Winnipeg
    UV bulbs do lose curing power over time like Jun said, but I believe those Roland LEF's use LED's which last much longer.

    Unless you've got thousands of hours on them already, and based on what your sales rep said, it is possible the substrate is what has changed. If nothing else has changed (inkset? lamp settings? amount of coverage?) then the wood would be worth investigating.

    Good luck, let us know how you make out.
     
  15. Gocutouts

    Gocutouts New Member

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    Mar 19, 2020
    Cleveland Ohio
    We have a repair tec stop out & he says all odors and smells are normal for UV printing. Maybe we where getting lucking in the beginning with the low amount of odor. My employee & my self might also be more sensitive to the odors now, all of my other employees say it does have a smell but it doesn't affect them negatively. Working on a enclosed air out chamber now hoping that will help as well. Machine doesn't have many hours on it & Prints are coming out perfect so we ruled out a curing issue. A few of us must be more sensitive to UV Inks than others. Ill post if we find a final solution.
     
  16. Bernie Morissette

    Bernie Morissette Imagine

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    Mar 11, 2020
    Vancouver, BC
    I ran Arizona's for years and now a Mimaki. I am wondering if it's the MDF substrate you mentioned? I know that stuff is of an unhealthy composition. (Formaldehyde causes cancer)

    https://www.epa.gov/formaldehyde/fr...ds-composite-wood-products-act#health effects

    As operators we never really noticed the smell of our print room, but customers and suppliers would sometimes mention it. We were printing primarily on plastics.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  17. Brett Groves

    Brett Groves New Member

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    Dec 5, 2019
    Syracuse, NY
    I run a Mimaki flatbed. Have done many days of full coverage printing consecutively and never encountered an odor strong enough to cause nausea. You said the issue might be the wood. Did you start to experience the increased odor after a new shipment of substrate? I recall working in a framing crating shop when a new load of material came. There were some that had a VERY strong odor. enough to make my eyes water and throat soar. Perhaps the UV light or heat from the bulb is reactivating the chemical binders in the substrate which are highly caustic. I used to do screenprint UV and whenever we printed on highly absorbent material the drying would always be problematic. The light has a hard time penetrating down into the surface to cure the ink that is absorbed. Outgassing took significantly longer.
     
  18. artisJet UV printer

    artisJet UV printer New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    China
    UV ink will have a very bad taste before drying, this taste comes from the UV chemical monomer, usually the japanese produced UV ink taste will be relatively large, of course, there are also many very small odor UV ink, usually some UV opportunity built-in air purification system to solve this problem, Or recommend you install an air purifier around the UV printer.
    [​IMG]

    Mars Chan
    artisJet inkjet printing technology co.,ltd
    flatbed printer supplier
     
  19. CVS

    CVS New Member

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    Apr 16, 2015
    Saskatoon Canada
    Try cleaning the lights. We had problems with curing and once they were cleaned these problems vanished (at least until they need cleaning again).
     
  20. Mimi9271

    Mimi9271 New Member

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    Oct 17, 2018
    Washington DC
    Same here...Without laminating the print ...it really smells : (
     
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