IST METZ: the all-rounder in UV curing

World’s largest product portfolio of UV lamp and UV LED systems

IST METZ GmbH is a medium-sized mechanical engineering company with international operations based in Nürtingen, in Southern Germany, and employs some 300 people. For almost 40 years, the company has been producing systems for curing print and coatings using UV light. The UV systems cure inks, varnishes, silicones, adhesives, resins and other materials in fractions of a second. The IST METZ group offers its customers the world’s largest product portfolio of high-performance UV lamp and UV LED systems. The range of services is supplemented by hot-air/infrared drying systems.

The excellent curing properties of inks and varnishes under UV light were discovered in the late 1960s. At that time, Gerhard Metz was already in charge of developing this new technology. The IST METZ GmbH of today was founded in 1977 and developed early UV systems for curing varnishes on furniture. In three decades, subsequent owners Gerhard and Renate Metz made a niche business into a globally-operating group. The business is now managed by their grandson Christian-Marius Metz with Holger Kühn and Dr. Robert Sänger. The products are currently used in printing presses, but also for curing coatings on automotive parts or small parts for cosmetics, for example. UV technology from IST METZ scores highly in numerous other industries which demand rapid production, immediate further processing and extremely high-quality coatings.

The IST METZ group is made up of 14 companies including the production subsidiaries eta plus electronic and S1 Optics. A total of just over 500 people work for the group world-wide. The group in Germany develops and manufactures the core components of the UV systems to the highest quality standards. These include, among other things, reflectors, electronic power supply devices and UV lamps with a direct impact on the curing result.

Ten sales offices in France, England, Italy, the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, China, Thailand and Japan provide support for local customers. An additional network of agencies ensures a global presence. Its British subsidiary, Integration Technology Ltd., supplements the portfolio with LED UV systems for digital printing in particular. This allows customers to choose from the world’s largest product portfolio of UV curing systems.

Its broad range and many years’ experience give IST METZ above-average expertise in coating processes of all kinds. At its head office in Nürtingen, the company’s UV Transfer Center has a sheet-fed offset printing press and a web-fed printing press, as well as laboratory facilities, at customers’ disposal for running trials. Ray tracing software can be used to determine the optimum parameters for the customer’s UV system in order to achieve the maximum UV light yield on the substrate. IST METZ services are complemented by training and courses, run either in-house or on the customer’s premises. The comprehensive consulting services provided by this manufacturer of UV systems reinforces customers’ production reliability and thus their competitive edge.

Again and again over the years, IST METZ has caused a stir with multifunctional printed products with a high-quality finish which it has developed in-house. Print and online media are always linked in a sophisticated way to demonstrate how print can be modern and contemporary, as well as the potential applications offered by UV technology. The packaging developed for UV DAYS 2013 won five awards, including the Red Dot Award: Communication Design and two Print Stars from the trade magazine “Deutscher Drucker”.

In 2002, IST METZ launched UV DAYS, the first international event to focus on UV printing. The unique feature of this in-house exhibition is its practical focus. Every two years, the latest UV developments in sheet-fed, web-fed and digital printing are presented and exhibited live – to look at, to touch and to take away. At every exhibition, a printed product developed in-house illustrates the versatility of UV technology – in the market segments of packaging printing, commercial printing and label printing, for example. With some 800 international visitors, the event is the largest of its kind in the world. The event will next be taking place in early summer 2017.