UV Coater Recommendation Sought


Well-known member
We've got an older offline 15" wide TEC flood coater with Fenimore drum feeder. This has been a very reliable machine for over 15 years. Alas, it is time to replace it, as it's a little worse for wear and it seems there's some features out there that might benefit our operation.

We run a few thousand sheets of (up to) Iridesse-printed13" x 19" 10 pt. C1S per day for use as perfect bound book covers, coating just 1 side. We run gloss and matte coating materials, and the machine has 2 dispensing nozzles. Starting up is a breeze. While running, it's challenging because the controls are not centralized - feeder controls over here, coating pump control under there, coater speed knob on the side of that... We've learned how to work with this, but training anyone new on it is very difficult. In addition, there's not many safety sensors/switches on the machine. This has lead to sheets burning under the UV lamp because they jammed on exit, plus leaving pinch points somewhat exposed to the operator. Cleaning up after use? Ugh. Manual, messy, no jog button or handwheel.

My desire is for something as easy to operate and clean as possible, that will allow for at least 2 coatings. So far I've looked topically at TEC's TruCoat and Duplo's Ultra 300A. I haven't contacted dealers yet, as I was hoping to gather some experienced recommendations here first.
Hi @Stickman42 , we will be installing a Tec Lighting 16" TruCoat in the next several weeks and I'm happy to offer impressions then. If you want to send any press sheets our way, I'm also happy to run them through the unit once it's installed.

We sent press sheet samples from our AccurioPress c14000 to Tec Lighting and after a few rounds of trial and error, they managed to find settings that worked with Konica's whacky toner using their base unit. The Graphic Whizard units seem to follow a very similar design scheme to the Tec units so I'm not sure if there would be an advantage between one brand or the other unless dealer locations or local service are concerns. Anecdotally I have had great luck with Graphic Whizard's service on other machines however.
We’ve had the Techlighting TRUV 21 for about 7 years now. We are coming up on our end of lease on our Iridesse printers in the next year. I can say that the Techlighting coaters have been the best ones we have Used. We purchased a UV substrate through Techlighting. We have tested with other companies and Techlighting has worked out the substrate with Xerox toner and you do not need to use the infrared lamps which have caused fires early on. Very easy to start up and shut down. I would recommend if you purchase with the feeder that you go with the wider version. I believe the 26. Then you can push your larger sheets through long edge and speed up your UV time. We did not purchase the feeders on ours and ended up getting Morganna feeders. There’s pluses and minuses to it. The Morgana feeders are easy to use but overtime when they start to break down Morgana products are the worst on repair. The other limiting factor is that we can only feed a small stack at a time. Before the Techlighting coaters, we made a mistake and purchased the HP coater which was a nightmare. They used a pump which heated up the coating overtime, and became impossible to control the consistency because it would start out thick and then it would thin out to a point it was unmanageable. I do not know if it is standard or normal, but Techlighting’s pump system just squeezes the hose and pushes the UV through which is very simple. We have had issues recently where the operator was not paying attention and the sheets backed up and caught fire inside the machine, we did not get the pile stacker either so you run the risk of sheets jamming up if you have static, so you just need to make sure the operators pay attention.

Not sure if anybody recalls many many years ago in the early 2000s the company called K2 who screwed everybody out of their money. We were one of the only companies to get a functional UV coater from them. The machines have come along way.
Thank you both for the responses. So far I've seen a virtual demo of Duplo's model 200. It seems promising as far as ease of operation and cleanup. There is an IR lamp present (with an option for a 2nd) with specific mention of it being needed for Konica toner sheets. I will be speaking with TEC this week.

Do either of you have any insight into how the cleanup routine has matured on TEC's machines? On ours we have to clean up all rollers and the drip tray by hand. Time consuming and messy. And how easy is it to switch from gloss to matte/satin coating? We run both routinely.

@Spowers - I unfortunately fell victim to the K2 scam to the tune of $15K. I even travelled to their place in Forney TX. Had good food and a decent night's sleep in a La Quinta at least!


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