Manufacturing Conversion: Transitioning from Conventional UV to LED Curing
While the process steps in a UV LED manufacturing conversion are slightly more involved than a direct-swap mercury replacement, the benefits are often significant and well worth the time and effort.
In product replacement, two personality extremes typically drive how and when consumption occurs. Some of us might squeeze every ounce of useful life out of an item before reluctantly seeking an alternative, while others routinely upgrade to the latest versions without hesitation or need. Both extremes can result in rushed and poorly executed purchasing decisions, with the former driven by an urgency to quickly return to status quo and the latter solely by a desire to be first. In practice, most consumers typically fall somewhere in between these extremes, taking the necessary time to apply their style of product evaluation and decision-making criteria before moving forward.
In industrial manufacturing, companies often push the life of capital equipment in the hope of optimizing operational costs by utilizing assets that have long since been paid off. However, when the line goes down and failure ultimately occurs, companies can be left scrambling to secure the necessary replacements to resume production. When direct replacements and spare parts are standard and readily available, this practice is justifiable and cost effective. In cases where replacement items have long lead times or have become obsolete and replaced by technology that is not a drop-in solution, waiting until failure can be disastrous to a company’s bottom line.
While the process steps in a UV LED manufacturing conversion are slightly more involved than a direct-swap mercury replacement, the benefits are often significant and well worth the time and effort. Both conventional mercury and UV LED curing systems emit ultraviolet energy; however, the manner of UV output is very different. These differences influence the chemistry, LED system form factor, and integration. All three of these factors need to be properly evaluated so that the UV LED curing system can be confidently and successfully matched to the formulation and material handling needs of the existing production process, as well as the application needs of the final product being manufactured.
Read our article in the February 2020 issue of Adhesives & Sealants Industry (ASI) Magazine to learn how an informed, proactive UV LED manufacturing conversion for a conventional UV curing line can deliver significant time and cost savings for the future. Download a pdf copy below or view it online at ASI.