Why UV light curing in the Industry

Improving product quality & reliability

Why UV light curing in industrial production processes

The manufacturing world is constantly looking for processes that can increase production while lowering unit costs and improving product quality and reliability. Each innovation must mesh with the overall production process to achieve high output levels. Curing processes should be capable of smoothly running in automated processes requiring short cycle times.

UV light-curing meet those criteria much better than older curing technologies in a wide range of industrial applications. The advantage of UV curing processes lies in the speed at which the products can be ready for shipping. In addition to speeding up production, it reduces flaws and errors, as the amount of time that any object could be contaminated is drastically lowered. This leads decisively to a higher quality of the final products.

The other obvious benefit is that manufacturers can devote less production floor space, since they don’t have to wait for them to dry. This creates an efficiency that runs throughout the entire manufacturing process. UV curing offers many benefits:

  • Paints, inks and adhesives with highly improved physical properties;
  • Faster production rate and therefore higher capacity;
  • Enhanced yield and reduced scrap;
  • Hugely reduced set-up/clean-up labor costs;
  • Reduction of Work-in-process;
  • Environmentally friendly – energy savings, no emissions controls;
  • Less floor space needed.

Currently, coating, bonding, and printing are the most prominent applications in which UV curing systems are used. Industries such as printing, healthcare and automotive are the major users of UV curing technology.

UV curing systems are used in a variety of medical products such as syringes, catheters, hearing aids, dialysis machines, medication patches, hydrogels, filters, and test strips because of the very high process speed of coatings, inks, and adhesives. These systems help in reducing costs and provide high-quality products. The adoption of UV curing in the medical vertical has increased owing to its properties such as rapid processing, cure on demand, ease of automation, low temperature, and lower energy requirements. UV spot cure and UV LED cure are mainly used for the assembling of medical and electronic components.

The features of UV curing technology, such as precise irradiance control and wavelength selection based on specific requirement is of great advantage for medical device manufacturers in assembly processes. UV curing systems are a key solution for high-volume automated processes, saving raw materials, reducing scrap rates and operating costs.

Other emerging applications of UV curing technology are additive manufacturing or 3D printing, digital printing and metal coating, which hold high-growth potential. Some of these applications are currently in the phase of development with effective commercialization expected in the coming years with the potential to be recognized as a leading technology specifically for metal, plastic and wood coatings in industries such as automotive and aerospace & defense.

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