By David Savastano • Editor
During the past few years, the global recession has affected virtually all industries. Still, there have been market segments where the downturn had less of an impact. Energy curable technologies are one such field, as UV and EB has remained stable and even grew in some markets, driven by environmental and performance benefits.
The numbers bear this out. Representing 1.9% of all coatings (non-architectural) globally, and predicted to increase to a 3.0% share by 2013, the total value of global radcure coatings in 2009 was $1.541 billion, up 5.1% from 2006, according to The Chemark Consulting Group.
In 2010, Chemark estimates global radcure coatings will grow at 7.5% to $1.660 billion. Growing at a rate of 7.5% per year, the radcure coatings market globally will reach $2.410 billion by 2014.
As RadTech UV/EB Technology Conference & Expo 2010 opens its doors at the Baltimore Convention Center today, there is a growing sense of optimism in the energy-curing industry.
Dr. Mike Idacavage, principal research fellow, Cytec Industries Inc., who serves as RadTech North America’s president, said he has noticed increasing interest among many end-users who are looking closely at the benefits of UV and EB technologies.
“Many companies have responded to the recent economic challenges by taking a hard look at the technology that they have been using for years,” Dr. Idacavage said. “Whether it is the need to streamline their manufacturing processes or to lower their environmental impact of their current technology, more and more companies are closely looking at UV and EB curing.
“I am looking forward to RadTech 2010 as being the global venue for a wide range of companies to learn more about UV and EB technology,” Dr. Idacavage added. “An indication of this is the large increase in end-users who have already registered for the show. In addition, I am expecting to see examples of how UV and EB can enable new applications such as photovoltaics.”
Gary Cohen, executive director of RadTech North America, the conference’s organizer, also noted that end-users are becoming more prevalent at the conference.
“At the direction of the RadTech Board of Directors, we have made a concerted effort though our RadTech Stimulus Package to encourage final end-users to attend our conference,” said Mr. Cohen. “The response has been outstanding, and we will experience a good turnout of potential new customers for UV/EB technology at RadTech 2010. It is gratifying to see outside groups supporting our effort in recognition of the environmental and energy savings benefits of the technology – organizations such as NYSERDA, TAGA, the Regional Manufacturing Institute and yet2.com have embraced our efforts and are instrumental in helping us get the message out about UV and EB.”
The Technical Conference, which will span the three-day show beginning this morning, covers a wide range of topics, including end-user sessions and industry roundtable discussions.
There are two full-day end-user sessions today. These sessions cover two important fields, Industrial Applications and Printing & Packaging.
This morning’s technical conference includes concurrent sessions on Japan, Electron Beam and Specialty Applications I, and the afternoon sessions cover Analytical & Measurement, Photoinitiators and Specialty Applications II.
There will also be two industry roundtable discussions, on TSCA Reform Workshop/Regulatory Issues for UV/EB and Academic Issues for UV.
Tuesday features two full-day end-user sessions on Wood & Building Products and Aerospace & Defense, and two half-day sessions on UV for PVD Applications and Mobile UV - UV for Field Applied Applications.
Tuesday morning’s concurrent technical session’s topics include Photovoltaics, Kinetics, Equipment, Formulation of Coatings, and China.
Tuesday afternoon’s concurrent sessions focus on Nanotechnologies, Raw Materials, Equipment LEDs and China Session II.
Tuesday’s industry roundtable discussions will focus on two areas: The Future of UV/EB In Packaging – A Global Perspective; and EU Good Manufacturing Practices, Regulations, and Traceability.
Wednesday’s concurrent technical conference sessions cover three topics – Renewable Raw Materials, Thiol-ene Chemistry and Wood & Floor Coatings – in the morning, and three concurrent sessions on Chemistry, Packaging and Global Market Overview in the afternoon.
Dr. Idacavage said that the Technical Conference offers a diverse look at the opportunities that lie ahead for UV and EB technologies.
“As in the past, the Technical Conference is a strong center point for the overall show,” Dr. Idacavage said. “Some of the highlights that I am looking forward to are the Photovoltaic, Nanotechnologies and Renewable Raw Materials sessions. Once again, the dedicated Japan and China sessions will allow many of us to perhaps gain some insight on the advancements being made in UV and EB chemistry in the Asia region. I also would like to commend the Show Committee for trying a few new innovative ideas such as an academic/industry round table discussion and a Regulatory Issues workshop.”
It is interesting to see how RadTech’s bi-annual conferences have changed over time, and how the show continues to draw a strong mix of attendees.
“UV/EB are very much technology platforms, and, as such, our suppliers are reaching into new and exciting areas from photovoltaics to gym floors – and our event offers a good starting point for companies developing technologies in those areas,” Mr. Cohen said.
“The RadTech conferences have evolved over the years to closely reflect the needs of the industry,” Dr. Idacavage said. “The Technical Conference is now the largest conference devoted to UV and EB technology in the world. Some of the sessions are clearly in response to the needs of end users who are not familiar with UV and EB curable chemistry. These are for applications, such as photovoltaics, that were not even on many people’s radar 10 years ago. I am particularly encouraged with the large number of end-users who have pre-registered for the conference. It is the exciting mix of end-users, technologists and marketing/business people who will make this a successful conference and also set the stage for future growth in the industry.”