By David Savastano
As RadTech 2012 came to its conclusion, Live From the RadTech Show Daily had a chance to catch up with Gary Cohen, executive director of RadTech, who shared some of his thoughts regarding RadTech 2012 and the continued emergence of UV/EB.
Q. RadTech 2012 enjoyed record attendance figures for end users for the Technical Conference. What is driving the growth in interest in UV and EB technologies?
Gary Cohen: RadTech truly transcends classification as a conference, or a trade show, or a paint or ink event. It embodies the remarkable advancement of UV and EB as a process technology and manufacturing solution. Several attendees commented on the energy and uniqueness of the event, as the gathering of a community of like-minded experts exchanging ideas and developing new contacts that are invaluable to the advancement of UV/EB.
Q. What message do you think attendees walked away with after RadTech 2012?
Gary Cohen: The diversity of RadTech 2012 is an extraordinary characteristic of the UV/EB process, with applications ranging from aerospace to high tech fabrics to touch screen displays to floor refinish to smart packaging to the world’s lightest structure. I view UV/EB not as a single product or process, but as a technology platform, in many ways similar to the internet, where the basic structure of the technology allows the creation of a multitude of “apps.”
One of the key results of the event is what I like to call “spin-offs” akin to NASA technologies finding use in other applications. For example, industrial coatings and graphic arts ink folks were seen attending our fingernail finishing session, seeking potential new ideas for their applications.
The event attracts the foremost authorities in their fields, and we are very excited to also encourage and sponsor significant student participation, as they see the technology as an attractive enhancement to their work.
Q. RadTech has been working closely with a number of trade associations. How are these collaborations benefiting the respective constituencies?
Gary Cohen: We were particularly gratified to gain strong support from other groups that promoted the event as a way to inform their constituencies about the technology. For example, The Great Lakes Graphics Association and the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center are two new partners that helped attract well-qualified end users to our event.
Q. What is your outlook for energy-curable technologies for the coming years?
Gary Cohen: With the current emphasis on new materials and energy technologies, innovation, sustainability, export competiveness and re-shoring, UV and EB are well positioned to accelerate their application in a range of industries.