Held March 10-11, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach & Marina Hotel in Redondo Beach, CA, uv.eb WEST 2015 had interesting sessions on 3D printing, packaging and UV LED, as well as some unique talks on Hollywood’s use of 3D printing and gold inkjet printing. RadTech reported record attendance and exhibition numbers for its program.
The standing-room-only 3D Printing Session began with Mike Idacavage of PL Industries, who presented an overview of 3D printing in his talk on “The Universe of 3D Printing Technology, Where Does UV Curing Fit In?”
“3D printing is the building up of a 3D object by adding successive layers of materials, Idacavage said. “It is also known as additive manufacturing. Lux Research places the market at $2 billion in 2014, heading up to $14 billion by 2025, mostly for prototypes and molds. In terms of material, IDTechEx places the market at 56% photopolymers, and 40% thermoplastics.”
Idacavage noted that there are four main approaches. Fused Filament Fabrication (Fused Deposition Modeling or FDM) is a major process that uses extrusion. It is the most widely used 3D process. The key 3D printer manufacturers are in this field – MakerBot (Replicator), Stratysys (Mojo) and 3D Systems (Cube)
Laminated Object Manufacturing is adhesion coated. The third approach, Powder, is separately removed by laser, which removes the powder. EB does have a role in this process. Stereolithography (SLA) has been around a long time, and UV curing was used for 3D printing back in Chuck Hall’s original patents in 1986, and 3D Systems first printed in 1987. Objet uses UV curable resins. In SLA a laser draws the shape of the object onto the surface of liquid resins.
Inkjet printing is being used to print 3D objects, with UV-curable materials being inkjetted and cured. Idavcavage noted that wax is used to support the image, then is removed. “UV allows the highest level of build resolution and a wide range of resins,” Idacavage added. “It is also stronger in the z direction, as the materials are crosslinked.”
Brian Adzima of Autodesk followed with his talk on “The Ember Printer: An Open Platform for Software, Hardware, and Materials Development.” Michael Joyce, B9 Creations, LLC, then discussed “High-Resolution 3D Printing & Advanced Manufacturing with Photopolymer Resins.”
Jason Lopes of Legacy Effects closed the session with a fascinating talk on “Creating Iron Man, Robo Cop, and other Hollywood Special EFX Using 3D Printing” Legacy Effects uses 3D printers to create costumes, makeup and props for movies, TV and video games, with credits including Iron Man, Robo Cop and others.
Don Duncan of Wikoff Color opened the Printing and Packaging Session with his presentation on “UV LED Curing of Litho Inks – Real Data on Migration Levels.” Stephen Lapin, PCT Engineered Systems, then offered his thoughts on future opportunities for EB curing in “Electron Beam Technology for Package Printers: Established Applications and New Opportunities.” Lapin said that EB is used in a variety of packaging, including folding carton, labels, flexible packaging and large bags.
Colleen Larkin Twomey, California Polytechnic State University, covered “Consumer Perception of Tactile Packaging: A Research Study on Preferences of Soft Touch and Hi Rise Coatings in Cosmetic Packaging.” Al Marquardt, Kimberly-Clark then offered his insights into brand owners’ needs in his talk on “An Overview of the Good & the Bad of Ink from a CPC’s Perspective.”
“We are always looking for that new idea,” Marquardt said, showing examples of successes and failures in packaging. “”We need predictable, repeatable, consistent quality printing, and show that we can drive sales and grow market share using technology.” He also noted that UV has been used successfully, with one example being special glitter UV ink for holiday Kleenex boxes. However, inkjet is not ready yet for mass production of packaging.
“Digital has a way to go,” Marquardt added. “It has its role, and the crossover point is creeping up.”
After a luncheon program on “Leveraging UV/EB Sustainability in the Printing Industry,” sponsored by the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership, uv.eb WEST 2015 returned with two sessions.
UV/EB Inkjet for Food Packaging opened with Dene Taylor, SPF-Inc., who covered “Printing Packaging With UV & EB Inkjet– Barriers to Installation.” Taylor offered an overview of the different UV technologies, including HP Indigo, Xeikon, Fujifilm, Inca, Jetrion and others, and compared Xeikon’s liquid toner technology to Indigo’s aqueous inkjet inks.
“Inkjet is an order of magnitude faster, and there are no practical limits to widths,” Taylor noted.
“Regulation Friendly UV Curable Products” was covered by Jo Ann Arceneaux of Allnex. Roel De Mondt, Agfa Materials , discussed “UV Inkjet Printing on Food Packaging: State-of-Art and Outlook.”
De Mondt said that inkjet printing on primary packaging is an important trend in markets ranging from labels to pharma. “Just in time is a cost effective solution,” he said.
Sean Evans, Amgraph Packaging, closed the session with “Why UV/EB Inkjet is the Best Digital Process for Packaging.”
Amgraph Packaging has six presses, including flexo, gravure and offset, five of which run EB units, and noted that his company is looking into EB and UV inkjet. He added that UV inkjet has numerous advantages, including eliminating plates, cylinders and sleeves as well as pressroom chemistry. He added that makeready is completed within a few feet.
What New Products and Processes will UV LEDs Enable in 2015? was the topic of the second concurrent session, beginning with “Chip Scale Package UV LED Enables the Highest Power Density UV Application” by Yan Chai, Philips Lumileds Lighting. Pratik Shah, DSM Functional Materials, followed with “UV LED in Optical Fiber Processing.”
“Using Multi-Zone Irradiance Control in UV LED Systems for Uniform Curing of Non-Linear Surfaces” was presented by Mike Kay of Excelitas. Mike Higgins, Phoseon Technology, analyzed “UV-LED Power Play,” and Arceneaux closed this session with “Mitigation of Oxygen Inhibition to Improve the UV LED Cure Process.”
Eugene Sitzmann, BASF Corporation, covered “Critical Photoinitiators for UV LED: Enabling 3D Printing, Inks, and Coatings.” Nathan Ciara, Honle UV America, discussed “Enhanced UV LED System Surface Curing with UVC Lamps for Inkjet Applications”
Day 2 featured one session, covering the wide-ranging topic of UV + EB Curing Technology Innovations. Bob Richardson, Jabil-Green Point, opened this session with his talk on “Coatings Innovations the Markets are Requiring in 2016.” Michael Dvorchak, Allnex USA, covered “Emerging/Future Applications for UV Cure Technologies.”
Adam Trexler, Valaurum, gave an intriguing presentation on “From Novice to Application in Three Easy Steps – How UV Helps Enable Precious Metal Ownership & Investment.” Valaurum prints gold bills on a plastic substrate using UV inkjet, with each bill containing one-tenth of a gram of 24 karat gold.
“We can make gold certificates and awards through inkjet printing, and even do short runs,” said Trexler. “We are in talks with a central bank in South America.”
Jennifer Heathcote, Phoseon Technology, presented “Market Update on UV LED Applications.”
Heathcote discussed the various markets that are using or are interested in UV LED curing. For example, spot curing, area curing and inkjet printing were among the original markets for LED.
“The technology was generally embraced by the market, but the medical and automotive markets are reticent to change,” Heathcote said. “Area cure is utilized by the large flat screen electronics market. Inkjet printing was an early market for UV LED, as new markets are more receptive to new innovative technologies. Inkjet will ultimately switch completely over to UV LED. Flexo has been a growing market, as LED is ideal for heat sensitive shrink films. ”
“3D printing is a new market,” Heathcote added. “Screenprinting is a fragmented market, and will move forward. Pad printing is mostly solvent-based, and there is little LED activity. There is not much switching in the offset market, but there can be hybrid solutions. We are getting interest in industrial coatings such as pipes, tubes and fiber optics, and there is activity in wood coatings.
“LED output continues to improve,” Heathcote concluded. “We are working in greater collaboration. End users are opting to integrate directly to existing production. There is increasing focus on industrial coatings.”
Ben Curatolo, Light Curable Coating, discussed “Field Application of UV Technology for Protection of Surfaces.”
“UV curing needs to be designed for each application,” Curatolo said. “UV curing protects against sunlight, and provides toughness, solvent and abrasion resistance.”
Mark Driscoll, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, covered “Stopping Speeding Bullets With Light Cured Impact Resistant Panels,” and Brian Peters, Allureglow USA, closed the session with “The Future of Photoluminescence in the UV Industry.”
The conference closed with a short course on The Chemistry of UV/EB, led by Susan Bailey of IGM Resins.
RadTech officials said that uv.eb West 2015 exceeded their expectations.
“We have had a record number of attendees and exhibitors and a lot of end users who are interested in new applications,” said Mickey Fortune, senior director, marketing and business development for RadTech.
“There were a lot of new people here, and we saw a lot of new applications,” added Gary Cohen, executive director of RadTech.
“It’s been a wonderful show,” said Peter Weissman, global technical business development manager - coatings for Quaker Chemical, who is serving as RadTech’s new president. “We’re getting excellent feedback. We had an excellent, diverse set of speakers.”
For more information on RadTech, check out their website at www.radtech.org.