Q&A: Excelitas Technologies Offers UV Curing Innovation with OmniCure Systems
Posted 6th March 2018 by Christina Molina
For over 30 years, Excelitas Technologies has been innovatively expanding their UV curing capabilities with OmniCure, a series of advanced and flexible systems used for industrial applications such as electronics, medical devices and digitally printed surfaces. In this Q&A, Pamela Lee, Senior Product Manager of OmniCure at Excelitas Technologies, shares more about these systems and her impressions on the industrial print sector.
Q: Tell me about Excelitas Technologies and its contribution to industrial print.
A: Excelitas Technologies® Corp is a global technology leader focused on delivering innovative, customized photonic solutions. Its OmniCure® portfolio of UV curing solutions provide customers worldwide with the most advanced and reliable UV curing technology. The OmniCure AC Series UV LED systems offer high power, superior air-cooled performance and maximum integration flexibility to best fit the needs of both small and wide area curing of adhesives, coatings, and inks. Designed for a range of applications using small to wide substrates, the AC Series of curing systems bring a number of benefits to industrial printers, including lower operational costs via energy savings, support for wider range of temperature sensitive substrates, and increased productivity.
Q: What are some specific applications Omnicure works with?
A: OmniCure UV LED Curing solutions are designed for effective curing of adhesives, coatings, and inks. Our spot and area curing products have been integrated into a wide range of applications including print, medical device assembly, industrial, electronics manufacturing, and coatings. In the print industry, OmniCure AC Series UV LED solutions have been integrated in digital inkjet, 3D printing, and narrow web flexographic.
Q: How have you seen UV technology evolve?
A: Since 1984, OmniCure® has combined next generation optical engineering, state-of-the art electronics and fiber-optics to produce sophisticated technologies that employ light. Over the years, we have seen the industry dramatically change from using only traditional UV systems for curing, to the adoption of UV LEDs. As with many “new” technologies, there were a number of commercial and technical challenges that hampered the acceptance of UV LEDs. Cost, performance, and materials compatibility were some of the barriers that have since made significant progress to enable adoption in different market segments. UV LED curing systems have become powerful, efficient, more cost-effective and reliable, expanding from spot and small area curing to wider UV applications.
Q: What do you think is the biggest technical challenge inkjet faces?
A: The success of a technology often hinges on an ecosystem seamlessly working as a whole. In order to further push success of inkjet in 2018, themes such as differentiation, optimizations in ink (formulations, consumption and delivery), print uniformity, quality and speed, reduction in costs and wider substrate support including support for packaging will help drive a greater adoption. Only by working collectively to enable a compelling solution will the industry be able to see additional growth in inkjet.
Q: What new technical development, in your opinion, might accelerate growth even further for inkjet?
A: To look at this from the standpoint of a UV LED curing manufacturer and supplier, many of the initial barriers related to compatibility of formulations have been overcome. However, broadening the range of applications, materials, and selection of inks can help fuel the adoption and growth even more. To add to a point made earlier, only by aligning all aspects in the print ecosystem and working together can you bring a compelling solution that increases efficiency and productivity with higher quality... all while reducing costs.
Q: Many argue that Western Europe is leading the globe in the industrial print sector. With that in mind, what are your thoughts on the North American market?
A: Europe has been instrumental in helping pave the way for industrial print. In my eyes, they have been leaders in this space, but that gap is narrowing as North America adopts the technology. However, it can be argued that with environmental legislations and drive for VOC reductions, the European market is more favorably poised for the use of UV LED technology and to leverage the advantages it brings.
Q: Having said that, what were your impressions of the inaugural InPrint USA show?
A: The InPrint USA 2017 show brought many of the key players in this market together, allowing the industry to showcase the business in a very positive light. It brought visibility to North American customers and enabled us to connect with various manufacturers in different fields of the industrial print market.
Q: What kind of growth do you expect for Excelitas Technologies in 2018?
A: Excelitas Technologies has seen a very positive growth in UV LED curing, and 2018 is looking to be no exception. From our experience in the industry (within print and also outside of it), there has been a definite expansion from spot/pinning to smaller area and now to larger area curing. While the integration cycle of new technologies often takes longer than anticipated, the payoffs are well worth the effort. We expect to see some very exciting opportunities through our OmniCure AC Series of curing products and look forward to the year ahead.