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The Growing Viability of UV LED for Automotive and Transportation Applications (English)

By Jennifer Heathcote, Regional Sales Manager, Phoseon Technology

The automotive and transportation industry face several design, engineering and manufacturing challenges over the coming years. Many of these involve preparing for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards requiring manufacturers to achieve a production-weighted 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Others have to do with better global stewardship, driving further reductions in waste and energy consumption at assembly and supplier plants. Finally, a constantly changing worker demographic and high-tech skills shortage will likely mean even more automation and process control throughout global production facilities. For each of these challenges, many new manufacturing processes will likely need to be developed.

"The automotive and transportation industry face several design, engineering and manufacturing challenges over the coming years. In an effort to introduce the automotive and transportation industry to the merits of UV LED curing, this paper will begin by explaining the basics of curing from an equipment perspective."

Jennifer Heathcote, Regional Sales Manager, Phoseon Technology

While conventional UV curing through the use of microwave and arc lamps has been used in automotive and transportation production processes for decades, UV LED curing is relatively new and has not gained much traction. In other markets, however, UV LED technology is much more mainstream, as significant equipment and formulation advances enable the technology to quickly penetrate a growing range of applications. This is primarily driven by the fact that UV LED technology offers numerous performance, operating and environmental benefits and is considered an enabling technology that lends its use to curing inks, adhesives and coatings on a greater range of heat-sensitive materials while delivering overall process and quality control. As a result, the transformational nature of UV LED curing is something that should be explored and evaluated for its production use viability as automotive and transportation companies strive to meet various manufacturing challenges over the coming decade.

In an effort to introduce the automotive and transportation industry to the merits of UV LED curing, this paper will begin by explaining the basics of curing from an equipment perspective.