Ultraviolet (UV) curing has revolutionized the setting and drying of materials, primarily owing to its foundational principle of photopolymerization. At the heart of this process is the UV light, which, when absorbed by photoinitiators present in the material, generates free radicals or cations. These active species initiate a rapid polymerization of the resinous components, leading to a near-instantaneous drying or setting.
This swift transition from a liquid to a solid state, achieved in seconds or minutes compared to the hours or even days required by traditional methods, significantly enhances operational efficiency. More than just speed, UV curing ensures a consistent cross-linking at the molecular level. This homogeneity translates to products exhibiting superior quality, durability, and resilience against external stressors.
Furthermore, the environmental footprint of UV curing is markedly lower than its solvent-based counterparts. Traditional drying methods rely on the evaporation of solvents, releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere. UV curing, in stark contrast, is a solvent-free process. By eliminating the need for these solvents, not only is the environmental impact reduced, but businesses also sidestep the regulatory and health-related challenges associated with VOC emissions. In essence, UV curing offers industries a trifecta of benefits: speed, product excellence, and environmental responsibility.
The Rise of UV Conveyors
The progression of the industrial sector has consistently favored methodologies and systems that elevate output while ensuring procedural efficiency. UV curing, with its capabilities rooted in photochemical reactions, swiftly positioned itself as a favored solution for quick-setting and drying tasks. As industries grew and production demands expanded, a nuanced issue surfaced: the adaptation of UV curing for extensive production lines. The aim was to retain the core advantages of rapid curing but make it amenable to the vastness of industrial operations. The solution? UV conveyors.
When visualizing the industrial conveyor system, one might consider it a mere transport mechanism. Yet, UV conveyors are more than that; they’re a harmonious blend of transport and advanced UV curing technology. Traditional UV curing methods, while proficient for their time, operated on a batch-centric paradigm. This means materials or products were cured in predetermined batches, introducing latency between each curing cycle and making it suboptimal for expansive industrial workflows.
UV conveyors radically reform this approach. They introduce an uninterrupted, linear processing mechanism. As materials are introduced onto the conveyor, they’re constantly subjected to a calibrated UV radiation dose throughout their journey. By the time they reach the conveyor’s end, they’re impeccably cured, primed for the next operational stage. The conveyor’s architecture eliminates the cyclical pauses synonymous with batch processing, translating to substantial enhancements in production timelines.
But the marvel of UV conveyors isn’t restricted to continuity alone. Their true prowess lies in the precision of the curing process. Through meticulously designed radiation modules and conveyor mechanics, UV conveyors ensure that every inch of material is uniformly exposed to UV light. Such precision becomes indispensable in high-volume production scenarios, where even minor inconsistencies can have amplified effects. Uniform UV exposure not only guarantees product quality but also minimizes wastage arising from uneven curing.
The intricacies of the UV conveyors’ design accommodate variations in curing requirements. Different materials or products might necessitate distinct UV intensities or exposure durations. Advanced UV conveyors can be calibrated to meet these specific needs, ensuring optimal curing while conserving energy. In essence, UV conveyors symbolize the future of mass-scale UV curing.
Uvitron International’s Range of UV Conveyors
Uvitron International has a straightforward goal: to provide top-tier UV curing solutions that meet industry needs. From our early days to now, our focus has always been on understanding the intricacies of UV curing processes and developing products that address real-world challenges. Our approach is driven by research, user feedback, and a genuine desire to offer reliable, efficient tools for various applications. At the core of our operations is the belief that innovation is about creating value, not just novelty. As a result, each Uvitron product reflects our dedication to quality, efficiency, and the evolving needs of our clients.
The UV Conveyor 40 Plus stands as a testament to Uvitron International’s commitment to precision and adaptability. Engineered to be either a bench-top or stand-mounted UV light curing conveyor system, it caters seamlessly to both laboratory and high-volume production applications. Driving its robust functionality is a quiet variable speed motor bolstered by a velocity regulating drive, ensuring belt speed remains consistent, irrespective of the loads it bears.
One of the hallmark features of the UV Conveyor 40 Plus is its configurability. Users can equip the system with either single or dual high-intensity lamp heads. But the versatility doesn’t stop there – these lamp heads can be effortlessly removed and reconfigured as stand-mounted systems, thereby widening the system’s range of applications. The belt-to-lamp height adjustment is a breeze, ranging from 1.2 to 6.7 inches, ensuring compatibility with diverse part sizes. When you receive the standard conveyor, it comes pre-equipped with two SunRay lamp heads. However, for those eyeing a more intensified UV experience, the conveyor can also accommodate the higher-power SkyRay LED systems. Moreover, sidecure PortaRays can be added for applications demanding comprehensive UV coverage.
A noteworthy addition to the UV Conveyor 40 Plus is the sidecure feature, with optional side-mounted PortaRay lamps, ensuring full UV coverage. The dual SkyRays option introduces the system to the power of dual spectrum-capable 800W LED SkyRay systems, a perfect fit for high-intensity precision UV applications.
Delving deeper into its features, the UV Conveyor 40 Plus is an embodiment of precise adjustability and ease of maintenance. The foldaway end covers grant immediate access to height adjustment pins, ensuring flawless repeatability in setting the lamp head to belt distance. The accumulating cured parts are guided as they exit the conveyor by an adjustable position end chute. The system’s dual lamp heads aren’t just easy to remove for maintenance or bulb replacement but can also swiftly transition from the conveyor to optional low-cost shielded mounting stands. This translates into offline engineering process testing and maximized equipment utilization.
The UV Conveyor 40 Plus doesn’t just bank on flexibility. It introduces the unique proposition of combining any of its four available lamp spectrum types. To illustrate, the UV conveyor’s primary lamp head can adopt a UVA type. This spectrum, with its longer wavelengths, offers deeper UV curing. This can be complemented with a UVB lamp as the second, which effectively seals the surface. This counteracts the diffusion of oxygen and prevents surface tackiness, optimizing the adhesive reaction speed without leaning on expensive nitrogen purges or the delays of pulse curing.
Safety and precision are twin pillars of the UV Conveyor 40 Plus design. The light chamber is entirely enclosed, ensuring operators and those nearby are shielded from any light exposure during the UV curing process. Tinted acrylic doors, complete with extended hoods, safeguard the light chamber’s entrance and exit. In terms of precision, a digital rate meter displays the conveyor’s belt speed in feet per minute, ensuring repeatable curing time settings. This is complemented by an emergency stop switch for rapid and safe conveyor and lamp shutdown. An added exhaust port on the light chamber’s top ensures optional venting to facility exhaust systems.
The conveyor’s design also accommodates the integration of extruded aluminum height-adjustable mounting stands, boasting unique swivel support brackets. These brackets are versatile enough to support inclined conveyors and provide angular transitions between continuous conveyors. For those seeking customization, the light chamber can be outfitted with diverse reflector and lamp spectrum options. Additional lengths for the conveyor are available upon special request, along with a range of accessories for transforming the conveyor system into an automated assembly center.
The system’s specs are equally impressive. Available in either 100–120 or 200–240 VAC ±10% ranges, it offers a curing width of 6 inches (exposure width) with a maximum part width of 9 inches. The belt measures 54 x 9 inches, and speeds can be adjusted between 0.5 to 25 feet per minute. The adjustable lamp height ranges from 1.2 to 6.7 inches in 0.5-inch steps, and the entire system weighs in at 63.2 lbs.
The Uvitron SunBelt 25 is a state-of-the-art light-curing conveyor system tailored for high-volume production or for the intricate processing of sizeable components in laboratories. This impressive system boasts a powerful arc lamp that’s adeptly driven by a sleek, electronically programmable power regulator. A standout feature of the SunBelt 25 is its ultra-quiet variable-speed motor equipped with a velocity drive. This innovative drive ensures that belt speeds remain consistent, irrespective of the load variations. Additionally, the SunBelt 25 has an expansive UV curing tunnel, complemented by robust entrance and exit light barriers, guaranteeing maximal light shielding. One of the system’s user-friendly features is the ability to easily modify the distance between the lamp and the belt, catering to different part sizes.
Further, the SunBelt 25’s lamp head is designed for high output and incorporates forced air cooling. It houses a 25” arc length, 10,000W metal halide type lamp. This lamp, with the help of an elliptical reflector, can emit focused UVA, UVB, or visible light. It also benefits from dual integrated cooling blowers which work diligently to prolong lamp life.
Lamp power regulation is another highlight. The electronic switch-mode ballast ensures consistent lamp power, even with fluctuations in AC line input or lamp voltages. This guarantees uniform curing times and extends lamp life.
The SunBelt 25 also prioritizes user safety. The light chamber provides complete UV shielding, ensuring the operator and other nearby individuals are protected from UV exposure. The entrance and exit of the curing chamber are fitted with adjustable height light guards to further minimize any light leakage.
Ease of control is evident in the SunBelt 25. A conveniently placed front control panel displays vital indicators such as AC power, lamp ignited, lamp ready, and alarms. The panel also houses switches for lamp enabling and emergency stops, a lamp hour meter, and a USB programming connector.
For adaptability in curing time and dose, the SunBelt 25 comes equipped with a regulated belt speed controller. This variable frequency drive, complete with a digital speed readout, allows the belt speeds to be adjusted up to 58’ per minute.
Practicality extends to the system’s design with exhaust blowers and a port for heat and vapor evacuation, adjustable mounting feet for leveling on uneven floors, in-feed product guides for precise curing, and lamp ballast programming software for system monitoring and customization.
The SunBelt 25 also provides essential specifications. It operates as a variable-speed conveyor system with a lamp power of 10,000W. The required input voltage is 480VAC ±10% 3 phase with a maximum input current of 13.5 Amps. The lamp intensity is marked at 2150 mW/cm2 UVA at a 2″ lamp height, and the curing energy is noted at 5.0 J/cm2 UVA at a speed of 5′ per minute. The exposure width for curing is 25″, although the maximum part width is 33″. The belt width mirrors this at 33″, and its speed ranges between 3.0–58′ per minute. The adjustable lamp height can be set between 2–11″. Overall, the SunBelt 25 measures 100 x 45 x 60″ in dimensions.
A range of accessories and replacement parts, including UV protective gear, an instruction manual, replacement belts, and various arc lamps, are available to ensure the SunBelt 25 operates at its peak and caters to different curing needs.
The SunBelt BT9 is a compact counterpart of the larger floor-mounted SunBelt 25. This bench or tabletop mounted conveyor is designed for the swift curing of light-activated adhesives, resins, coatings, inks, and paints on smaller parts, making it suitable for both laboratory and high-volume production settings. Its functionality is supported by a quiet variable speed motor complemented by a velocity-regulating drive. This ensures the belt speed remains consistent, even when loads vary. Depending on the UV curable material’s chemistry, users can choose to equip the conveyor with either one or two PortaRay broad-spectrum UV arc lamp heads or opt for a single SkyRay 800 UV LED lamp head.
The SunBelt BT9 stands out with its adjustable lamp height feature. By using the separately available lamp headrest, users can adjust the lamp height to find the best curing distance for various part sizes. The closer the lamp is to the curing substrate, the more potent the UV light intensity becomes. For the PortaRay, the height adjustment spans between 3–6.5 inches, while for the SkyRay, it lies between 0.5–4 inches.
Safety is a paramount concern, and the SunBelt BT9 addresses this with a fully enclosed UV curing chamber that protects the operator from UV light exposure. Sliding aluminum doors at the conveyor curing chamber’s entry and exit points block out UV light, while additional UV shield curtains offer protection against light scatter, especially when the doors are open.
The SunBelt BT9 also boasts side-mounted controls. The conveyor belt speed can be adjusted using a variable frequency drive, and its speed, along with motor subsystem alarm codes, is displayed on an LED screen. The design also incorporates an emergency red stop button that instantly halts the conveyor motor and lamps. Another feature to note is the adjustable end chute, which can be positioned to handle parts as they exit the conveyor, either letting them slide onto the benchtop or onto a flat surface.
Lamp heads on the SunBelt BT9 can be easily removed for tasks like maintenance or bulb replacements. They can also be shifted swiftly from the conveyor to other locations like a benchtop shielded mounting stand or the Rayven UV curing chamber, a feature that maximizes equipment use and aids offline testing. When two PortaRay lamp heads are in use, the SunBelt BT9 offers the flexibility of combining different lamp spectrum types for an optimized curing process. Lastly, the system’s global compatibility is ensured with two AC line input versions: the UV4080 suitable for 90–132AC and the UV4081 designed for 180–264AC.
The system’s specifications include a conveyor of variable speed type, part numbers UV4080 for 120VAC and UV4081 for 240VAC. The lamp power varies with the PortaRay having 400/600W, and the SkyRay 800 has 800W. Input voltage ranges from 100–120 to 200–240VAC with a deviation of ± 10%. The curing energy varies, with the PortaRay 400 providing 0.172–10 J/cm2 and the SkyRay 800 365nm giving 1.12–65 J/cm2. The curing width is set at 5 inches, while the belt width is 9 inches. The belt speed ranges from 0.5 to 29 feet per minute. Depending on the lamp type, the adjustable lamp height is between 3–6.5 inches for the PortaRay and 0.5– 4 inches for the SkyRay. The entire system weighs 35.1 lbs and measures 30 x 14.56 x 13.36 inches in size.
Various additional components and accessories are available to enhance the SunBelt BT9’s functionality and user experience. These include different power cords suitable for various regions, radiometers, protective safety glasses, a UV protective face shield, a stainless steel curing tray, an instruction manual, and a replacement conveyor belt.
At Uvitron, we pride ourselves on not just designing UV curing conveyors, but on innovating, building, and manufacturing them right here in the USA. Every piece of equipment that rolls out from our facility speaks volumes about American craftsmanship, ingenuity, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Our systems, while making waves on an international scale, are deeply rooted in American values and ethos. And, regardless of where in the world our systems find a home, our commitment remains steadfast: to offer the same warmth and personalized service to each of our customers. If you’ve been searching for a UV conveyor system crafted with dedication and a true American spirit, your search ends with Uvitron. Reach out to us today and experience the unparalleled quality and service that comes with an American-made product.