Integration Technology Ltd (ITL) report highlights pitfalls of using non-OEM bulbs for UV print curing

P1020390-1024x576Concerns over the use of non-original equipment manufacturer (OEM) bulbs in the lamp heads of its SubZero 055 and 085 miniature ultra violet (UV) inkjet print curing systems has been highlighted in latest technical information bulletin from UV curing solutions specialist, Integration Technology Ltd (ITL).

The bulletin cites potential outcomes from using non-OEM lamps currently being sold by other lamp manufacturers including insufficient curing, shortened bulb and reflector life, increased heat transfer to substrate, non-uniform curing, invalidation of all UL and CE compliances, and fire hazards.

“This a real concern to us,” says ITL managing director, Adrian Lockwood.

“Apart from having shorter lamp lives, non-OEM lamps used within our lamp head housings may create a potential fire hazard and may cause irreparable damage to the UV lamp head and power supply unit.

“Suppliers of non-certified lamps are not in communication with us, and don’t fully understand the safety and operational requirements of our lamps,” he adds.

R&D research

ITL regularly evaluates non-OEM lamps at its UK R&D centre near Oxford using established and routine lamp testing procedures.

Bulb operation and UV output results are compared to those of ITL-produced SubZero bulbs, while their overall construction is inspected to identify any possible safety concerns and determine compliance with UL and CE certifications.

ITL testing finds many non-OEM lamps running with 5% higher current (and power) while producing a spectral output that contains 25% less UVA, potentially resulting in un-cured ink or reduced effective lamp life.

The higher power of some non-OEM lamps combined with larger lamp diameters cause reflectors to overheat and increases the amount of heat transmitted to the media surface, says the company, adding that incorrect arc lengths create non-uniform curing across the width of the lamp head which may produce striping or banding in the final image.

The potential invalidation of industry standards and insurances are a further concern: non-OEM lamps invalidate the UL and CE markings on the SubZero system are likely to invalidate UL and CE markings on the larger print system, which consequently may invalidate a user’s fire insurance.

Further information at Integration Technology Technical Information Bulletin – Pirate Bulbs.

 

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