At the Hunkeler innovation days this week, I discovered that for Adphos, space certainly is not the final frontier.
Because the same thermal technology that enables a space craft to safely re-enter into the atmosphere, by resisting and managing fierce temperatures, is utilised within the NIR technology that Adphos have innovated for industrial print production.
The application is different however, as the product enables the drying of substrates at warp speed (4 times quicker than conventional methods).
The technology is used in the area of thermal processes and the distribution of standard components (NIR heating modules), in engineering specialised machines and dryers for digital printing technologies.
The patented NIR technology from Adphos (adphosNIR®) allows a shortening of thermal processes in comparison with other heating technologies like infrared induction or hot air. Production lines can be shortened and significant power-saving and a reduction in CO2 output can be achieved.
This system is also able to dry ink on highly temperature sensitive materials by focusing its attention in the agent, and not the substrate itself.
The NIR-radiation energy quickly enters into the depth of the coating and keeps water and solvents out of the complete coat. With conventional infrared and thermo-air the energy is predominantly absorbed at the surface and is slowly conducted into the coating. The Adphos method excludes the solvents making this a quicker, cleaner and more energy efficient process.
NIR stands for Near InfraRed. This part of the shortwave spectrum lies just above the visible light. This is where the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation reaches its maximum energy density and optimum physical characteristics. Proprietary NIR technology now makes it possible to use the unique physical properties of this part of the electromagnetic spectrum in industrial production processes for the first time, which is obviously exciting for us at InPrint.
It's clever stuff, and demonstrates that technological development is still travelling very fast in the industrial print market proving that print technology has plenty more breakthroughs aside from space in which to break into, namely, the lucrative industrial sector.