Why Measure?





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Why Monitor Production Exposure?

Establishing, maintaining, understanding and controlling your process through UV measurement techniques will save your company time and money and allow you to deliver consistent quality products. This is achieved through:

Questions to ask your self to determine if you need to measure UV:

Repeatability: Can I set this job up again and get the same results next week? Next month? How long will it take to set the job up again and duplicate the cure conditions?

Reliability: How sure am I that the product I am shipping is of the same quality as the last shipment? Will it block together before it gets to the customer? Can I reduce scrap? Increase productivity?

Documentation: Are ISO procedures or customers pushing me to measure, control and document my process and management system? Do I have the job adequately documented so that I or another person can run it without going through a lengthy trial and error process? How do I handle training? Maintenance procedures?

Verification: How do I check, control and assure the quality of my product? What tests are used and what criteria do I have to determine pass/fail?

Maintenance: Wouldn't it be nice to be able to predict and schedule preventative maintenance between jobs instead of during a busy time? Pinpoint what piece of equipment needs attention? Verify that the work I am doing on the equipment has a positive impact on the system?

Communication: How well do you communicate? Consider communication within your company (production, lab, quality functions), between your vendors (equipment and substrate suppliers, formulators) and customers. Communication is an important key to your success and prosperity with UV formulations

Job Security: Is my job secure? Knowing, understanding, respecting and maintaining your UV system and the UV process will lead to your job security when you maintain and cure by numbers instead of by guessing.

When should you start measuring?
The best time to establish process control or a process window is when things are working. Trying to establish process control when things are not working (and a big job is due) is frustrating. Calling to purchase a radiometer for overnight delivery when your line is down will only tell you the current irradiance and radiant energy density on your system, not the conditions when things were curing.

Establishing and documenting process control takes work and it takes time. Consider it an investment or establishment of a solid foundation that will pay you back down the road when things are not working. Coordinate operator training and procedure documentation with your work to establish process control.