RadTech Europe actually ran its 13th edition of this biannual conference/exhibition and celebrated 25 years of its members’ achievements in UV/EB curing. It was well attended by around 400 delegates from around the world. The conference was an excellent opportunity to learn about what is new in the scientific arena, in regulatory and health and safety concerns, and in innovation across a broad spectrum of applications.
It was the presentation of Paul Kelly, Perstorp (SE) and RadTech Europe marketing committee member, that provided me, ’ lay(wo)man in this market’, with an excellent insight and overview of the current market profile. And just like in any other markets, the market for energy curing needs to identify new capacity to keep the industry on track. In 2010, it represented 1.9% of the global coatings market, projected the growth by the end of 2013 to 3% and 3.9% in 2014. Worldwide, most applications can be found in industrial coatings (44%), OP lacquers have a 21% share, electronics applications 19%, and printing inks 12%.
In Europe, the DACH region claims the largest market share of 40%. In terms of end-use markets, wood coating is by far the most important, representing 38% of usage, with OP lacquers and printing inks joining second place with 22% of the market.
Trends and innovations
Current market trends emerge in the area of inkjet, field applied floor coatings, water-based UV, UV LED and developments in 3D technology. And innovative applications include marble repair on and offsite, cosmetic fingernail decoration, repairs to car windscreens, dental curing tasks, textiles and clothing, inkjetted solar panels, membrane panels and the production of contact lenses.
In the graphic arts markets, there are differences in predicted growth rates. Between 2011 and 2016, packaging use will grow at an estimated 24%, but UV inkjet print for labels and flexible packaging will see an estimated 250% growth over the same period.
Environmental considerations are as strong in the market for printing inks as elsewhere, and of all the environmentally-friendly ink technologies, UV inks are the fastest growing. UV inkjet inks are a major global growth opportunity, accelerating to an estimated 38% of the total market by 2017.
In Europe, industrial coatings’ geographical growth to the east of Europe is evidenced, alongside significant technology shifts reflecting increased emphasis on energy costs, weatherability and corrosion resistance, among other factors, and increased interest in water-based UV and EB systems.
I have enjoyed meeting with many RadTech Europe committee members, to gain additional insight in how this association operates and understand how we at duomedia can further build on their PR programme, and this with the help of many volunteering members. And I’m grateful for the industry’s relentless pursuit for more sustainable and innovative applications that makes our daily lives in many respects more comfortable and enjoyable.
Lut Verschueren, duomedia
David Helsby, President of RadTech Europe, opening address at ‘RadTech Europe 13’