GEW Innovations Cut Costs for Customers
To combat this energy wastage without having to make printers waste time, GEW has developed GreenTimer, a simple, user-friendly software package which allows the operator to program the system to start automatically after the desired amount of time, and also to power down after a pre-determined duration on stand-by. Additionally, the total number of hours which the system has been ‘intelligently’ switched off for are logged, so that managers can quantify the savings easily. Despite the additional switching on and off of the lamps caused by the GreenTimer, their warrantee will not be affected because GEW lamps can be powered on and off an infinite number of times without incurring penalty clauses.
Whilst this may not in itself be a new concept, past offerings on the market have often been poorly executed and expensive. GEW’s own R&D team has now developed two different solutions, which can be either be fully integrated with the lampheads to give a constant read-out on the touch screen, or else a hand-held unit for taking readings from each lamp.
The integrated solution, or ‘online’ version, simultaneously measures the output of all lamps in the system, and displays a percentage read-out on the touch screen showing the relative output compared to a brand new lamp. Thus as the lamps age, the decrease in their output can be seen easily, allowing the printer to replace the lamp(s) or increase the input power as necessary. This makes it easy to ensure that a sufficient level of UV power is always available to cure the job being printed, and it also avoids wastage on cure-critical applications where lamps might otherwise be replaced more frequently than is necessary.
The hand-held unit is a specialist scientific instrument, which is inserted into a docking station in the front door of the lamphead to measure the UV intensity in milliwatts per square centimetre (mW/cm2). Where measuring the intensity of UV, or any light source for that matter, the positioning of the sensor in relation to the lamp is critical to obtaining accurate and repeatable results. If a sensor is located in three different positions, it is likely to give three very different readings. GEW’s solution involved designing a precision-engineered docking station and corresponding probe to ensure that the sensor is always in exactly the same position relative to the lamp, so that the only variable that can possibly be measured is the lamp’s UV output. The unit itself is capable of storing readings from up to sixteen lamps in its internal memory, which can then be downloaded to a computer via a USB cable. A line graph can then be plotted to show how the intensity of each lamp changes over time, and thus indicate when it is time to replace the lamp. The effects of cleaning the reflectors and glassware can also be measured quantifiably.