Completing the cycle- from selection to disposal
Proper handling of UV equipment, hazardous chemicals, and the correct disposal of waste, together play an important role
Mr Shah conducted a session on UV, hazardous chemicals and their disposal.
On October 20, 2018, BMPA conducted a Sekho Aur Samjho 2.0 session with Nitin N. Shah the President of BMPA and Director at Award Offset curated by Iqbal Kherodawala, the PIC of SaS2.0. The session focused on the handling of hazardous chemicals, especially inks, with a particular focus on UV (ultraviolet) and other safety measures.
Starting with the basics
The session began on a light note wherein Mr Shah pumped up the audience by asking few basic questions: why have you chosen the printing field? What do you mean by an enterprise or a company? An important question that we never ponder on, though being in the business; what is printing? Smart and spontaneous answers for all these questions helping in breaking the ice and made the entire session more interactive and engaging for each member of the audience.
Moving on, Mr Shah mentioned the processes in offset printing: roughly the conventional and UV printing. UV being a step ahead of the conventional printing, proves to be better and efficient. At present, UV printing is a new face of the printing industry, which will gradually turn into the only technology in the future. Pointing out a few advantages of UV printing, he said, “it can be printed on any substrate, it reduces emissions, and the solvent discharge does not happen. A common perception that resides in our minds that UV is harmful turns out to be wrong if we use it with care and precaution.” Mr Kherodawala added, “In today’s world where people want to get things done in minimum time with maximum quality, UV is convenient because the curing time is way quicker.”
The waste parts, residues and chemicals should be directed into waste tanks, and there should be a constant check to avoid any leakage or spilling.
Clutching the right UV ray
Further continuing, Mr Shah talked about the sources of UV. Apart from the natural sources, the artificially made sources of UV for domestic consumption are mercury lamps and arc lamps. He also mentioned the three types of UV lights: UV-A, B and C along with their ranges.
The different ranges of UV radiations are as follows:
• UV-A- 320-400 nm
• UV-B- 290-320 nm
• UV-C- 200-290 nm (gets neutralised by ozone in the stratosphere)
Depending on the intensity you set and the meter you get, you can choose between either going for UV-A or UV-B or a combination of both. At this point of selecting the right UV radiation type, one needs to answer a few questions, for example, what is the speed of the machine? Are the colours Spot, Pantone or the metallic?
After all this brainstorming the next step is the procedure of UV printing that one needs to keep in mind as particularly specified by Mr Shah. He explained, “when the UV printing is going on, firstly the ink is applied, which, we need to cure with the UV rays by setting the intensity and only when all these things are set in a perfect framework is when everything goes well.” Small details related to specific colours like Spot, CMYK or even substrates like Metpat and the role of UV radiation in it, was discussed in particular by the speaker-duo.
After briefing on topics like printing with UV, the requirement of curing, the ink area, all about the intensity and many such factors, the session slowly shifted onto the precautions one must take while working on the shop floor, handling UV equipment. While handling UV equipment precautions and prerequisites, such as putting up safety glasses, gloves and proper gowning and a few more.
Being Careful in Handling the UV equipment
Continuing with the similar topic of handling UV equipment, the second part of the session slides into few related aspects. Appropriate handling of UV lamps and machines is absolutely essential. Some precautionary measures that every person working and dealing with UV machines ought to know are:
Mr Kherodawala responded to the audience queries.
Mishandling of UV lamps along with various mistakes like improper maintenance, unclean reflectors and other obstacles are the primary reasons leading to reduced light intensity.
A UV lamp’s temperature is around 700°C and above; thus it should not be directly placed on the floor. UV lamps include toxic chemicals like mercury that should be taken care of.
The people in-charge should regularly check the lamps with gloves and proper gowning.
An iron funnel should not be used as iron can act as a catalyst. Instead, it is advisable to use a plastic one for the varnish to flow through it.
As soon as your machine starts, the ducting starts simultaneously, and the exhaust which should be placed at the releasing end should be switched on at the same time.
People should not consume any food items while working in the machine peripheral areas as the UV rays can directly harm your food.
Couldn’t you attend the SAS session? Worry not! Scan the QR code to watch the video on BMPA’s YouTube channel BMPA CTP.
The disposal ethics
Right disposal and proper channelling of the waste was the further topic of discussion. When we talk about working in a UV press, it is mandatory to have separate waste tanks as well. All the waste parts, residues, solvents and other chemicals should be directed into those tanks, and there should be a constant check to avoid any leakage or spilling.
When it comes to the disposal of the UV lamps, one should wrap it properly and hand it over to the authorised agencies. Speaking about the destruction of these lamps he added, the lamps should be disposed of away from water bodies without harming the environment. Things like used blankets, used rubber rollers can be reused by breaking them into pieces, we can recycle these materials to produce energy instead of merely disposing of it. Lastly, Mr Kherodawala said, “it would not always be possible to carry out all these activities in the way they should, but primarily awareness is what is important. If we are creating waste, it is our responsibility to dispose of that hazardous waste in the correct manner without harming the environment and people.”
Lastly, they took a doubt solving session where questions related to difficulties regarding UV, pharmaceutical companies and problems associated to benzophenone, UV printing, the concept of water-based inks and other related concerns faced by the professionals were asked. The speakers patiently answered to all those questions, and the audience contended.
Involving students through personal and necessary interaction, Mr Shah conducted a spot-quiz with some basic questions for the students. When was paper invented and who invented it? What are the wood types that go into the making of paper? These simple yet important questions ended the session on a happy note.
Attentive audience listening to the session.