Test laboratories have a wide range of test areas and applications and test in all imaginable areas of industry, medicine, chemistry, biology, etc. Tools as well as test equipment and machines are used, including UV lamps. Here you will find seven tips for choosing the right UVlamp for test laboratories and get a lot of information about test laboratories, especially for NDT applications and other areas of activity with UV lamps.
What do test laboratories do?
UVlamps are not only used in more and more applications because of their revolutionary UV LED technology, but you also have a real breakthrough thanks to the test laboratories that use this technology. But what exactly do test laboratories do?
Test laboratories ensure that certain standards are adhered to and that they are documented objectively. This ensures a high quality standard in many industrial sectors. For example the quality of steel or the composition of materials is analyzed trough continuous testing. And so there are test laboratories that specialize in material and component testing and, for example, test welds in the area of NDT (=non-destructive testing) with UV lamps.
Of course it is important to always carry out the tests according to the current standards. Therefore, some companies have outsourced their testing activities with UVlamps and hand over this activity to certified test laboratories. Whether the testing of components is carried out independently, i.e. in-house, for example with UVlamps, or whether this activity is carried out by a test laboratory: the quality and traceability of the results must be correct. And here, especially when testing with UVlamps, the chaff separates from the wheat. Because UV lamps in the professional sector are available from just a few hundred euros up to several thousand euros.
The rule of thumb applies here as is often the case: quality comes at a price.
However, the most expensive UVlamp is not necessarily suitable for every requirement. Here, with a great deal of experience and expertise, it is necessary to carry out an analysis based on many factors, so that the UVlamp optimally configured for the respective application area can be offered. SECU-CHEK has been developing UVlamps for NDT in aviation and other areas for many years, especially for test laboratories with extensive expert knowledge for UV lamps, so that test laboratories can often further expand their quality and their own standards during testing and thus shine with top quality and speed among their customers.
Larger companies often run their own test laboratories. SECU-CHEK UV lamps are suitable for testing all applications, from simple standard applications to high-security critical applications due to their modular design. This means that it does not matter whether you check independently or commission a laboratory, because the UVlamps from SECU-CHEK with many variants cover every niche and can be operated with the right advice also for laymen in the field of UV LED technology and ensure optimal visibility.
What types of test laboratories are in the market?
Test laboratories are on the market for very different testing activities. There are calibration laboratories, certifiers, chemical laboratories, electronics laboratories, building materials laboratories, but also environmental laboratories, medical laboratories, water laboratories and many more. UV lamps in particular are often used in material laboratories as well as industrial test laboratories.
Many laboratories cover several testing procedures within a company, e.g. chemical analyses, mechanical tests, but also metallographic or geotechnical tests.
The test applications are as diverse as they are. The smaller share is accounted by certification, for example in the automotive sector or also in the environment, energy, building technology and industry in general.
Testing laboratories have the largest market share, particularly in the fields of construction, electronics, environment, industry, materials analysis, medicine.
Here, welding seams are tested with UVlamps in the shipping business, aviation or industrial plants, but also motors or UVlamps are used for testing in wafer production.
This is the large area of the NDT (non-destructive testing). In addition, there is also the magnetic powder test, the color penetration test or the visual test, which are all carried out with UV lamps. It does not matter whether these are mobile UV lamps to go for leak detection on a large industrial plant or whether the mass production of components with stationary UV lamps is controlled. A visual inspection of printed sheets with security features such as banknotes or passports is also possible with UV lamps for unsurpassed accuracy.
In the aviation industry, too, UV lamps are often used through test laboratories to ensure external, objective control mechanisms to the highest technical standard.
A smaller aspect is the calibration (often mechanical calibration) by laboratories, which is not discussed here.
In recent years, a large number of test laboratories with very different machinery and test equipment have developed. For example, the tests start partly with a person and a UV lamp up to large-scale projects in terms of size and duration, in which partially automated or semi-automated test methods with UV lamps are used.
SECU-CHEK depicts the entire spectrum of UVlamps and can offer you a concept individually tailored to your test situation, which is unparalleled in terms of quality and efficiency of the test.
Which lamps are used? UV lamps or other lamps?
Since many test laboratories are active in the field of NDT (= non-destructive material testing), UV lamps are generally used in most cases. There are two things to keep in mind:
- On the one hand, the technology of UV lamps has changed significantly over time
- On the other hand, the area of application and the type and size/shape of the parts to be tested decides individually on which UVA lamps and specifically which settings can be tested.
The technology of UV lamps in the course of time.
In the course of industrialization, the testing of properties of the processed materials for machines and structures became always important. After all, it is a matter of human lives when components do not withstand their necessary load. Think, for example, of steel beams installed in bridges or high-rise buildings. But so are aircraft and helicopters in the aviation industry or in shipping, etc., to name just a few examples of NDT tests.
The non-destructive testing was initially carried out with mercury vapor lamps. Mercury vapor lamps had the right properties as UV lamps, for example in the case of penetration testing, magnetic powder testing or generally a visual inspection, to detect possible defects such as the finest hair cracks at an early stage and thus to ensure greater safety.
Mercury vapor lamps have made a long-term living, supporting industrialisation and making the industry safer.
For several years, however, it has been replaced by the UV LED light, which is better in many respects. There are several reasons for this:
- UV-LED lamps reach your full brightness immediately after switching on, regardless of the outside temperature. This makes UVLamps more robust in daily test use, especially for test laboratories
- Test labs have to perform many tests one after the other, so the UV lamps often need to be switched on and off. This is the only way to save electricity and work productively. Professional UV LED lamps are insensitive to switching on and off. An important plus. The revolutionary UV LED lamps from SECU-CHEK with the innovative eco-mode (depending on the respective model) stand out here because they combine a long service life with low energy consumption and a simple, intuitive working method in daily use.
- Furthermore, the light output is significantly higher compared to mercury vapor lamps. As you can see here in comparison, the light and illumination range is much better, especially with the SECU-CHEK UV-LED luminaires, so that real professionals provide more reliable and much more consistent test results with these lamps:
- good for the environment: UV-LED lamps have not processed mercury, so this does not put an additional burden on the environment.
- the UV-LED technology ensures a lower waste heat with significantly higher efficiency compared to the mercury vapor lamps
- very strong buying argument: depending on the model, a continuously dimmable UV lamp is integrated from 0 to 100%, without loss of efficiency or durability.
- Mercury vapor lamps are prone to shocks and vibrations, so that in harsh industrial environment, when test laboratories with field service have to remove an industrial plant, something can happen very quickly and the mercury vapor lamp breaks down. These costs in practice can be excluded as far as possible with UV-LED lamps.
- this and other facets in the field of UV-LED technology in test laboratories ensure that the total costs (investment costs including electricity costs) are significantly lower compared to other lamps such as mercury vapor lamps.
The area of application and the on-site testing and installation situation
Thus, one can stand out from the crowd especially as a test laboratory by testing with the most modern state of the art and thus guaranteeing its customers really high-quality test results with the appropriate UV-LED lamps. Because one thing must not be forgotten. The audits in the area of the NDT are intended to ensure greater safety and generally lower costs.
This brings us to the most important decision-making aids in the choice of the right UV lamp.
7 tips for choosing the right UVlamp
1. What is being tested?
Are small built-in parts tested or an entire aircraft turbine tested? How big or small and how heavy are the parts? Are there any special requirements regarding the testing of the components, such as certain test standards,which must be complied with? Especially here, it is important and right to have a UV LED lamp approved for all test methods and requirements as far as possible. This facilitates the daily work, more orders can be accepted and processed and the examiners are also better trained with a lamp and know what is important. From the small UV-LED flashlight TC1 to modular UV-LED large-scale systems in the industrial sector, SECU-CHEK offers the entire spectrum for a tailor-made NDT testing.
2. How often there is a repeated checking routine?
Of course, UV lamps have to withstand other claims if they are used daily in three shifts for hundreds or even thousands of parts, than if you have to check a machine for tightness twice a week in the company. Here it is important to have the right cost-benefit ratio and to make a customer-oriented assessment.
3. How many pieces are tested?
In the case of the number of pieces, it depends very much on how the entire test system is to be designed. You will be surprised, but there is an interesting aspect: in some cases, testing at high quantities is better done “by hand” by man than with a machine. This sounds illogical at first glance, but is related to the properties of the human eye (keyword “peripheral vision”) and the possible susceptibility to errors in automated systems. Our team of experts from SECU-CHEK knows what matters and is happy to assist you with a free consultation.
4. What size/area does it need to be checked?
Not only the size of the components plays a role in the test with UVlamps, but above all also the area or the surface, which has to be removed. This is where efficiency comes in. Imagine having to use a small UV LED hand lamp to inspect an entire component of 2x3m size. This would not only take unnecessary time, it would lead to misinterpretations and fatigue of the examiner, especially in many cases, as the small illumination area and the falling light lead to a high load on the human being. With a large mobile floodlight or, even better, a specially designed test cabin for these large parts with several UV LED modules of the B3A or B6A UV LED lamps from SECU-CHEK, they lead to an effective, efficient and above all safe test at the highest level.
5. What is the application that needs to be checked?
The interplay between the respective application area, the component, the test method, etc. and a high degree of experience in this area results in which test procedure should be used with which settings, which tools and test equipment.
There are very few 08/15 solutions here. Our specialists will be happy to advise you free of charge and give you tips.
6. What specifications must be met? (Standards/Conformity)
As mentioned earlier in the text, not every UV lamp can simply be used without hesitation for every application. Especially in the aviation industry and some other safety-relevant areas, precisely defined standard values and other requirements are required to be approved for testing.
SECU-CHEK therefore offers qualified test reports and certification incl. for the various UV LED lamps. regular inspection/calibration of the lamps. This also includes extensive reporting, so that the serial number and documents can be used to prove the correct condition of the UV lamp without any gaps and so that the test results are only valid.
7. What budget?
Last but not least, the budget plays a role when buying a UV lamp. After all, test laboratories, like other companies in the free economy, have to cover costs or make for profit. Quality pays off in the long term, but of course the test lamp must also match the requirements. Just as a “normal”, unqualified UV LED lamp must not be used for high-security areas with the already mentioned qualities, it does not make any sense, on the other hand, to use a very expensive UV lamp, so to speak, on “saving flame” and to use only a small part of the possibilities, even if it can be used with a simpler (but nevertheless qualitatively decent) and the conditions corresponding UV lamp, which means the illumination area, which , the intensity, etc.
Many of our customers check and work according to similar standards or have at first glance similar requirements for your UV lamps. The practice, however, is that almost every customer has very specific requirements that differ from each other. For this reason, we at SECU-CHEK offer a very wide portfolio of a wide range of UV lamps with individual equipment in our standard range and can also supply individual systems for highly specialized applications at short notice on the basis of our modular systems, in-house development and production in the field of UV lamps.
For more information on our special solutions for UV lamps, please contact us directly.
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