Photonics based solutions from ultraviolet to infrared

News of the Month - Case Stories

Did you know that infrared heat plays an important role in the production of chocolates?

IR heat for the production of chocolates

Supermarkets on Valentine's Day. Each year, there is a gathering of men who buy chocolates or similar chocolate sweets for their loved ones. After all, chocolates are one of the more popular gifts next to jewelry and flowers that men like to buy for their girlfriends or wives on this special day. However, not many people know how exactly the small chocolates are produced. Carbon infrared emitters from Heraeus Noblelight play a central role in their production.

Heat processes play an important role in the production of pralines. A first important heating step is the heating of the molds before they are filled with chocolate.

The quality of the product depends on heating it to a precise temperature of about 30°C, depending on the type of chocolate. The temperature cannot vary more than 1°C above or below the specific temperature required. Otherwise, the chocolate loses its consistency, becomes brittle, or develops an unattractive bloom. Tests at the Heraeus application center in Neston, UK, showed that carbon infrared emitters , together with pyrometers to ensure that the optimal temperature is precisely maintained within ±1°C, met the requirements for praline production. Pyrometers control the plastic molds just prior to the infrared heating system. This temperature specifies the time span during which the infrared heat acts on the molds. After this warming step, another pyrometer checks whether the correct temperature for filling the chocolate has been reached.

When combining the chocolate halves, a pyrometer measures the chocolate temperature in front of the heating station and controls the infrared emitters so that the halves can be reliably joined together at a temperature of about 30 ° C.

The use of infrared emitters not only significantly improved the quality and appearance of the finished product. In addition, the carbon infrared emitters react so quickly that they can be switched off immediately in the event of an unexpected stop in the production line. This ensures that impairment of plant and products is minimized.

Would you like further information on the possibilities of IR, UV and flash for the production of chocolates?

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Did you know that UV light is also used at cruise ships?

UV ballast water treatment cruiseship

Large vessels like e.g. containter vessel but also cruise ships need water, so called ballast water to gain stability and balance their mass. In every port ballast water, which also contains small organisms such as plankton, aquatic invertebrates, fish larvae but also pathogens is loaded into the vessel, travels around the world until it is unloaded again in another port. In this way, many sea dwellers become stowaways that travel around the world. With intensive UV light these undesired organisms can be killed within the ballast water tanks already on the vessel to minimize their spread.

In future, environmentally compatible treatment systems for ballast water are to become imperative on all maritime vessels, this was defined by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). One possible method is to treat ballast water with intensive UV light. The special light disinfects the water. In the UVC range, at a wavelength of 254 nanometres, it destroys the DNA of the bacteria and pathogens, makes them inactive and prevents them from reproducing. For this process, Heraeus develops and manufactures special UV lamps and complete modules and power supplies for integration into modern ballast water systems.

Would you like to learn more about water treatment with powerful UV light? Please contact us

Find further details about UV treatment of ballast water in our special online section.

Did you know that UV light helps keep your kitchen clean? Even when roasting a goose?

grease and odour reduction kitchen uv

The Christmas goose is a tradition that many families enjoy at Christmas. However, it is rather elaborate to prepare at home. This is why people like to order it when dining out. Not an easy task for restaurateurs because the fatty poultry releases a lot of grease when it is cooked. Fat separators in the kitchen air extractor hood can only trap up to 95% of the grease in the outgoing air. The rest is deposited in the hood casing and the exhaust air duct. This starts to smell over time and causes a fire hazard. Moreover, the grease in the air settles down which makes cleaning very hard work.

Highly-efficient odour and fume reduction thanks to UV technology

Installing the Heraeus UV Control System in exhaust hoods in commercial kitchens enables environmentally friendly cleaning of exhaust air using UV light.

Treatment with high-energy UV radiation in the wavelength range of 185 nm (VUV) photolyses, destroys and neutralises grease and odour molecules. This keeps the surface of the extractor hood clean and makes it much easier to clean the exhaust air duct. Where daily cleaning by hand was required before, the exhaust air duct now needs almost no manual cleaning at all.

Powerful Heraeus VUV lamps are very efficient even at ambient temperatures of up to 80°C. Moreover, their long useful life of up to 10,000 hours of operation minimises the servicing intervals.

Click here to learn more about air treatment with UV light.

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Did you know that infrared heat helps to keep the Christmas stollen mold-free?

germ reduction with infrared heat

A delicious Christmas stollen for tea simply belongs to Christmas time. The rich pastry should not only taste well but also remain mold-free.

The use of infrared systems from Heraeus Noblelight prior to packaging significantly reduces the formation of mold. For Christmas stollen, 6 seconds at 125°C is enough to achieve a notable effect. Tests with baked bread showed that bread lasted three to four days longer when it was treated with medium-wave infrared emitters for only four seconds.

Infrared emitters reduce germs on bread

One of the major problems in large-scale bakeries is mold contamination of the bread surface between baking and packing. Mold spores are naturally present within a bakery environment and contamination can take place as the bread cools before it is wrapped.

Heraeus Noblelight have carried out successful tests, both in its own application center in Neston and in some bakeries, to demonstrate the effectiveness of infrared radiation as mold-prevention technology. It has been shown that mold contamination is prevented if the bread is heated for a few seconds before final packing. The short heating time does not have any negative effects on the taste or the consistency of the bread. Heraeus now offers the bakeries the opportunity to use their testing facilities to convince themselves of the effectiveness of the technology.

Infrared heat is already widely used within the food sector, providing targeted and controllable heat to ready-made meals or chocolate products . In most cases, carbon infrared emitters are used because they heat the surfaces very quickly and maintain the desired temperature with a maximum deviation of 1°C.

Carbon infrared emitters for germ reduction on baking tools

Infrared heating transmits large amounts of energy in a short time. A disinfection with infrared radiation is a thermal disinfection, with the help of controlled heat. Depending on the power of the emitter, humidity and desired production line speed, sterilization is achieved between 120°C and 160°C within 10 to 30 seconds.

Carbon infrared emitters combine the highly effective medium wave radiation with sufficiently high surface powers. Thus, germs can also be killed on porous surfaces within less than one minute. Due to the depth effect of the carbon emitters the germs which already lie in several layers are also reached.

In the baking industry Carbon infrared systems provide simple, fast and safe disinfection of baking molds, conveyor belts and other baking utensils. By killing bacteria and spores, the fungus and mold formation is minimized. Carbon infrared emitters from Heraeus Noblelight are also particularly easy to handle. They are a reaction time of 1-2 seconds so there is no risk of ovreheating the baked goods in the event of the unexpected stoppage of the conveyor system. They are also particularly compact, which simplifies retrofitting into an existing machine. The radiation field can be easily adapted to the width of the baking trays.

Read more about UV technology for the sterilization of surfaces and packaging material here.

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Did you know that infrared heating is an essential part of automotive manufacture?

Infrared heat for the automotive industry

Except for the coating, which dries more quickly using infrared heat, automotive manufacture uses infrared heating more or less invisibly. In the manufacture of airbags, for example, and in over 200 other fields of application.

Infrared makes production processes more efficient

The success of infrared technology in the automotive industry has various reasons: For starters, infrared technology is very versatile, as it can create the perfect heating process for almost any material. Another factor is its economic efficiency: Infrared systems provide targeted heat, which means that both process speed and productivity increase.

Infrared heat has a wide range of applications in the automotive industry

During the production of plastic handles, housing parts, covers, suction hoses and lids, it is not always possible to prevent the creation of sharp-edged burrs , especially at the tool splitting surfaces. Infrared radiation heats the surfaces of plastic components in a contact-free manner and in a matter of seconds, so that the burrs are simply melted away.

A production line for fuel tanks has been upgraded using an infrared system. The system was selected to give fast, efficient surface drying of a water-based spray coating, which is applied at an intermediate stage of fuel tank assembly. The infrared emitters helped maximize both throughput capability as well as energy efficiency.

Infrared heat is also used for the production of car windows. It ensures the reliable and precise adhesion of molded thermoplastic sealings. Fast response medium wave emitters activate the adhesive after its application.

Are you interested in the just-mentioned case stories or other stories about infrared heat for the automotive industry? Please contact us!

For more applications of infrared heat and the automotive industry, click here!

Did you know that Heraeus FiberLight UV light source helps to keep beer tasting good?

Beer analysis

Craft breweries like to promote themselves as a better-tasting, better-quality beer than the alternative macrobrews. While taste is a subjective and hotly debated topic, beer quality is something that can easily be measured with spectrometers.

The Beer-Lambert Law, sometimes more aptly called Beer’s Law, relates the amount of light absorbed in a sample with the properties of the sample. To perform an analysis you need a sensor, a spectrometer, and a light source, in this case a Heraeus FiberLight miniature UV light source. Spectroscopic quality control testing provides a straightforward, low-cost method capable of rapid sample analysis. Incorporating a spectrometer in a brewery’s quality control process can save time and money in a variety of ways. It is nondestructive, does not require complicated sample preparation, and it provides real time data.

The Heraeus FiberLight light source is a complete plug-&-play design that is easy to incorporate into spectroscopic systems. This means the OEM spends less time and money on complicated optical designs, and gets the product to market quicker. Its small size is ideal for portable or table-top units and enables design flexibility. Its integrated control board and power supply eliminate the need for auxiliary electronics. Overall, FiberLight lowers development and production costs to OEMs, whilst its fast and long life operation lowers cost-of-ownership to end users. And…we help keep beer tasting good!

Are you interested in reading the whole case story about Spectroscopic quality control in breweries? Please contact us .

Did you know that tempering helps with the production of glass bottles and ampoules for the pharmaceutical industry?

Heraeus glasspolarimeter

Medication, tablets and pills are packaged in small glass bottles or ampoules. These need to be safe and clean but the special shape of the glass packaging makes its manufacture something of a challenge. The glass is formed under heat, which means there are residual thermal stresses and the glass is more likely to crack. For this reason, these thermal stresses must be removed before they are put into use. Stress relief is achieved by tempering. This involves a controlled heating to around 600°C, followed by a slow cool-down. Various technologies can be used for this heating process, a new development is the MAX infrared oven, which offers significant user benefits.

The MAX Infrared Oven – Precisely tailored to meet customer needs
Tempering packaging glass with warm air takes up valuable time and space. The new MAX infrared oven from Heraeus Noblelight is superior to both convection and batch ovens, as it transfers the required energy in a very short time. Both the process chamber and the feeder system of the new MAX oven are made of pure quartz material, which is extremely resistant to thermal shock and on the other hand minimizes the possibility of the glass containing unwanted particle impurities. In cannulas or glass bottles, the base is relatively thick and the walls comparatively thin. Consequently, base and walls are heated at different rates. The QRC material used in the MAX oven is made up of quartz glass so that the infrared radiation is diffused to provide a particularly homogenous heating effect.

Tempering within a few minutes
In order to temper the glass products, they are passed into the MAX oven, heated to 600°C and held for a short time at this temperature. They are then removed from the oven and cooled in a controlled manner. Tests in the Heraeus Applications Centre in Kleinostheim have established that when glass is heated at a rate of 50 °C temperature rise per second then the complete tempering process can be completed in around five minutes. The test oven had a power of 15kW, so that the temperature was held constant at the 600°C necessary for the glass tempering. Compared with conventional electrical heating methods, the MAX oven is five times faster and provides energy savings of up to 90%. Consequently, the tempering process time can be reduced, energy efficiency can be increased and operating costs lowered.

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Did you know that UV light helps to ensure safe bathing during the summer months?

Did you know that UV light helps to ensure safe bathing during the summer months

Communal wastewater, after being cleaned in clarification plants, is reintroduced into the water cycle, into rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Special treatment is necessary if, at subsequent points, drinking water is extracted or wastewater is fed back to bathing waters. If the wastewater has a high germ count then the hygienic conditions for bathing become doubtful as there are significant dangers of infection for humans.

In addition to the conventional processes for cleaning water – such as the use of chemicals like chlorine and ozone or filtration systems – the importance of ultraviolet light as a reliable, environmentally friendly and economically viable alternative is ever increasing.

The city of Munich and the State of Bavaria started a project to improve the hygienic water quality of the Isar, to ensure safe bathing during the summer months. One part of the Isar is diverted into the Isar canal and used for energy generation. As a result, the remaining Isar between Bad Toelz and Freising carries very little water. By introducing cleaned wastewater from the clarification plants in this area the degree of contamination was high, in spite of sufficient treatment, and the water was heavy with pathogens. The Europe-wide, unique “Clean Isar” project included the decision to use UV wastewater disinfection as the final cleaning stage in the clarification plants which fed the wastewater back into the river. The aim was to significantly reduce the germ count of the waste waters and so improve the hygienic water quality of the Isar in the bathing season, while meeting the severe EU bathing water regulations.

Heraeus Noblelight offers different UV solutions for water treatment.

The disinfection of water can involve the use of compact medium pressure UV lamps, low pressure UV lamps and high power amalgam lamps.

Follow the link, if you would like to read details about the different UV lamp technolgies for water treatment .

Are you interested in details about the project: “Clean Isar – a decision for UV”? Please contact us at .

Did you know that infrared emitters help embellish garden shovels?

embellish garden shovels with infrared emitters

Planting roses or digging over the vegetable patch - tools are necessary for any kind of work around the garden or house. Colored shovel blades are not just nice to look at, the applied coating additionally helps protect the blade against rust and corrosion.

The powder coating on the metal blades of the shovel, as well as the coating of machine parts, rims or engine housings, can be cured with infrared heat.

Gardening tools are exposed to plenty of nature's features - they have to withstand dirt and now and then the occasional downpour.
However, rain is not the only hazard: sunlight makes the colors on your gardening tools fade.

This is why it is of upmost importance for you gardening tools, e.g. a shovel, to be produced and coated at high quality. It is necessary that the coating remains on the product for two reasons: A well-coated garden shovel is aesthetically more pleasing than one with its coating chipping off. Furthermore, the coating helps protect the shovel.

A high quality and efficient coating of metals can be achieved with infrared emitters from Heraeus Noblelight.

Infrared heat - basics

Infrared heat transfers energy and generates heat where it is needed. PLC controlled infrared ovens are precisely designed to match the thermal process application. This saves energy, improves process stability and increases capacity and quality. The emitted radiation is in the range of 3,5 to 5,5 µm and thus exactly matches the absorption spectrum of powder coatings and water.

Gas catalytic infrared - efficient and reliable heating processes

Gas catalytic IR heat is idead for several processes, for example the coating of heat-sensitive substrates such as MDF, powder coating of metallic and non-metallic substrates, drying processes and thermoforming of plastics. The coating of the shovel blade is cured with a gas catalytic infrared system, thus making sure that the shovel does not oxidize and that the colors do not fade or chip off.

Gas catalytic infrared emitters convert natural gas or propane into medium to long wave infrared by using a special platinum catalyst. This flameless reaction differentiates the gas catalytic infrared system from other conventional infrared systems where gas is burnt in the process.

The heaters are available in ten standard sizes that can be combined to create large or small oven systems depending on the application. Each system can be split into any number of individual PLC controlled zones for precise process control.

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Did you know that specialty light sources minimize the odor during the sugar beet production?

Minimize odor during the sugar beet production

Sugar plays an integral role in a healthy balanced diet and an active lifestyle. During the manufacturing process sugar beets pass through many stages beginning with sugar syrup which is crystallized to create white sugar. Further processing generates a final product – molasses. This entire process, involves an exhaust air with a characteristic odor that can be detected over a large vicinity.
High-power UV irradiation has a positive effect on organic components and reduces the odor significantly.

Would you like to read more about this topic? Request the whole case story „Smart UV technology reduces odors from molasses production” via mail .

UV lamps from Heraeus Noblelight are an effective and economical solution in comparison to other options for the treatment of exhaust air. Find out on our website how UV oxidation works.

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Did you know that Heraeus PID lamps have been used in the measurement of air quality at the London airport?

Did you know that Heraeus PID lamps have been used in the measurement of air quality at the London airport

Air pollution such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and fine particulates - mostly from vehicular emissions - puts a strain on the environment and affects people’s health, which could result in reduced life expectancy.
Real-time monitoring of air quality is important to understand the factors that influence air pollution.

In a research project with the University of Cambridge, UK in and around London Heathrow airport a sensor network with 50 stations has been installed measuring the air pollution caused by road and air traffic around Heathrow airport.

For this purpose the small battery-powered instruments are lamppost-mounted, which contain a number of sensors that measure six gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and airborne particulates. Heraeus Noblelight supplied PID lamps, which have been used for the detection in these sensors.

And so does air analysis & pollution control with PID lamps work:

Measurement of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) using portable Photoionisation Detectors (PID) enables fast detection at ppb sensitivity.
Monitoring VOCs using PID is becoming an economical way to track pollution and air quality in urban environments. Heraeus PID lamps are the industry-leaders for lifetime and spectral purity for cost-effective, reproducible analysis.

Photoionisation is the term for the absorption of high energy photons by a molecule which results in ionisation of that molecule. The current created by ionisation is proportional to the concentration of the molecule, so this provides a simple method for quantitative analysis of a variety of compounds.

The technique is non-destructive so can be used in conjunction with other detectors for extending the analysis. Photons will only ionise molecules with an ionisation potential less than the photon energy.

Heraeus produces a wide range of PID lamps for standard and customer-specific requirements both so RF and as DC versions. For portable detectors HF versions are the best choice because they are smaller and require less energy, while DC devices are preferred for laboratory instruments.

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Did you know specialty lamps are used for printing napkins?

Did you know specialty lamps are used for printing napkins

Paper napkins are popular because they are well absorbent and imprinted with decorative pictures. However, especially these features make it difficult to print on them. The ink on the surface is to be dried just like the penetrated ink in the deeper napkin layers.
The napkins can be packaged only after ink and water have completely dried. To have this done in-line and within an acceptable time, drying must be especially efficient.

Depending on ink, UV lamps or IR emitters are used for drying or curing .
Heraeus supplies special hybrid carbon infrared emitters for drying water-soluble ink e.g. on multi-layer, absorbent napkins. The emitters help to dry printing ink on the surface and at the same to evaporate water under the surface.

UV-curing printing inks are special colour systems which are caused to dry, or more precisely, to cure by UV radiation. The material on which the ink is printed, preferably smooth and non-absorbent surfaces, is transported through a UV installation with special UV lamps or UV LEDs and the ink film is cured within seconds. The cured surfaces can then have various properties such as resistance to chemicals, adhesion, resistance to scratching or sheen.

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Did you know infrared keeps ships running during winter?

Anti-icing with infrared

Out of doors, ice, snow and freezing humidity can impair the proper function of technical installations. Here are three examples of infrared ensuring continued operation despite bad weather.

Gas turbines are throttled if filters are iced up.
To function properly, gas turbines need air for combustion. However, that air must be free from dust and other particles and is, therefore, always filtered. Cold and wet intake air in winter months can easily cause icing-up of the filters. The filters then let little air pass through and the gas turbine has to be throttled or switched off – of all times in the season it is needed most. Mostly, the filters used are made of fleece, and often they consist of many small units inside a large filter housing. Gas turbines are supplied with intake air from the outside, and especially at low outside temperatures combined with cold and wet air, the fleece filters can easily ice up. Therefore, the filters need to be protected to preserve the filtering effect and the air flow. A British plant manufacturer has tested different anti-icing systems and decided to use a Heraeus Noblelight infrared system in a gas compressor plant in Germany. The tests showed that an infrared module consumes less energy and is easier to install than other technologies. Three modules were installed, which are controlled by a thermostat that switches the emitters on when the outside temperature drops below a certain value and off again if the temperature reaches a preset value. The infrared modules are compact and very robust, and reliably function even under clammy conditions.

Gates of locks can no longer be used if they are iced up.
Shipping must stop if locks are iced up. At six weirs with locks in the Danube and the river Inn, Heraeus Noblelight infrared emitters make sure the locks can be operated also in severe winters. The infrared emitters are installed horizontally at the weirs' lower sluices. Splash water cannot affect quartz glass infrared emitters, because quartz glass has a very small thermal expansion coefficient, and hence is very well resistant to thermal shocks. The electrical connections are protected against water by a patented housing (made by the Heraeus customer Elektro Neumayer).

Iced coal cannot be moved.
Bulk goods such as ore or coal, which are transported by rail in metal cars, may freeze together into large lumps in cold and wet weather. Doors and flaps cannot be opened and it is difficult to empty the cars completely. Infrared heat can help here. The cars are heated from the outside, so that the coal lumps thaw.

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Did you know that printed electronics need special light sources?

Printed Electronics
Source: fotolia

Printed electronics and printed functionalities are on the rise, in the form of RFID (radio frequency identification), as part of telephone or credit cards (smart cards), as copy protection or as security features in ID cards. To produce printed electronics, organic or metal-containing inks are applied on plastic foils, paper or glass. Drying, curing and sintering are methods required to achieve the desired conductivity or semi-conducting or dielectric properties. UV lamps or LEDs and flash lamps with intelligent control units are used for this.
Depending on the application, the optimal emitter is chosen, so that the wavelengths suit perfectly to the ink and the substrate.



Flash Lamp Systems

Did you know that Infrared heat helps airbags to inflate more easily?

Did you know that specialty light sources are being used in the detection of explosives and narcotics, to safeguard society and protect our way of life?

Did you know that UV ensures that kitchens smell less?

Did you know that Infrared makes the handle of watering cans more comfortable?

Did you know that we can simulate the sun?

Did you know that specialty light sources are used to ensure the quality of baby food?

Did you know that gas catalytic Infrared systems allow boats to shine beautifully?

Did you know that specialty light sources can be used to monitor air quality in cities?

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