After fast adoption of UVA LEDs for curing applications, UVC LEDs for purification/disinfection are now ready
FOLLOWING THE UV CURING BOOM, DISINFECTION AND PURIFICATION APPLICATIONS ARE FINALLY READY TO TAKE OFF
The UVC LED industry is still small but strong growth is expected in the next 18 months due to dramatic price reductions. In 2016 prices are 1/8-1/10 of what they were in 2015. This has been triggered by the industry’s development, its transition to mass production and improved device performance. With most of the industry believing that $1-$4/mW is the price that would trigger mass market adoption we are getting close to a UVC LED market boom. Another positive sign is that most UVC LED manufacturers are now focusing on developing cost-effective solutions rather than improving device power output. In parallel, the UVC LED industry continues to work on increasing lifetime and developing lower wavelength devices, below 280nm.
UVA LEDs continue to progress in the UV curing space. Continuous improvement of device performance coupled with price reduction has allowed the technology to be increasingly adopted in UV curing applications. Penetration of UV LEDs is increasing but we observe differences in adoption rates depending on application. Small size and low speed applications like spot adhesive and digital inkjets have the highest adoption rate, and most new developments use UV LEDs. This is due to the small module size and low irradiance level needed that limits the extra cost of integrating UV LEDs compared to the total price of systems like inkjet printers. On the other hand, applications that need high speed processes and/or high levels of irradiance such as screen printing or coating applications have lower adoption rates. This is because UV LED performance is not yet good enough to fully replace traditional mercury lamps.
In this context, Yole Développement expects the UVC LED market to strongly grow from $7M in 2015 to $610M by 2021. With an increased penetration rate in all applications, the UVA LED market will grow from US$107 million in 2015 to US$357 million by 2021. In addition to a moderated growth due to price pressure, Yole Développement announces a very strong increase in number of devices...
The report presents a comprehensive review of all UV light applications including analysis of UV curing, UV purification/disinfection and analytical instruments. It highlights the UV LED working principle, market structure, UV LED market drivers and associated challenges, recent trends, new applications created by UV LEDs, UV LED market size split by application, and much more.
HOW RECENT UV LED PRICE DECREASES ARE FORCING MANUFACTURERS TO REVIEW THEIR STRATEGY
The visible LED industry is suffering from strong price pressure, so LED manufacturers are looking at new opportunities to increase their revenues and margins. In this context, the UV LED market has been perceived as a potential ‘blue ocean’ of attractive opportunity for these players. Since the 2012 boom of UV curing applications, more than 55 LED companies have entered the UVA LED industry. Today the UVA LED industry is well structured, with a large number of suppliers, and the price and performance of devices in greater agreement with application level requirements. A good symbol of this maturation is the involvement of six of 2015’s top-10 visible LED players: Nichia, Lumileds, Seoul Semiconductor/Seoul Viosys, Everlight, LG Innotek and Lumens.
But now, the question is: Will the UVA LED industry follow the same trend as the visible LED industry, a blue ocean that turns into a bloodbath? In four years, the number of manufacturers has increased five or six fold, with most of the new entrants coming from Taiwan and China. The emergence of these players already had an impact on the industry, forcing all manufacturers to dramatically reduce their prices and margins in 2015.
The industry can handle such price reductions and intensifying competition only if the market can offset it, for example through a volume increase. But it is likely that several players will exit the business, unable to develop as required. Indeed, UV LED device development seems to have reached a limit because manufacturers use techniques developed in the visible LED industry. Further performance improvements and price reductions will therefore require strong R&D investment. This trend will benefit big players that are more able to make the necessary financial commitment. Smaller players, if they want to survive, will have to differentiate themselves or develop new strategies. Vertical integration up to the module/system level could represent the best opportunity for them to generate additional revenues.
The report presents a detailed analysis of the UV LED industry, including: main players by wavelength range - UVA, UVB or UVC - their positioning in the value chain, and recent trends. This report is also a comprehensive overview of UV LED device manufacturing, describing UV LED structures, current challenges and key research directions. In addition, the report analyzes the UV LED performance and price roadmap.
SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT: THE NEW HOT SPOT IN THE UV LED INDUSTRY
To improve performance of UV LED curing systems, new UV LED devices with higher irradiance and longer lifetimes must be developed. However, the industry is also focusing now on other components and functions of the system such as optics, thermal management and drivers. Now that irradiance of UV LED is good enough for most UV curing applications, manufacturers work on other contributors to system performance to develop the next generation of UV curing systems. This trend is also emphasized by the development of customized systems as each application has its own requirements, such as level of irradiance, working distance, and integration in the process.
This shift in product development has attracted many new players who want to benefits from the UV LED curing boom. They come from different directions, including the printing equipment industry, traditional curing industry, the visible LED lighting industry, the optic industry, and the photonic industry. Some companies involved have even been specifically created to capitalize on this opportunity, including start-ups and spin-offs.
The UV LED purification/disinfection industry also follows similar trends. The emergence of pure UVC LED system manufacturers such as AquiSense Technologies, Acuva Technologies, and Watersprint in the past two years has accelerated industrial development and reduced time-to-market. These players have developed specific expertise at the “reactor” level and compensated the low efficiency of UVC LEDs through design of elements such as optics, fluid dynamics and thermal management. Their entry into the industry is also driven by the added value and higher revenue that can be generated through system development and sale. In the short-to-medium term, we also expect some UVC LED manufacturers to vertically integrate to further accelerate market adoption and generate higher margins.
The report presents an in-depth analysis of the UV LED curing industry, detailing: evolution of system performance, key manufacturers, trends in UV LED curing system development and design, trends in ink formulation, and much more. The report details also recent evolution in the UV LED purification and disinfection industry.
- UV LED curing applications, inks, system development and related industries
- UV LED disinfection/purification applications, system development and related industries
- New UV LED applications such as 3D printing, self-cleaning UV light touchscreens, and portable sanitizers
- UV LED supply chain evolution including new entrants and recent M&A
- UV LED device manufacturing including packaging and cost
- UV LED market forecast
Objectives of the Report
This report’s objectives are to:
Review the global UV LED industry from substrate to system and provide insights into the modification of the value and supply chains following the penetration of this disruptive technology
Understand the current status of UV LED manufacturing and analyze the performance and price roadmap
Analyze the UV curing industry, its different applications and associated characteristics
deliver a review of UVC applications and promising disinfection applications
Analyze new UV LED applications based on their added value compared to traditional technologies