Environmental impact reduction is our responsibility as a leading manufacturer.
While alarm bells regarding the global environmental crisis have been sounding for quite some time, in 2020 a major turning point awaits with respect to lamps. That is the Minamata Convention on Mercury. With the adoption of this convention, the manufacture and/or export of products containing mercury is in principle prohibited from the year 2020, and consequently the production of household fluorescent lamps containing mercury and high pressure mercury lamps is to cease in that year. Although at present the Convention only applies to lamps used for illumination, as holder of the world's top market share in many of the lamps used by industry, such as those used curing applications (such as bonding and hardening of paints and LCD panels) and UV (ultraviolet) lamps used in disinfection for sanitation, USHIO feels it also has a responsibility to develop and supply environmentally-friendly products for industry, and is already undertaking the development of mercury-free lamps for practical use.
Giving form to light desired. That is USHIO's light technology.
There is a reason why mercury has been used in UV lamps for so many years, and that is that mercury is essential for high output ultraviolet emission. From the beginning of development, much time has been devoted to the search for a substance that could take the place of mercury, a search that was fruitless until recently. Besides of course having a low environmental impact, the conditions which substance must fulfill include electrical and light emitting properties that are the same as mercury's, and the same level of performance in lamps as can be achieved with mercury. After much trial and error, a substance fulfilling such conditions was finally identified. Through lamp manufacturing technology cultivated over many years, USHIO is using this substance to open the road to mercury-free UV lamps. However, at present, completely eliminating mercury is not possible, and its use remains essential. However, the prospect of the developing a UV lamp using an alternative to mercury is good, and progress is being made towards putting such lamps into practical use.
As a leading manufacturer of light, we continue to challenge.
As we all know, great advances have been made in the development of mercury-free lighting devices such as LEDs. However, mercury-free UV lamps have not yet reached the stage where they can be practically used in industrial applications. USHIO's own mercury-free UV lamp is at the stage where it has prospects of practical use. The need for mercury-free UV lamps is sure to grow steadily. As restrictions on use of mercury grow, USHIO will employ the technology it has developed together with all sorts of substances and methods to develop new possibilities in lamps, and continue providing the world with the light it needs. We are determined to be first in reaching the long-elusive goal of putting mercury-free UV lamps into practical use.