RadTech Europe (RTE), the department for Surface Treatment Technology of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), and the German Professional Association for the Printing and Paper Processing Industry (BG Dr+P) recently announced the finalization of the EB Protocol for the printing and coating industry on June 29, 2006, at the RTE EB Conference in Esslingen, Germany.

The RadTech Europe, VDMA and BG Dr+P have driven the elaboration of the EB protocol in an efficient cooperation. In a comparably short time, the elaborated EB Protocol has been provided to the European market, which is acknowledged as a common reference by national health, safety and environmental (HSE) bodies in Europe.

Together with the UV Protocol, which has officially been signed at the plenary session of the RTE Conference on October 18, 2005, the EB Protocol expands the harmonized European reference for the safe application of radiation technology.

As its sister document, the EB Protocol provides a comprehensive list of conditions for safe application of EB technology in the coatings and graphic arts industry, focussing on the three significant hazards related to the technology: inhalation of or contact with dangerous substances, inhalation of ozone, and exposure to radiation.

The Protocol's standards cover both the compounds of UV and EB inks and lacquers, and the design and construction of printing and coating machines. Also included is a series of detailed recommendations for industrial operators.

RTE, VDMA and BG Dr+P are confident that this mutual European approach will promote the further implementation of this technology by setting a common reference throughout Europe. It strengthens the European internal market by giving reference information on the technology, including its growing variety of applications.

The UV- and EB-protocol is the result of the close cooperation between industry and national HS institutes across Europe. Negotiations with additional HS institutes on the signing of the Protocol are pending. The EB Protocol is available in English. Other language versions will be available shortly.

The UV/EB Protocol can be downloaded at www.vdma.org/uv or www.radtech-europe.com/UVProtokol.html or www.bgdp.de or by e-mailing nuijten@radtech-europe.com.