The Internet of Things promises to be one of the most revolutionary transformations in technology since the emergence of the Internet, with predictions indicating that more than 50 billion devices will be connected by 2020.The commercialisation of associated applications requires devices which combine sensing, energy source, processing power and communications with a thin, flexible form factor.
This is best achieved by integrated electronic systems; adopting a hybrid approach where the processing power of conventional electronics is combined with the form factor and cost benefits of printable electronics. The manufacture of such devices requires a mix of capability such as placement techniques; adhesion, connectivity and encapsulation, all of which are housed at CPI.
CPI’s open access facilities and knowledge allows clients to test, develop and scale up a range of intelligent devices including smart labels, intelligent ticketing, printed switching, printed sensing, smart packaging and also wireless based applications such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Near-Field Communication (NFC).
Working with CPI companies can develop their specific applications from initial device design, right through to the pilot production volumes needed for market testing and investment purposes.
CPI’s capability includes a high speed R2R electronics integration tool based on a Mühlbauer TAL 15000 to enable the manufacture of thin, flexible sensing systems for applications relevant to the Internet of Things. The tool integrates thin film and conventional electronics (packaged or bare die) onto circuits printed on reels of polymer film or paper up to 350mm wide.
CPI also operates a reel-to-reel Nilpeter printing press which has the capability to perform flexo, gravure, offset litho and rotary screen printing processes alongside cut/crease operations and pick and place technology. The custom-built, multi-process narrow web Nilpeter press is available for development work, prototyping, scale-up and pilot production. It provides a test bed to allow clients to develop intelligent print for a variety of applications such as labels, switches and sensors, flexible packaging and near field communication.
In addition, access to CPI’s team of experienced printers, scientists, engineers and commercial experts can provide specialist support to de-risk the process of taking commercial ventures to market. CPI has extensive formulations capability allowing clients to develop products and processes quickly and cost effectively with minimal risk before moving towards manufacturing scale.
CPI’s Inkjet Flex® is a two-stage print and plate process that enables copper to
be printed onto PET substrates. The technology is applicable for a range of applications including printed antennae, sensors, electrodes, flexible pcbs and other components suitable for machine to machine communication devices.
The Inkjet Flex® capability allows clients to upload their copper based circuit designs and rapidly turn these designs into printed prototypes for initial feasibility and new product development work. Inkjet Flex® is capable of producing copper features on flexible PET film (clear and opaque) using a continuous roll to roll printing and plating process.