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Posted: Sep 18, 2012
Printed intelligence industrialization unit expanding in Finland
(Nanowerk News) Now that the VTT printed intelligence pilot-manufacturing environment has expanded to include roll-to-roll assembly, a wide variety of electronics products can be manufactured. Printed intelligence and mass production enable the manufacturing of new seamless 3D plastic products for consumer electronics, the automobile industry, health care and wellbeing. Thanks to the automated production line, companies can try out new product concepts and bring them to market more quickly and more cheaply than before.
PrintoCent Pilot Factory for Printed Intelligence Industrialisation has now been extended to cover also roll-to-roll assembly process in addition to Roll-to-Roll pilot printing line that was started in the spring. The PrintoCent productisation environment at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland premises represents the most advanced industrialisation capability and service, being at least two or three years ahead of others.
The idea of printed intelligence is to manufacture functional electronics in such great quantities, at such great speed and at such low cost that they can be added to mass-produced products. The point of roll-to-roll assembly is to combine functionalities created with printing technology - flexible and with unique form factor - with robust and industrially mature silicon-based components and other electronic components into a functional end product.
Speeding up the commercialisation of printed intelligence
On the new, unique automated production line, different types of components can be placed on flexible substrates on a continuous web. The line can handle entire rolls or any substrate in sheet form, and can be used to assemble a great variety of components, from semiconductor chips size of 100 Ám, up to flexible solar panels and batteries.
The flexible production line enables for companies testing of new product concepts, systematic development of concepts to pre-commercial level, optimisation the manufacturability and efficient production of prototype runs of up to thousands of pieces for verification and market testing.
An injection moulding machine will be added to the manufacturing capabilities by the end of the year, enabling the assembled functional substrates to be seamlessly integrated into 3D plastics products in the injection moulding process.
VTT is conducting active research and development in the area of roll-to-roll assembly and plastic integration, embedding novel optical ad electrical features into seamless 3D plastic products.
The production line investment belongs to PrintoCent programme.
Source: Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)