The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has announced a significant investment in a new prototyping and development facility for printed electronic devices. Based at CPI’s Printable Electronics Technology Centre (PETEC), the facility will be uniquely positioned to work directly with the UK’s design, print and packaging industries to deliver cutting-edge electronic functionality into manufacturable printed products.
The new initiative will house a range of traditional print processes and curing equipment, including UV and conventionally drying flexo, litho, digital and screen units. The print equipment will link into advanced converting, and pick and place equipment to attach components directly to printed devices at production speeds.
It is possible to print electronic circuits through existing print infrastructure. The creation of the facility opens up a huge opportunity for developing entirely new printed products that can incorporate printed moving displays, printed batteries and printed sensors. Putting electronics into print, packaging or point of sale materials can enable a true cross-media experience directly linking traditional print with digital technologies. This will lead to the creation of a whole new generation of value-added products for the wider print and packaging industry.
The Centre will raise awareness of these emerging technologies across the relevant industries and be positioned to deliver cost-effective access to expertise, materials and equipment. As well as employing skilled print-industry staff to run the equipment, PETEC will work with leading UK technology partners to offer clients unrivalled experience and advice across all development stages, from concept, design, specification and prototyping within the new facility through to full-scale production on the client’s own equipment.
This landmark facility, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will be based within PETEC’s existing site in Sedgefield, Co Durham and will be fully operational early 2012.