Printed Electronics Limited (PEL) is focused on integration, development and commercialisation of processes and systems for the fabrication of electronic circuits, structures and devices using digital, additive and inkjet methods. They have a manufacturing facility in Tamworth and offices in Cambridge.
PEL are active in research and development, with a focus on materials that have electronic attributes including conductors, luminescence and insulators. They were introduced to us through research we were doing around the in-mould processing of printed electronics. As an SME, PEL were eligible to benefit from the support programme at our International Institute for Product and Service Innovation. Initially the company approached us for support with some unusually shaped prototypes they had been commissioned to produce. However as the relationship developed, further opportunities for collaboration arose.
We assisted PEL with the creation of several complex shaped prototypes built on our Fuse Deposition Modelling (FDM) 3D printer, which were subsequently used for PEL customer trials. PEL also joined newly formed Polymer Innovation and Internet of Things networks that are held regularly at WMG, to link them with other manufacturers and developers. Most recently we worked together to set up a specialist internship to build an ‘Internet of Things’ demonstrator for PEL to use at trade shows. The demonstrator consisted of establishing working ‘parts’ of two separate internet connected chess boards. It will allow two opponents in two different locations to play against each other on physical boards.
The demonstrator chess board was created in conjunction with Tom Preece, an intern from the Warwick Mathematics Institute, who developed two interactive boards and chess pieces that are capable of sharing data with each other using LED lights. This will be used to promote PEL’s capabilities in the ‘Internet of Things’ space.
To date the project work that WMG has undertaken with PEL has safeguarded at least one job in the business and the overall collaborative partnership between WMG and PEL has led to some further research funding from Innovate UK. This will allow PEL to further develop its capabilities and know how in printed electronic devices.