New print facility to offer potential for real world printable electronics products

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has recently completed the installation of its Integrated Smart Systems facility: a £2m development with the ability to deliver interactive electronic functionality in a traditional pressroom environment.

Based at its National Printable Electronics Centre, NETPark, site at Sedgefield, CPI’s Interactive Smart Systems (ISS) line is an open access facility and proves that current commercially available equipment can print electronically interactive items in a standard pressroom environment. Applications include point of sale material, toys, games, novelty items, smart packaging and intelligent sensors – proving that developments such as digital, condition-sensitive sell-by dates on fresh produce are not as far away as you may imagine.

The facility, which is now open and already has a list of projects lined-up, includes a £1.5m Nilpeter press, which has the capability to handle multiple printing techniques on to backing such as paper, card, films and foil with thickness ranging from 25-370microns. This technology is further supported with a host of printing, curing, cutting, and pick and place tools.

The ISS line is able to produce demonstrator units and prototypes, as well as performing pilot production and scalable process development for a range of users including brand owners, printers, packaging houses, creative designers, ink formulators, substrate suppliers and equipment manufacturers. It not only develops the integration of printable electronics with existing processes, but also initiates the evolution of a cross-market supply chain.

ISS Programme Manager, Bela Green, says: “There is almost a limitless number of applications for interactive print, and as an open access facility the ISS line represents an excellent opportunity for clients to become familiar with the technology before being trained on how to implement it. Alternatively, they can utilise the expertise that CPI has on offer and allow us to lead on projects – it is a flexible set-up that can significantly benefit companies looking to capitalise on printable electronics.”

CPI is running a workshop for North East-based SMEs on July 19. It is free of charge to attend, and will provide an excellent introduction to the ISS facility, its technology and potential. Online registration is available at www.uk-cpi.com/events

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