According to recent studies, the printed electronics market is estimated to reach $40.2 billion by the year 2020, with a compound average growth rate of 33.8 percent each year. Flexographic Technical Association’s (FTA) 2014 Fall Conference & Tabletop Exhibit will address this topic in a session, “Printed Electronics: What Does it Mean to the Flexo Industry?” The conference, themed “Beyond the Concept: Innovation in Action,” will take place Oct. 20-22 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, in Minneapolis, MN.
As the name itself suggests, printed electronics is the fusion of two major industries – electronics and printing. To date, a vast amount of research has been carried out on varied materials and equipment related to printed electronics at the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson University, one of the premier academic institutions for flexographic research.
Conference goers will hear from Clemson’s lead researchers who will discuss the findings of recent printed electronics benchmarking studies and share their insights into applications for printed electronics in packaging.
In his presentation “The Viability & Challenges of Functional Printing for Real-World Packaging Applications” Chip Tonkin, director of the Sonoco Institute, will provide an overview of the printed electronics industry with special emphasis on packaging applications and the role flexography plays in this up-and-coming industry.
Brad Gasque, research associate for the Sonoco Institute, will follow with a presentation on “Printed Electronics in the Flexographic Pressroom” which will look into some of the many challenges that flexographic printers face when producing circuitry for printed electronics. These issues include curing and sintering conductive inks, working with nano-particle inks, registration, imaging, printing hybrid processes (gravure and flexo) inline with multiple curing systems (water-based, solvent-based and UV inks) for multi-layer devices, and more.
Liam O’Hara, with the Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson, will conclude the session with his presentation titled “Printed Electronics Research at Clemson.” Attendees will gain an in-depth look at the experimental research and benchmarking studies for flexo print capabilities with conductive inks. Feature sizes, press speed, plate imaging techniques and more will be addressed—all based on recent research conducted at Clemson.
FTA’s 2014 Fall Conference is chaired by PJ Fronczkiewicz, Flint Group Flexographic Products and Bill Malm, Flexo Wash. Early bird rates offer a $100 savings and are valid through September 19. Consumer Product Companies (CPCs) that hold an active FTA membership are entitled to complimentary registrations. Printers/converters and design firms enjoy specially discounted rates of $350 per FTA member and can take advantage of a buy two, get the third free offer.