InSCOPE project boosts printed electronics past the research phase
Leading research and technological development centres from across Europe came together in 2017 to develop an open-access pilot line for hybrid printed electronics. Initiated and coordinated by Holst Centre, the EU-funded InSCOPE project was set up with the aim of boosting industrial and commercial adoption of hybrid printed electronics (HPE) and maintain Europe's leading position in a rapidly growing market. Now, Holst Centre has announced that is has succeeded in setting up a consortium that hosts an open-access HPE pilot manufacturing line.
The open-access pilot line was tested for both multinationals and medium- and small-sized companies. For the medium- and small-sized companies, 15 cases were developed that had new functionalities based on hybrid printed electronics, varying from skateboard sensors to free-form luminescence and thermoformed control panels. These new functionalities are particularly useful in areas ranging from smart packaging to smart buildings, healthcare and the automotive sector. Using Holst Centre's technical expertise and testing capabilities, the test cases are now ready to be marketed.
Together with Signify (former Philips Lighting), extremely thin interactive lighting foils were developed and tested. The lighting foils are produced on rolls and replace the less flexible, smaller LED lighting strips. A roll of foil of over 300m has been produced, containing over 24 000 LEDs. The rolls of foil are integrated as 2D lighting modules into large surfaces such as window panes, walls and ceilings. These Smart Lighting solutions contribute to the aesthetic look and feel of a room and can enhance people's comfort levels, both at home and in the office.
Lifts, as components of many buildings, can be a source of information and even entertainment for people using them. By incorporating interactive media surfaces in the lift's console the user's experience is completely changed. They can, for instance, indicate they want to go to the gym and the lift will make sure they end up on the right floor. Together with Kone, a complete lift cabin was built with an interactive wall and integrated console. The main objective was to assess people's interaction with the wall and console. In addition to the interaction possibilities, results also showed that manufacturing costs are 80% lower than current solutions. Combined with the freedom of design and compliance with lift specifications, interactive media surfaces are the future for lift manufacturers.
End-users can benefit from the knowledge of the InSCOPE consortium to transform their existing (hybrid) printed electronics demonstrator into a production prototype ready for volume manufacturing. The pilot line team works closely together with businesses to determine system requirements, intended construction, use conditions and cost requirements – all vital in ensuring an effective design.
Businesses that collaborate with Holst Centre in an InSCOPE-setting can benefit from Holst Centre's technical expertise and testing capabilities in the areas of hybrid printed and thin-film electronics. They are looking for new partners with technical and cost challenges in existing products or completely new designs.
Caption: LEDs on foil (photo: Holst Centre)