In this paper we present recent progress in high volume manufacture of electronic assemblies using roll to roll processes. Processes for electronics assembly onto flexible substrates are well established but the scaling up to higher volumes and continuous roll to roll manufacture is still at an early stage. CPI have implemented a roll to roll fabrication line which include roll to roll rotary screen print and multi-component electronics assembly. This allows manufacture of a range of functionalities from single bare die RFID tags to data-logging smart packaging. It is also possible to assemble large area assemblies of tens of meter in length.
In recent work CPI has been using its newly established facilities to produce runs of up to 10,000 parts of such devices. This paper describes three examples of high volume manufacture: a large area RGB LED wallpaper for use in a lift, a low cost NFC tag integrated onto a paper label for fast moving consumer goods and a high functionality data logging smart label for pharmaceutical applications.
The challenges of scale up are discussed and solutions presented. The characteristics of the materials and assembly processes are described and benefits of a number of options considered. Finally the scope of these manufacturing processes is discussed and the potential for future products is presented.
Dr Simon Johnson, Chief Technologist within Electronics at the Centre for Process Innovation. In his current role Simon acts as a knowledge expert in Printable Electronics, supporting strategic and development activities in the business. While at CPI Simon has developed the electronics design and integration team to provide product design capability in the field of flexible electronic systems. He has lead the development of processes for the assembly of hybrid flexible electronic systems including printed sensors, wireless sensor systems and roll to roll circuit design. In previous roles as an academic at the University of Durham and also in industry, Simon has worked in many aspects of electronics from electronic device design and development to electronic systems and software development.
CPI are a leading independent technology innovation center and a founding member of the UK Government's High Value Manufacturing Catapult. Established in 2004, our teams apply their many years of experience to ensure that every great invention gets the best opportunity to become a successfully marketed product or process. We work with our partners across diverse markets in the UK and around the world, driving their innovations forward and helping them to reduce the risk and cost associated with product development.