The pilot production environment of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and PrintoCent, the community of printed electronics, in Oulu is being complemented with roll-to-roll testing equipment. The equipment is used for testing the electrical characteristics of printed electronics products, enabling the measurement of the conductivity of printed components. Data can thus be collected on the functionality of, for example, OLED screens and organic solar panels.
The new testing equipment will speed up the measuring of components considerably compared to the old manual method. It only takes three minutes to measure all components in a square metre of material. Measurement data are also saved automatically for the later, detailed scrutiny of individual components. If necessary, the device can be used to measure all the components in a printed roll, producing more detailed and comprehensive data than previously possible on the functionality of roll components.
Oulu-based SME Probot Oy built the unique device according to specifications provided by VTT. The input of Probot Oy to the design and construction of the device will contribute to the growth in printed-electronics expertise in Oulu.
The idea of electronics produced by a printing machine is to create new functionalities for products, including various electronic components and diagnostic features. This production method enables the manufacture of large production runs at great speed and with costs small enough for the components to be incorporated in mass-produced products. Possible applications for the technology are in home diagnostics, dispersed energy production, electronic products, intelligent packaging and intelligent environments.
PrintoCent, the printed-electronics community established by VTT, the University of Oulu and the Oulu University of Applied Sciences, provides companies with a platform for agile development of completely novel industrial products and enables industrial pilot production with minimal risk.