Finland – home of intelligent electronics
The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a roll-to-roll (R2R) printing process that enables easy injection moulding of various components into durable electronics products.
The products that can potentially benefit from this printing process include wearable sports technology, toys and home appliances equipped with an overmoulded solar cell.
“VTT’s R2R overmoulding process integrates printing, component assembly and injection moulding. Our results prove that it is easy to overmould components assembled on a flexible film into durable products,” says project manager Tapio Ritvonen from VTT.
In practical terms this means that conductors, circuit boards and even sensors can be printed onto a film. The resulting electronic components can then be assembled by an assembly machine after which the structure is overmoulded with plastic.
Today, printed intelligence is considered a possible game changer for Finnish manufacturing. The potential applications include industrial mass production of pharmaceutical diagnostics, such as instant tests, LED elements and batteries.
“Finland is one of the few place in the world where the industrial production of ideas based on printed intelligence can be tested in real-life conditions. We are true pioneers in this field, and it is possible that technological innovations such as printed intelligence will turn the tide and restart the growth of Finnish manufacturing in the near future,” says Ilkka Kaisto, director of PrintoCent.
“The combination of printed intelligence and hybrid integration will revolutionise the production process of certain components and products. It is an extremely cost-efficient and rapid alternative to conventional production methods.”