Printed Electronics Gains Momentum

The printed electronics industry continues to expand rapidly. Nearly every week, companies are announcing positive steps that demonstrate solid growth.

Thin Film Electronics ASA rolled out a stand-alone Smart Sensor Label that can be attached to pharmaceuticals and food to monitor temperatures, which should reduce waste and improve safety. Shortly after that announcement, Invesco Asset Management Limited invested $24 million in the company.

Optomec, a global supplier of additive manufacturing systems for 3-D printed metals and printed electronics, reported a 100 percent increase in bookings compared to the first half of last year. Electronics were the greater portion of revenues, 55 percent of sales were for Aerosol Jet systems used for printed electronics.

Many of the companies in this industry are small, underscoring the high level of interest from entrepreneurs and investors and the comparatively small size of the overall additive industry, which is not yet dominated by major corporations. That’s a good time for the emergence of standards and guidelines that help establish the infrastructure for further growth.

IPC’s Printed Electronics Initiative is at the forefront of this effort. The association has crafted multiple standards, including IPC/JPCA-2291, Design Guideline for Printed Electronics, IPC/JPCA-4921, Requirements for Printed Electronics Base Materials (Substrates), and IPC/JPCA-4591, Requirements for Printed Electronics Functional Conductive Materials.

For more information on IPC’s printed electronics initiative, visit www.ipc.org/printed-electronics.

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