MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Printing techniques is an emerging market characterized by frenetic research and development (R&D) activities, as well as inking of numerous partnerships. Governments all over the world are lending their support to printed electronics (PE) by way of funding R&D efforts on techniques and processes, thereby encouraging more companies to enter the market. As printing methods are already well established and the technical expertise required for setting up business is low, this market is easily accessible to new entrants.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.technicalinsights.frost.com), Opportunities in Printed Electronics, finds that flexography, gravure, offset, inkjet, and screen-printing are the PE techniques currently in use. On the other hand, new technologies like atomic layer deposition and aerosol jet printing have a huge scope; with the right kind of effort, PE can be fine-tuned to achieve low costs and high volume production capacities.
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"PE enables the use of flexible substrates, which lower production costs and allows the fabrication of mechanically flexible circuits," says Technical Insights Industry Analyst Saju John Mathew. "The choice of printing methods is determined by requirements concerning printed layers, properties of printed materials, as well as economic and technical considerations of printed products."
Some factors that have popularized PE include its low-cost volume fabrication, flexibility, transparency, reliability and environment friendliness.
Due to its high throughput and low manufacturing cost, PE has a quick time-to-market turnaround. PE integrates the techniques and technology from printing, electronics, material science and chemistry — especially organic and polymer chemistry. Organic materials differ from conventional electronics in structure, operation and functionality, which in turn influence the device, circuit design, optimization, and fabrication method.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, there are a variety of PE technologies that are ensconced in their own niche sector based on their attributes. Additionally, the industry's supply chain is missing an integrated manufacturer that can link all the different components.
The materials involved in the manufacturing of PE possess diverse optical, chemical and electrical properties, which are not yet durable enough to withstand degradation (measured in decades) and other environmental factors. However, PE is making considerable progress in the areas of materials, processes, equipment and applications.
The collective effort on the part of organizations is evident by way of partnerships, alliances and collaborations. Further, governments are taking initiatives to fund firms and universities to advance their technological capabilities in applications such as photovoltaics, displays, lighting, and wireless sensor devices on paper.
"Organizations are joining hands to integrate their techniques with materials or with the application involved, in effect bridging the gap in the value chain," notes Mathew. "Joint collaborative efforts among market actors can help boost the transition from lab to experimenting on press and, in the process, can aid in establishing a value chain."
Opportunities in Printed Electronics, a part of the Technical Insights subscription, includes an analytical hierarchical process (AHP)-based strategic evaluation of the R&D portfolio in the PE market. Key partnerships/alliances and emerging R&D pipeline are also mentioned. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following technologies: flexography, gravure, offset, inkjet, screen, aerosol jet printing, and atomic layer deposition. Further, this research service includes detailed technology analysis and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters, and research services.
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Opportunities in Printed Electronics
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan