Dr Dave Barwick
CPI, United Kingdom
State of the Art Roll-to-Roll Inkjet Printing at CPI
CPI has commissioned a brand new state of the art roll-to-roll inkjet printer. The printer incorporates the DICEweb print engine with 10 print bar slots initially including 400 dpi resolution production print heads alongside the standard 360 dpi Inkjet Flex® print heads. Also included will be single head proofing bar for process development of functional inks such as nanomaterials, conductive inks and optoelectronic materials. A plasma pre-treatment module is incorporated for substrate surface energy modification pre-printing, with UV tack-cure, UV hard cure and an IR oven module for ink curing. Reregistration is also available on the printer allowing for multiple layers to be printed.
The printer is currently qualified for production on polymer films and paper, however, the printer has been specified to enable a range of flexible substrates to be utilized; for example: stretchable polymer films, textiles and metal foils.
CPI’s Inkjet Flex® is a revolutionary two-stage print and plate process that enables copper to be printed onto PET substrates. The technology is applicable for a range of applications including printed antennae, sensors, electrodes, flexible printed circuit boards and other components suitable for machine to machine communication devices.
Utilising Inkjet Flex® technology, prototypes can be cost effectively created, offering repeatable quality and predictable conductivity, providing the first step on the ladder to scaling for production. There is also the opportunity for developers to use a multi-approach to prototyping by producing a number of variations on a design and evaluating which performs best. In addition to the low cost nature of the prototyping service, the technology also allows the designer to combine the functions of several circuit boards into one single printed interconnected circuit.
The printer, specified by CPI, will enhance both the Inkjet Flex® capability with higher resolution print heads whilst also enhancing general inkjet printing capability; enabling the screening and scale-up of other inkjet processes to pilot production scale.
Dave Barwick is a technology manager within the device and component technology group of CPI, heading up a team of scientists. He has worked at CPI for over 10 years and has led projects focusing on the development of energy harvesting technology, internet of things applications, sensors and solid state lighting. Dave is a chartered scientist and a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry with a PhD in surface science. He has particular expertise in coating & printing technologies, ink formulation and materials characterisation.