“In a few decades time, computers will be interwoven into almost every industrial product.,” said Karl Steinbuch, German computer science pioneer in 1966.
Over the next 5-10 years printed electronics will present the printing and the electronics industries with multiple multi-billion dollar opportunities to address essential unmet needs related to healthcare, security, logistics, food safety, communication and sustainability. For example, there has never been a greater need to develop new ways to support the sustainable distribution and use of pharmaceuticals or consumer packaged goods. The world’s population is on a steady track to more than nine billion people by 2050, and as it grows, the nature and functions of packaging will need to expand and change dramatically.
Most of us have seen printed circuit boards (PCB) because they are prevalent in so many of the electronic products we use in our everyday lives. We are even more familiar with printed materials ranging from newspapers, magazines and decorative markings on packaging. Both these technologies are well established and have similarities as well as major differences.
‘Interactive printed media’ could well be the broadband growth story for the gravure industry.
The term “printed electronics,” first used in reference to printed batteries, today describes quite an array of practical breakthrough applications that use advanced materials in unique combinations for products that range from signage and backplane display lighting to miniature RFID sensors and photovoltaics for converting sunlight into electricity.
This long-awaited progress comes at the relief of stalwart proponents, conference planners, and imaginative entrepreneurs alike.
Since the discovery of the transistor in late 1940 by scientists at Bell Laboratories, the world has witnessed the development and proliferation of microelectronics. The transistor led the revolution from dependence on mechanically driven heavy machinery to electronically controlled machinery and the well-established mobile computing and communications industry. Market demand for higher functionality and increased performance devices has resulted in the continued development of the traditional inorganic semiconductor manufacturing infrastructure (e.g. silicon).
What Wal-Mart wants, Wal-Mart usually gets. The behemoth from Bentonville occupies a unique place in the history of American business. What it also occupies is a unique place in advancements that benefit both Wal-Mart and businesses worldwide. Wal-Mart’s size, scope, and directives issued as a function of both can drive innovation in many arenas, from packaging to supply chain management. Make no mistake, Wal-Mart acts in its own self-interest, in pursuit of its mission of “Always Low Prices.” This focus on lowering costs across the supply chain is the secret to Wal-Mart’s success, and the technologies Wal-Mart choose to push in pursuit of that goal benefit from massive dollars and attention when Wal-Mart sets its mind to something.
If you could design the optimal gravure printing facility, what would it look like? How many levels would it have? Which tasks would be automated? Which of the latest technologies would you choose, from prepress through finishing, to outfit this dream plant?
These days, you won’t find a topic that’s much hotter than global climate change...no pun intended. You can’t turn on a TV, pick up a newspaper, or attend any paper industry-related conference without hearing about greenhouse gases, their effect on our planet, and what we should be doing to reduce our collective carbon footprint.
"But before any of us—paper manufacturers, buyers, and users—can hope to reduce our footprint, we have to know how much carbon we’re talking about and where it’s coming from," says Craig Liska, vice president for sustainability at Verso Paper Corp., Memphis. "So the first question becomes, how do we measure the carbon footprint of paper products?"
To answer this simple question, Verso undertook an extremely complex challenge.
GAAmericas Golden Cylinder Awards
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