An Analysis of the Viability of Electronics Printed by Gravure and Web Offset Lithography
By Brennan Angel
For the last few years, the Internet and other media sources have led to a reduction in the printing. As more digital technologies that compete with print arise, the print industry needs to find new ways to increase its business. Electronics printed by current printing technologies is something that many have dreamed of. While it may seem as though printed electronics are a far-off technology that will never reach us, most people have already used printed electronics. The battery health indicators printed on batteries were one of the first Printed Electronic products to reach consumers (Webb 2007). In fact, 31.6% of current electronics use printed electronics to some extent, and with an expected increase to 90% over the next decade, printed electronics will create a large demand for print. (Das 2007) Printed electronics are going to be part of a new generation of electronics where the limits of what can be digitized will be pushed. You may be able to change your wallpaper depending on the time of day. The ability for Gravure to print consistent, large numbers of a product makes it perfect for future low priced printed microchips. Higher volume printing methods, such as gravure and web offset, will allow far cheaper production at a much faster pace. However, due to the limitations of print, printed electronics will not break into the current high resolution microchip market but rather create their own. The products that will define printed electronics future are Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED), and photovoltaic cells (i.e. solar cells). After these establish a solid printed electronics industry there is a plethora of original products that may be printed.