CPI, as part of its Necomada project, has created new ink and adhesive formulations aimed at reducing the cost of future Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This benefits the production of flexible printable electronics by greatly increasing the effectiveness, productivity and speed involved in the automated process.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term to describe the interconnectivity of everyday devices, vehicles, and home appliances via electronic displays and Internet access. The IoT demand has recently been forecast to have a global potential economic value of £3.8-£10.8 trillion per year by 20251, meaning access to its commercial opportunities could be crucial for companies to maintain innovation.

The ambition of Necomada is to develop materials such as conductive inks and adhesives that are necessary to enable high-speed roll to roll flexible electronics. In doing so, a pilot line will be established that will integrate the materials, printing, component placement capabilities and other conversion processes essential to deliver high volume electronic devices, machine to machine communications and the IoT. The project’s ultimate aim is to use this line as an open access facility for commercial use.

The Necomada project has been a fantastic opportunity for CPI to showcase its incredible capabilities to develop new inks and adhesives and the integration, scale-up and evaluation of the final product, market acceptability and assessment of manufacturability,” said Neville Slack, Business Development Manager at CPI’s National Formulation Centre and coordinator of the Necomada project.

“The Internet of Things is right around the corner, and thanks to the Necomada project, and the ability of our newly developed inks and adhesives to enable printable electronics, CPI is well positioned to help companies access its potential.”

Products with IoT applications incorporate Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, which can provide product information to consumers via mobile devices, among other things. Such devices have the potential to enable brand owners to directly communicate with consumers, offering opportunities for direct marketing in high volume consumer products.

To address this, CPI will deliver cost-effective inks and adhesives with optimised electrical conductivity and adhesion, and transfer these inks to its pilot production line. Working alongside twelve other partners in the European Commission H2020-funded consortium, these materials will then be used to make the RFID and NFC tags’ antennae that transmit the signals needed for IoT connectivity.

Currently halfway through the consortium’s three-year timeline, the Necomada project will conclude in the last quarter of 2019.

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  1. McKinsey Global Institute, 2015, The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype.