4 Key Indicators for Transitioning from Flatbed to Rotary Screen Printing in Printed Electronics

In the dynamic landscape of the Printed Electronics market, companies are continually evolving, transitioning from start-ups to scale-ups as they seek to expand their production capabilities. Initially, many companies embark on their journey using flatbed printing to fulfill small-volume orders. However, as these companies mature and their demand increases, they encounter limitations in speed, production capacity, and labor efficiency with flatbed printing methods.

Recognizing this need for scalability and efficiency, the spotlight turns to rotary screen printing or RSI printing as a viable solution for companies poised for growth. While the initial investment costs may appear daunting, particularly for companies accustomed to flatbed printing, RSI printing presents an opportunity to rapidly scale up production and ultimately recoup these costs over time. In this blog, we delve into the key considerations for companies evaluating the transition from flatbed to rotary screen printing, exploring the criteria that make RSI printing a compelling choice for businesses ready to elevate their production capabilities.

1. Volume of Printed Units per year

The decision to transition to rotary screen printing hinges significantly on the volume of printed units per year. For this investment to be financially viable, companies must ensure that their product demand is substantial and consistent. This entails having a homogeneous product that can be produced in high volumes and a market ready to absorb these quantities. While the Printed Electronics market is indeed experiencing growth, it's crucial to assess whether your business has established a solid customer base or reliable demand projections to guarantee the continuous uptake of your product in significant numbers. Transitioning to RSI printing becomes more feasible when there's confidence in the market's readiness for large-scale production.


2. Number of Units Printed per meter

When deciding if rotary screen printing is suitable for your Printed Electronics production, efficiency is paramount. One crucial factor in determining efficiency is the number of units that can be printed on a single meter of material. The higher the number of units per meter, the fewer meters of material are required to achieve high production volumes. This not only streamlines the production process but also significantly shortens the payback period for the investment. Companies considering the transition to RSI printing should carefully evaluate their product design and printing capabilities to maximize the number of units that can be printed within a given meter of material. By optimizing this aspect, businesses can achieve greater cost-effectiveness and competitiveness in the market.

3. Labor Cost per hour per operator

In the comparison between flatbed printing and rotary screen printing, the labor cost per hour per operator plays a significant role. Unlike flatbed printing, which tends to be more labor-intensive, rotary screen printing offers a more streamlined and efficient production process, requiring fewer labor hours to achieve high output. Therefore, the decision to transition to RSI printing is influenced by the hourly wage of operators. A higher hourly wage may prompt businesses to consider RSI printing sooner, as the reduced labor requirements can offset the initial investment cost more quickly. Conversely, in scenarios where the hourly wage is lower, flatbed printing may remain preferable over RSI printing for a longer duration. Evaluating the human resource investment in your operation is crucial in determining the optimal printing method for your business.

4. Number of print positions

For products with complex compositions or requiring multiple layers of printing, such as those involving different types of ink or requiring post-printing coating applications, the number of print positions becomes a critical consideration. In flatbed printing, each layer or process often necessitates a pause in production to adjust settings or prepare for the next step. Conversely, rotary screen printing allows for a seamless integration of these processes, eliminating the need for production interruptions. Not only does this streamline the production workflow by reducing labor intensity and the need for frequent adjustments, but it also enhances efficiency by maintaining a continuous printing process. Companies evaluating the transition to RSI printing should assess the complexity of their products and the efficiency gains achievable through the consolidation of print positions to determine the optimal printing method for their operations.

Try it yourself: Our Printed Electronics Calculator

In conclusion, the decision to transition from flatbed to rotary screen printing in the Printed Electronics market involves careful consideration of several key factors. Companies must evaluate the volume of printed units per year, maximize efficiency by optimizing the number of units per meter, assess labor cost efficiency per hour per operator, and streamline production through the consolidation of print positions. By meeting these criteria, businesses can unlock the potential for rapid scalability and enhanced competitiveness in the market.

When considering whether Flatbed printing or RSI printing is the better option for your business, our innovative calculator provides a comprehensive overview to help you make an informed decision. Beyond just the numbers, we understand that various factors may impact your choice to transition to RSI printing. That's why our team of experts is readily available to provide personalized guidance tailored to your specific needs and requirements. Don't hesitate to reach out to us; we are eager to assist you in taking your business to new heights and achieving success in the dynamic world of printed electronics.

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