Rotary Screen Printing for Printed Electronics Manufacturing: Opportunities and Chances

12 August 2021 | Hank Guitjens

The printing of Printed Electronics comes in many different applications and techniques. Each technique gives you unique opportunities and chances as a printer. For example, rotary screen printing also offers some unique opportunities. In this blog we will elaborate on what this can mean for your printing process.

Key benefits at a glance

In one of our previous blogs, we already mentioned the most important advantages of rotary screen printing. In this blog, we will elaborate on the opportunities and possibilities that this offers for your organization. But first, let's recap: what were the most important benefits? 

      1. Printing Pace & Continuity
      2. Printing High Volumes
      3. Fewer Blockages
      4. Lifespan of Screens
      5. Integration

In the previous blog, we explained what is meant by these points and how they relate to other printing techniques. These differences between printing techniques provide your organization with various opportunities and possibilities, especially when you consider that you can combine printing techniques. In that way, you can optimize your process and improve your yield.

Opportunity Just Ahead sign on desert road

Rotary screen printing can also be an addition to your existing process and thus offer new opportunities, without having to start all over. Let's zoom in on these opportunities.

To replace or complement, that’s the question

Especially for printers that already have a manufacturing process in place, the ease of integration is one of the main advantages of rotary screen printing. After all, you don't want to get rid of something that works well. Never change a winning team.

In addition, choosing more of the same is often the safest path. The road that companies - of course - prefer to take. Still, there can be advantages to combining different printing techniques. After all, that's how you benefit from the best of both worlds.

SPGprints_RSI_090620_0001_0099

Usually, the request to scale up or to replace (part of) the printing process starts with a technical challenge. For example, higher volumes need to be printed. When screen printing needs to be added to a production line, our RSI unit offers a very simple integration. Only the length of the print line is affected, the web path and tension control remain the same. In addition, the extra tooling costs are relatively low as Rotary Screen Printing can be integrated in your existing process.

Opportunities for high volume production

An example of such a technical challenge is when very large volumes are suddenly required for a new product or a new customer. How can you scale up quickly and efficiently without having to make a huge investment? 

When many of the same products are needed, rotary screen printing is a perfect solution because of its rotational aspect. Thanks to RSI, a print line can run continuously and produce the same product over and over again. In addition, rotary screen printing is extremely robust and has a long service life. By integrating this technique into your existing production line, you can therefore efficiently increase your print volumes without having to replace your existing production equipment.

Opportunities for your unique printing process

If we look at the opportunities that rotary screen printing offers for unique printing processes, the application is always leading. What will be produced and on which substrate will it be printed? What should be the properties of the final product?

Based on the application or the end product, you can decide whether rotary screen printing is a suitable addition to your printing process. For example, rotary screen printing allows you to print seamless and roll-to-roll. In addition, as described above, it is very suitable for easy scaling and you make optimal use of your substrate by rotary printing. Little or no residual waste will be wasted and the yield can be increased by more than 99%.

Printed-electronics-1

This last point - sustainability - is still being developed. Rotary screen printing is already much more environmentally friendly than etching, for example, because no residual waste remains and the materials are used optimally. In addition, less chemicals are needed. At the moment, printing experts are working hard to make rotary screen printing even more environmentally friendly. 

If your unique printing process currently uses sheet-to-sheet technology, the move to roll-to-roll may seem like a big one. For example, because of internal logistic processes and other challenges. It is important to know that this conversion is becoming easier thanks to available technologies. Of course, our specialists are pleased to advise you on this.

Webinar on Opportunities and Chances

In our free Webinar On-Demand, our experts dive deeper into the world of Rotary Screen Printing and the various opportunities and chances it may offer your organization. Download the recording here and (re)watch the most interesting parts anytime you like:

Download your On-Demand recording

Hopefully, this will help you make the right choice for your unique application. Curious about the effects of rotary screen printing on your application without having to invest right away? SPGprints has a lending program of machines so that you can try out a new technique first with a rental machine. Ask here for the possibilities, or request a free Proof of Concept for your product and see with your own eyes what rotary screen printing can do for you. 

Categories: Digital Textile Printing, Rotary screen printing, Digital Printing, Textile Printing, Digital printing inks, Printed Electronics, Single-pass Printing, Archer technology, Biosensor printing, JAVELIN, Multi-pass Scanning Printing, PIKE

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