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INternational Smart Collaborative Open-access hybrid Printed Electronics pilot line

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - InSCOPE (INternational Smart Collaborative Open-access hybrid Printed Electronics pilot line)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2020-03-31

While there is no shortage of Printed electronics or TOLAE (thin organic large area electronics) concept ideas and product prototypes the available production capability and functionality maturity for realizing these products in the required numbers is lacking worldwide. InSCOPE has worked on qualifying materials and manufacturing processes and evaluating products in an operational environment. This way, supporting end-users interests in this technology. In order to facilitate the market introduction of printed electronics devices, production processes are made ready for large scale pilot production and made accessible to interested parties (TRL 6). In parallel, performance and reliability of product prototypes have been demonstrated in relevant conditions. InSCOPE has advanced printed electronics technology to such production prototypes (TRL7) related to automotive, healthcare, smart packaging and smart buildings. 4 industrial showcases and 15 development cases are created to show the possibilities of Printed electronics. These are Smart lighting wall (for Signify (former Philips)), In-mould electronics dashboard (for Bosch), Smart Elevator (for KONE) and Smart medical packages (for GSK). Through the Showcases InSCOPE provided a comprehensive complementary toolbox for Hybrid Printed Electronics manufacturing processes and has simultaneously set up a service infrastructure to enable a manufacturing service (at TRL6). The learnings and advances from the showcases are utilised to serve a total of 15 SME cases.

In Summary InSCOPE had the following objectives:
1. Mature the hybrid TOLAE manufacturing processes and functionalities from TRL 4-5 to TRL 6 at RTOs.
2. Demonstrate product prototypes based on hybrid TOLAE technologies in their operational environment (TRL 7) through four showcases.
3. Set up an open access pilot line infrastructure for hybrid TOLAE devices dedicated to SMEs.

Through the InSCOPE project, European RTOs have been able to maintain their internationally recognised leading position in Printed electronics and at the same time ensure additional high skilled jobs and printed electronics products.
1. Mature the hybrid TOLAE manufacturing processes and functionalities from TRL 4-5 to TRL 6.

A pilot line service is set up involving existing and newly acquired equipment. The pilot line exists of printing, assembly and post-processing equipment and is distributed through Europe by the RTOs involved in the project (TNO, VTT, CEA, IMEC, CPI). The equipment is upgraded to enable high volume manufacturing at high quality and is characterised according to industrial standards as set up in the showcases including design rules and logistics. Manufacturing yield and faults are determined and optimised on module level using dedicated test vehicles and to ensure an overall yield of >90%.

Next to that, new functionalities are advanced or created to meet the requests of the industrial showcases. The functionalities are produced on the pilot line equipment and tested according to the industrial standards (again using test vehicles). In total the manufacturing processes and equipment of the pilot line is capable to produce e.g. 1,500km of printed and hybridised foils and 100,000 pieces.

2. Demonstrate product prototypes based on hybrid TOLAE technologies in their operational environment (TRL 7) through four showcases.

The improved equipment has been used to create the showcases. All showcases are produced in 3 generations evolving in complexity and quantity (bigger size or number of products). The showcases involve a Smart lighting wall in professional lighting applications with coloured, warm white and white LEDs placed at a pitch of 4 cm according to the HUE standards (for Signify) at a size of 2.4m x 3m. Thereto, over 300 m of printed foils was produced and ~16,000 LEDs were assembled.
An in-mould electronics dashboard (for Bosch) was created including decorative foil integration, integrated capacitive switches, haptic feedback, and integrated drivers. The whole product is produced through In-mould/ thermoforming electronics combinations to allow low cost and maintain reliability compatible with automotive specifications.
A large area, low resolution display is created for Smart Elevators (for KONE). In this showcase, a complete elevator car was build including control panel, LED wall, proximity sensors and addressable signage. The last showcase involves smart packaging for medicines (for GSK). This showcase involved a NFC communicating temperature sensor label with bare die produced in high quantities (200 labels)

3. Set up an open access pilot line infrastructure for hybrid TOLAE devices.

Producing the showcases allowed to align the RTOs existing and improved infrastructure. Therefore we have the opportunity to set up a (pan-European) pilot line with an open access for end-users (e.g. SMEs). Development cases were set up to tailor towards high volume production. In total 15 development cases have been produced in InSCOPE. These DCs varied in applicaties for medical (Sleep company, Unitron), sports (La Manufacture) to production related (Quad, FlexBright, Screentec, PEL), Logistics (ELEP, Small data Garden), Lighting (Cohda, NanoComp) and interfaces/ in mould electronics (Symbiose, Skiply, IPV, conductive transfers). The pilot line infrastructure will remain active after the finishing of the project.
The InSCOPE pilot line has provided prototyping for hybrid TOLAE products that may be commercialized by wide range of SMEs addressing e.g. HEALTHCARE, BUILDING, AUTOMOTIVE AND SMART PACKAGING sectors. A generic feature of SME motivation to integrate hybrid TOLAE process are: A) fast access to prototypes, B) lower manufacturing costs, C) increased functionality. The preliminary selection includes products for developing novel market segments (e.g. position monitoring, and human machine interfaces, registered post envelope) and high-value additions to the product on established markets (e.g. lighting solutions for large area and organic shapes, product reliability concepts). Overall these companies have the potential to generate revenues over 60M€ by hybrid TOLAE enabled products, which will significantly strengthen the European position in hybrid TOLAE production & market applications.

Therefore all 3 objectives contribute to European leading position.
1. Mature the hybrid TOLAE manufacturing processes and functionalities from TRL 4-5 to TRL 6 will result in expanding or strengthening the RTOs market position and assuring to employ for high quality jobs and at the same time remaining manufacturing positions in Europe.
2. The four showcases by themselves are all product with a high market potential for the European and global market. Bringing these products to the market will address the need for TOLAE and strengthen the leading position of Europe.
3. The open access pilot line infrastructure for hybrid TOLAE devices allows new business models for TOLAE products and at the same time has broaden the portfolio of RTOs.