The FlexE Center in Kanpur orders a bespoke pilot R2R line for printed and flexible electronics R&D

The National Centre of Flexible Electronics (FlexE Centre) at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur announced that it assigned UK-based RK PrintCoat Instruments to manufacture and supply a bespoke roll-to-roll (R2R) pilot line that will be used for R&D and prototyping projects in the field of printed and flexible electronics.

FlexE R2R R&D pilot line image

The National Centre for Flexible Electronics (FlexE) was established in 2014 at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, with an aim to bring together Indian academia, industry and public research organizations for research and development of large area flexible electronics. The FlexE center develops OLED lighting and OLED signage applications and is collaborating with industrial partners in both fields. The center explores evaporation, printing and hybrid processing for OLED production.

Von Ardenne and the Fraunhofer FEP to intensify their cooperation on flexible glass coating

Von Ardenne announced that the company developed an innovative machine to process flexible glass. The FOSA LABX 330 Glass enables a roll-to-roll glass coating process. This first of its kind machine was developed as part of the German KONFECT project, launched in 2015, together with partners Fraunhofer FEP, Schott and Tesa.

Von Ardenne FOSA LabX 330 Glass photo

Von Ardenne now says that it intends to intensify its cooperation with the Fraunhofer FEP in the flexible glass coating field. The Fraunhofer will present coating samples of glass produced using the new machine for the first time at LOPEC 2017.

The Fraunhofer FEP demonstrate the first PI-SCALE flexible OLED prototypes

In March 2016 the EU launched a new project, called, PI-SCALE, that aims to create a European-wide pilot line which will enable companies of all sizes to quickly and cost effectively test and scale up their flexible OLED lighting concepts and turn them into market ready products.

PI Scale first demonstrator OLED lighting (Fraunhofer FEP)

As one of the core-founders in this project, the Fraunhofer FEP is soon set to present the first demonstrators of flexible OLED out from this project. The OLED prototype you see above was deposited using a roll-to-roll by Nippon Electric Glass, on an ultra-thin glass.

The German R2D2 flexible OLED project was successfully completed

In October 2013, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) launched a new flexible OLED lighting project called R2D2 with an aim to investigate new production technologies, including roll-to-roll techniques.

Audi R2D2 flexible OLED taillight prototype photo

R2D2's coordinator Fraunhofer FEP, now reports that the project has been successfully completed. OLED production processes and market sectors were thoroughly analyzed, the potential for improvement was identified and realized. The project partners developed a series of OLED lighting applications combining special design features with efficient fabrication techniques.

GJM developed a roll-to-roll OLED deposition system

GJM developed a new 300mm roll-to-roll deposition system that can directly deposit both organic and inorganic materials on plastic materials - and be used to mass produce flexible OLEDs. The system was developed in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials.

GJM OLED R2R system photo

GJM says that its R2R system can speed up production times compared to current systems - by about 50% (GJM says that production amount can be improved by 1.5 times) - and so contribute to lower cost production. The system can be used to produce both OLED display and lighting panels.

The Fraunhofer FEP developed a glass-on-glass lamination process for flexible OLED production

The Fraunhofer FEP announced new large-area flexible OLED lighting panel prototypes that have been fabricated on ultra-thin glass and encapsulated with a ultra-thin glass foil in the same process.

Large-area OLED glass-on-glass lamination (Fruanhofer)

The new process developed at the Fraunhofer institute is able to deposit OLEDs on the flexible glass and encapsulation it using an additional flexible glass layer - all in a a single roll-to-roll manufacturing step.

The EU Flex-o-Fab project was successfully completed

The €11-million 3-years European Flex-o-Fab project was launched in January 2013 with an aim to help commercialize flexible OLEDs. The Holst Centre, the project's coordinator, announced that the Flex-o-Fab successfully completed its goals - including developing indium-free electrodes (based on ZTO with a supporting metal grid) and brighter OLEDs (light emission was enhanced by about 30% using a plastic substrate with outcoupling features).

Flex-o-Fab flexible OLED prototype (June 2015)

The project used a distributed pilot production line and associated manufacturing chain involving partners and facilities at different locations across Europe. The project partners managed to migrate key processes from sheet-to-sheet processing to roll-to-roll production. .

ITRI is building a flexible OLED lighting roll-to-roll pilot line

According to Digitimes, Taiwan's ITRI is building a Roll-to-Roll (R2R) R&D pilot line to produce flexible OLED lighting panels. The line will be operative by 2017, and will be able to produce about 700 panels per month.

Flexible OLED lighting prototype (ITRI, 2016)

ITRI's new OLEDs will be based on flexible glass substrates. Back in 2012 ITRI collaborated with Corning to develop a full roll-to-roll process on 100um flexible glass Willow glass substrates. It's likely that the new line will also use Corning's Willow glass.

The CPI installed a new R&D R2R printing and encapsulation line

The UK-based Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) recently installed a new roll to roll (R2R) slot die/screen printing and encapsulation line that can be used to print, coat and pattern a range of organic and in-organic solution based coatings.

VDL R2R tool at the UK CPI

The new line can assist researchers with development towards commercialization of a host of printable electronics applications - including photovoltaics, OTFT and printed batteries. The system was custom-built by VDL, and it consists of two pieces of equipment - a roll to roll slot die coating and rotary screen printing and a coating toolset.

The EU concludes a project aimed to develop flexible electrodes and barrier materials

In 2012 the EU launched the TREASORES project (Transparent Electrodes for Large Area Large Scale Production of Organic Optoelectronic Devices) that aimed to develop technologies that will lower the production costs of organic electronic devices.

TREASORES flexible OLED demonstrator

The Fraunhofer FEP now reports that the project concluded successfully and one of the results was the development of several new transparent electrode and barrier materials. The project partners developed electrodes based on carbon nanotubes, metal fibres or thin silver - and these electrodes (some of which are already mass produced) enabled the creation of the OLED lighting device you can see above.

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