Accuflex is a Technology Strategy Board funded project with the aim of developing a system for reel-to-reel production of low cost flexible electronics by flexographic printing.
By adapting the high speed, reel-to-reel printing processes used for packaging to the requirements of electronics production, printing can provide a high volume, low cost means of manufacturing. However, the accuracy and precision required for an electronics print is far greater than for graphics, where a minor defect may lead to a component or a device not working.
The consortium was formed to develop a technology platform for the production of low cost flexible electronics by flexographic printing. The scope of the project included the development of stable and robust printing units as well as control and inspection systems for improved accuracy and precision. A novel flexographic plate system was developed that enabled consistent printing over larger areas and at lower pressures. Further functionality was added to the process by a laser machining module that can ablate patterns into the ink film on a moving web. In addition functional inks were developed and printed onto low cost substrates including biodegradable materials.