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PCB-Feb2017

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58 The PCB Magazine • February 2017 Louwet: We know that we have to be competi- tive with this inkjet technology. Van Dam: The ink itself will be more expensive than the traditional ones, but there are a lot of savings in the overall production process. And of course, a digital additive process offers also a lot of other valuable advantages. Louwet: What I can say is that we have been discussing this with some end customers and they have calculated some target prices and we are in the same ballpark. Matties: That's good, so it's not outrageous. Here's the other thing. I would think every company that provides mask is looking for technology like this, and there might be a lot of choices and competitors for this product. How do you differentiate yourself? Louwet: What's important here is to be first. A lot of companies are really thinking of digital production. It's important to be there now and to be designing with them. Matties: You said you started the development of this product about a year ago? Louwet: Yes, but of course, we've built a lot on the legend ink and the etch resist experience. Matties: Is the time to develop the product in line with what you thought it would take? Louwet: It's going faster than we expected. Matties: You're about a year into it, and you're close to going into market now? Louwet: It will take another year before we do a full commercial launch. Matties: You're going to partner with some beta sites, I'd imagine. We'd be interested in doing the case studies for the beta sites as you follow this process along, if that's acceptable. Thanks for tak- ing time to talk with us. Louwet: Thank you. PCB INKJET PRINTING SOLDER MASK Researchers have coat- ed fabric with an electroac- tive material, giving it the ability to actuate in the same way as muscle fibres. This opens new opportuni- ties to design "textile mus- cles" that could, for exam- ple, be incorporated into clothes, making it easier for people with disabilities to move. The study, which has been carried out by researchers at Linköping University and the Uni- versity of Borås in Sweden, has been published in Science Advances. Developments in robot technology and pros- theses have been rapid, due to technological breakthroughs. For example, devices known as exoskeletons, which act as an external skeleton and muscles, have been developed to reinforce a person's own mobility. "Enormous and impres- sive advances have been made in the development of exoskeletons, which en- able people with disabili- ties to walk again. But the existing technology looks like rigid robotic suits. It is our dream to create exo- skeletons resembling items of clothing, such as "run- ning tights" that you can wear under your normal clothes. This may make it easier for older persons and those with impaired mobility to walk," says Edwin Jager, associate professor at Division of Sen- sor and Actuator Systems, Linköping University. Financial support for the research includes the Carl Trygger Foundation, the Swedish Research Council, the Smart Textiles Initiative (VINNOVA), the European Scientific Network for Artificial Mus- cles and the EU's 7th Framework Programme. 'Knitted Muscles' Provide Power

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