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32 SMT Magazine • August 2014 In electronics, most R&D has traditionally focused on developing novel technologies that can have either incremental or path-breaking benefits. However, printed electronics is an ex- ample of how an established technology finds new applications due to innovation in diverse fields of study. Printed electronics involves the use of printing technologies for manufacturing electronic devices using conductive inks and non-silicon substrates. Silicon has been the key material for use in electronics. Though, with increased demand for flexible, low-cost elec- tronics catering to innovative and futuristic ap- plications, the electronics industry has turned towards the traditional technology of printing. Various printing methods can be applied for printed electronics. However the most promis- ing ones are gravure, flexography, inkjet and screen printing. According to Frost & Sullivan analysis, in 2011, screen printing accounted for about 70.3% of the global printing technology equipment market. The screen printing process is highly versa- tile and can be used on a wide range of materials. A major advantage of screen printing lies in the ability to apply thicker levels of ink than other printing processes. Screen printing equipment, on an average, is less costly than other equip- ment for different processes. Although screen printing normally follows a sheet-fed method, it can also support a roll-to-roll process. As a matter of fact, roll-to-roll manufacturing will realize the true potential of printed electronics as it enables higher production rates, although Traditional Processes Enabling Next-Generation Electronics FEaTuRE by sumit Kumar Pal FroST & SulliVAn'S TeCHniCAl inSigHTS

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