NEWS: Member Cooperation Leads to New High Volume PE Device

01-02-2017

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), based in the UK, has successfully completed a project to create a novel printed energy harvesting device, which will play an important role in the development of packaging with electronic functionality, it says. Powered by near-field communication (NFC) technology, the device will draw energy from the user’s mobile telephone, facilitating the wider adoption of NFC-enabled printed electronic components. This technology is essential for realising the Internet of Things (IoT), where smart objects can sense information about their environment, process this information to respond appropriately and communicate with individuals or other electronic devices.

The harvesting device houses a printed antenna alongside printed passive and active components, including an array of tuning capacitors. It can be tuned to resonant frequency in order to maximise harvested power output.  Without the harvesting device it would not be possible to incorporate printed electronic capability into thin substrates such as packaging due to the requirement for power from thicker and less flexible batteries. This next generation of printed electronic functionality enables product designers to embed electronics into their designs, creating innovative components that are low cost, smarter, lightweight and wireless.

The 18 month Innovate UK funded project, entitled HaRFest, was led by PragmatIC Printing, a long time CPI partner in the field of flexible electronics. During the project collaboration was established between CPI, PragmatIC, the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics, the University of Cambridge, and the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (Swansea University). CPI shared its extensive printed electronics knowhow and expertise with all partners and, as a result of the project, has developed an even deeper understanding of the processing techniques and technologies involved in facilitating smart packaging, it claims.