The Necomada (Nano-Enabled Conducting Materials Accelerating Device Applicability) project, which involves the collaboration of 13 partners, incorporates advanced functional materials to develop customized inks and flexible adhesives that are compatible with high volume manufacturing platforms, with an emphasis on low-cost production.
These materials will support high-speed, roll-to-roll integration and large area electronics to address the IoT opportunities. Necomada also aims to deliver a supply chain that enables future commercialization and includes a wide range of end-users to ensure its commercial viability within a range of industries including: apparel, healthcare, printing, domestic appliances, smart packaging, and fast-moving consumer goods.
There is a need for mass production of low-cost printable electronics to enable the development of flexible electronic devices that are compatible with a wide range of consumer goods, not only products with a rigid form. This will be achieved by enabling roll-to-roll fabrication. Existing production lines utilize expensive materials, and are limited to the integration of a single component per tag.
The Necomada project will advance material development to reduce the final system costs, and trial them on a roll-to-roll pilot line located at the Centre for Process Innovation with novel capability to assemble more complex systems at the throughputs and cost points demanded by high-volume applications. The pilot facilities being developed will be available for use by industrial partners to trial their innovative product and material solutions. Initial target applications for demonstrative products include NFC and RFID tags.
The Necomada project is all about the IoT and works towards the movement to the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. Necomada involves the collaboration of 13 partners: the Centre for Process Innovation Ltd (CPI), Henkel Electronic Materials (HEM), PragmatIC Printing Ltd, Teknologisk Institut (DTI), Contitech Elastomer-Beschichtungen, Nanogap Sub-NM-Powder SA, Thomas Swan & Co Ltd, BSH Electrodomesticos Espana SA, Henkel KGaA, Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Ltd, Fraunhofer FhG, Tyoeterveyslaitos (FIOH) and NXP Semiconductors.
The project will use and build on CPI’s open access pilot facilities at the UK’s National Centre for Printable Electronics to develop hybrid integration systems for printed electronics as well as new materials development. Hybrid systems combine the strengths of two complimentary technologies, large area electronics to enable the flexibility and silicon CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) integrated circuits for high performance. Necomada’s complete supply chain also supports developments from pilot scale production, with manufacturing companies such as Henkel, BSH and Crown Packaging involved from the beginning of the project to ensure that the end application requirements can be met.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 720897.