4 Things That Are Now Possible Thanks to Printed Electronics

Printed Electronics Copyright Wilson-Hurd 2014

Printed electronics are a set of printing methods used to create electrical devices on a number of substrates. They are produced by combining various printing methods to deposit electrically functional & optical inks onto a substrate. The inks can be deposited in any pattern to suit the type of application it is being made for. The end result is a lightweight, flexible electrical device, developed with a cost-effective production process.

The versatility of printed electronics is a huge draw for all manufacturers and markets. The benefits of these new electronics are endless, from lower cost, improved performance, flexibility, transparency, reliability, and much more. Even though the printed electronics market is still growing, there are some things that have been made possible in recent years, including:

  1. Printed Antennas

Printed antennas are relatively inexpensive to design and manufacture. They have a variety of useful properties including mechanical durability, conformability, compactness, and cheap manufacturing costs. They also have a range of applications in both the military and commercial sectors, and are often mounted on the exterior of aircraft and spacecraft as well as incorporated into mobile radio communication devices.

  1. Wearable Technology

Wearable technology is made with smart sensors and has the ability to connect to the Internet and collect data. Examples of wearable devices include watches, contact lenses, e-textiles and smart fabrics, types of medical devices, and jewelry such as rings and bracelets. The goal of wearable technologies in each of these fields will be to smoothly incorporate functional, portable electronics and computers into individuals’ daily lives.

  1. Smart Labels

Smart labels can be attached to any package, even packages that may bend, and they can provide real-time information about location, temperature, movement, and moisture. With smart labels, companies can also confirm the freshness of products by checking the temperature to prevent spoilage and validate the authenticity of a product. In the healthcare field, smart labels can help control inventory and track the usage and disposal of pharmaceuticals. Smart labels are also being attached to clothing where they can check body temperatures and dampness of bandages.

  1. Flexible OLED DisplaysFlexible_display

OLEDs are used to create digital displays in devices such as television screens, computer monitors, and portable systems such as mobile phones and handheld game consoles. They are also used in commercial applications such as displays for car radios and digital cameras, among others.

Printed electronics are one of the fastest growing technologies in the world, and allows electronics to be in places they have ever been before. The market is destined to grow as technology evolves, allowing for even more possibilities to develop.

If you would like to learn more about Wilson-Hurd’s Printed Electronics division, please visit our website at www.wilsonhurd.com or fill out our form submission below:


Wilson-Hurd, founded in 1904, offers custom printing, fabricating, and electronic manufacturing services specializing in Electronic Control Products, Printed Electronics, POP Displays, Medical Contract Manufacturing, and Nameplates & Dials, Overlays, Panels.

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Wearable Technology You Didn’t Know Exists

Wearable technology is a device typically made out of printed electronics, which is worn by a consumer that has the ability to connect to the Internet and collect data. It is the main topic of conversation in the tech world today. While the most common wearable is currently the smartwatch, there are many other wearables out there that you may not have even known existed.

Glucose Measuring Temporary Tattoos

A researcher from the University of California created a flexible sensor to measure the glucose levels in a person’s body. These temporary tattoos use a mild electrical current to monitor the vitals and can later be disposed of after use. This is a pain free alternative to the traditional finger-stick device that diabetic patients may find unpleasant. The tattoos are relatively inexpensive and can be replaced without too much financial burden.

Sensoria

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Sensoria is a smart fitness sock that assists users on their running techniques in real time. The sock has sensors on the bottom of the foot that transmits feedback to a removable anklet which in turn syncs the information to a smartphone app. The device monitors cadence, which is the way your foot hits the ground as you run. By monitoring your technique, you not only improve your running, but also prevent any future injuries.

Kiband

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The Kiband is a wireless bracelet to monitor the location of a child. Parents using the Kiband can set custom distance perimeters to make sure their children are within sight. When the child is getting too close to the edge of the perimeter chosen by the parent, the bracelet will vibrate warning the child they have gone too far. The parent will also be notified when the child crosses the set perimeter by an alarm on the mobile app. The app will then help the parent locate where the child is.

UpRight

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UpRight is a wearable device that attaches to your lower back to help you stand and sit up straight, which will in turn prevent bad posture and future back pain. The device monitors your posture by slightly vibrating to alert you when you begin to slouch. UpRight should be worn for only 15 minutes when beginning, and you gradually lengthen the time it is used as your back muscles strengthen.  It also comes with a mobile app that gives you real time feedback and statistics.

Melomind

Melomind

The Melomind is a stress-relieving headpiece that transmits brain waves via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. Based on the signals, the app will play music to calm your mind. The session lasts up to 15 minutes and is designed to improve your ability to cope with stress.

Wilson-Hurd is an innovative leader in the production of printed electronics. We possess expertise in a number of printing methods used to create electronic devices just like the wearable technology shown above as well as other applications. If you would like to read more information about Wilson-Hurd’s printed electronics and capabilities, then click here.


About Wilson-Hurd:  Wilson-Hurd Manufacturing specializes in the production of custom electronic control products, point-of-purchase displays, medical contract manufacturing, printed electronics, as well as nameplates & dials, overlays, and panels. Wilson-Hurd was founded in 1904, and is headquartered in Wausau, WI, with additional locations in Berlin, WI.

Printed Electronics: Endless Possibilities for Innovation

Have you ever stopped to think about how many times you use something electronic in a day? Electronics have become a staple in people’s lives all over the globe, allowing us to communicate instantly with one another, make purchases online or in a store, and even get from Point A to Point B.

A great deal of engineering & design work can go into making these electronics, as well as complicated manufacturing processes. Thanks to advances in technology electronics are getting easier and cheaper to manufacture. One of the most efficient new manufacturing methods is the ability to print an entire electrical device on various substrates, a process resulting in Printed Electronics. Before we get into how these flexible devices can benefit you & your company, let’s first explain how they work.

What are Printed Electronics?

Various printing methods can be used to deposit electrically functional & optical inks onto a substrate. The inks can be deposited in any pattern to suit the type of application it is being made for. The result is a fully functional electronic device that can be thin & flexible, or more durable depending on what it’s for. Widths of traces can vary from super fine to broad.

Materials used for printed electronics can include polyester, polycarbonate, polyimide, and FR-4. Substrates can then be coated to protect the printed pattern. Top-performing inks, coatings, & plating include:

  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Nickel
  • Gold
  • Silver/Carbon

The printed electronic devices can then be molded, cut (laser or die), or formed into any required shape.

Printed Electronics Copyright Wilson-Hurd 2014

What are the Advantages?

The versatility of printed electronics is a huge draw for all manufacturers and markets. Some common applications for printed electronics include:

  • Antennas (VHF, UHF, RF)
    • Digital TV
    • Wireless
    • Security
  • Disposable Medical Items
  • Flexible Circuits
  • Flexible Pressure & Temperature Sensors
  • Automotive Embedded Circuits
  • Contour-Shaped Products
  • Printed Memory & Batteries
  • Wearable Technology

Printed electronics have also been used for flexible displays, animated posters, smart labels, and even clothing. When you start to think about what could be done in the future with printed electronics and all the different uses that they could serve, a multitude of possibilities open up.

While versatility is one huge benefit of printed electronics, another is low-cost volume fabrication. With the ability to create more electronic devices at a lower cost to you, it is a win-win situation. Some companies have even started to develop disposable printed electronics specifically for the medical industry where sterilization is always a concern. Patients can use the electronic device, and then dispose of it when they are done with it, something you wouldn’t want to do with an expensive circuit board.

Printed Electronics 3 Copyright Wilson-Hurd 2014

What are the Possibilities?

Every day scientists and engineers are coming up with innovative new ways that printed electronics can be used in all kinds of applications. It could be that someday instead of having to visit your doctor for a check-up, you put on a disposable monitor that can send your health information straight to your doctor’s office over the internet.

Perhaps someday we’ll be able to wear workout clothing that can monitor your heart rate, distance, & number of calories burned during a run, or maybe we’ll be able to wear a t-shirt that uses solar activity to charge our cell phone.

There are an infinite amount of possibilities; your next step is discovering what printed electronics can do for you.

Printed Electronics 1 Copyright Wilson-Hurd 2014

Wilson-Hurd Manufacturing specializes in the production of custom electronic control products, printed electronics, contract medical manufacturing, point-of-purchase displays, and metal & plastic nameplates, overlays, dials & panels. Wilson-Hurd was founded in 1904, and is headquartered in Wausau, WI, with additional locations in Berlin, WI.

For more information on Wilson-Hurd and our capabilities, visit our website at www.wilsonhurd.com, and contact us at 1.800.950.5013 or at sales@wilsonhurd.com

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