Application Spotlight: Printed Circuitry and the Internet of Things

Over the course of the past decade, the Internet of Things (IoT) has played an increasingly significant role in daily life due in large part by innovations in the world of printed electronics and conductive ink technology. These advancements have expanded access to cost effective, reliable printed circuitry solutions that can be mass-produced, paving the way for new applications with functionalities previously not thought possible.

With connectivity and cloud computing continuing to improve as well, the practicality of manufacturing and integrating smart devices for everyday life has led to widespread development across a broad range of industries.

The idea of printing specialized, conductive ink formulations onto flexible substrates to produce circuits is not a new concept. It was first developed in the 1930s and gained significant traction commercially by the mid-1950s.

Capacitive & Membrane Switch Circuits and Cutting-Edge Medical Applications

The membrane switch, capacitive switch, and appliance markets have historically been the largest segment of printed electronics applications, however, there is also significant penetration in the medical field with ECG and EKG devices, biosensors, and drug delivery mechanisms.

Electronic Potentiometer Circuits, Printed Heaters, RFIDs, and Emerging Markets

Other various applications include printed heaters, potentiometers, RFID antenna for security devices and smart labels, EL lighting, printed batteries, solar cells, and micro-LED lighting technology. However, with this technology experiencing such rapid growth of late, new industries such as furniture and textiles continue to emerge seeking smart solutions for an increasingly connected world.

Benefits of Printed and Flexible Circuitry

Printed electronics offer flexible form factors for design, require less inputs and energy consumption, and can be produced more quickly than traditional circuitry. This lends itself to lower costs and the ability to efficiently scale up production.

Printing traces on a thin substrate also allows for smaller and more flexible circuits than traditional wires and cables, and as Moore’s law continues to hold true, the insatiable demand for devices that are smaller, lighter, and more powerful remains as strong as ever.

Tekra has access to a wide array of functional inks and coatings from Henkel Electronic Materials, including silver and carbon conductive inks, dielectric inks, and specialty carbon resistor and silver-silver chloride formulations.

To learn more about our Conductive Inks offerings for Printed Electronics, click here.

For product recommendations, call Tekra at 1-866-532-8840 to discuss your application.

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Application Spotlight: Printed Circuitry and the Internet of Things Toolbox Resources

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