According to a recent study by BCC Research , the global printed electronics market will grow to $26.6 billion by 2020. The Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS in Chemnitz researches and develops the manufacturing processes for this purpose. The local coordinator of the main project Go Beyond 4.0 is Prof. Dr. Reinhard R. Baumann of the TU Chemnitz. He recently gave some interesting insights into the work at the institute in an interview .
New applications include printed sensor networks or custom designed, eco-friendly zinc-brownstone batteries . Their energy content can be scaled and thus designed precisely for the product. Another application example is printed antennas for RFID labels operating in the UHF range or at even higher frequencies. This makes it possible to improve the hitherto difficult communication technology of RFID, especially in logistics. The reliable radio communication is achieved by adapting the antenna format specifically to the application. This is also possible in three dimensions, for example, on the folded edges of packaging.
The Fraunhofer ENAS also develops printed functions for use in cars and airplanes as well as in medical technology. Both the institute and the TU Chemnitz are members of the VDMA working group OE-A (Organic and Printed Electronic Association), which is in close contact with the Printing and Paper Technology Association.