GM announces SOLAR and printed electronics partnership with Sciprios

Coating solutions for scientific research and industrial production

GM’s SOLAR and printed electronics partnership with Sciprios

Converting equipment manufacturer GM has announced that it is joining forces with Sciprios GmbH to provide tailor-made, cutting-edge R&D coating solutions for both scientific research and industrial production in all areas of printed electronics.

Over the past decade, GM has applied its knowledge of coating technology to expand into the SOLAR cell and other functional materials segments with its own specialized range of roll-to-roll thin-film coating machinery. As innovation in these markets continues to grow, so does the demand for expertise in handling the delicately printed, sensitive thin films used in printed electronics applications.

One of GM’s first customers in this area was the SOLAR Factory of the Future (SFF) at the Energy Campus in Nürnberg, Germany, a collaboration that is still ongoing. Sciprios (Science-Printing-Semiconductors) was founded in 2018 as a spin-off from the SFF and the Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research (ZAE Bayern). Headed up by managing director Dr Tobias Stubhan, the technology start-up provides turnkey pilot production lines for printed photovoltaics including printing, structuring, backend, and complete module processes.

“This official announcement of our partnership is based on several years of fruitful collaboration,” says Uffe Nielsen, GM’s chief executive officer. “Earlier this year, we took the next step and introduced the second generation of our SOLAR Coating Platform, which has been developed with Sciprios. We are now extending that cooperation to also include sales, customer support and service, and consumables, as well as coating workshops and demos.”

The SOLAR-300 is a coating and printing platform available in widths of 330, 500, or 550 millimeter, or in a custom size. Completely modular, it can be configured with multiple slot die-coating stations, gravure coating, flexo printing, and rotary screen printing, and features the option to add laser cutting and inkjet printing in-line for manufacturing printed electronic devices in one pass. The machine has been designed so that is it suitable for both R&D and as a production machine, making it easy to upgrade to full-scale manufacturing.

“Our partnership will equip researchers around the world with the tools that facilitate the development and upscaling of organic and perovskite photovoltaics, photodetectors, batteries, super capacitors, OLEDs for displays and lighting applications, fuel cells, smart windows, and more for a brighter and more sustainable future,” concluded Uffe.

GM provides advanced solutions for the self-adhesive label converting and finishing industry. It delivers a vast array of machines, including complete automated converting lines, hot foil stamping, screen printing, die cutters, laser die cutters, slitter-rewinders, roll lifts, sheeters, and core cutters. Its core product, and flagship model, is the DC350 converting line, which is available in three sizes with a vast number of options and capable of running either inline or offline with your press of Choice. The company is said to have gained a strong name in the label business and has been represented at Labelexpo Europe for the last 20 years. In 2006 and 2014, GM was awarded the “Gazelle” award by the Danish financial magazine Børsen for exceptional growth during a period of three years.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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