Printed electronics centre expands in Durham for RFID labels

The UK Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is to develop ways to print the electronics of RFID labels, with £2.6m from the European Regional Development Fund.

The funding will allow CPI to establish the Emerging Electronics Manufacturing Centre in County Durham, which will provide: a reel-to-reel RFID inlay production line, producing reels of RFID labels at high volumes; and a ‘smart label converting line’ which takes printed RFID tags and turns them into labels at through-rate of 60metres/minute.

“The new facility we are talking about will be located in Newton Aycliffe,” Gillian Kears-Fricker, business innovation manager at CPI told Electronics Weekly. “At the moment we are carrying out activities and working on projects from our existing facility at Sedgefield.”

The organisation is looking at IoT applications.

“Examples of potential products would be a printed electronic biosensor worn on or inside the body of a patient that allows doctors to monitor the condition of the patient remotely via the internet,” said CPI. “Or, packaging with embedded printed sensors which notifies a stockist of its whereabouts in a warehouse via the internet.”

According to director of printable electronics at CPI John Cocker: “Many challenges remain in being able to integrate conventional and novel components into the devices that will unlock the value of the internet of things. The Emerging Electronics Manufacturing Centre is focussed on addressing these challenges and helping its clients and partners to engage in this opportunity.”

The EEMC is intended to be a national facility, providing assets and technical expertise for organisations developing products from concepts – supporting feasibility testing, development and scale-up.

CPI is part of the national High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

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