Co-Up! to develop hybrid roll-to-roll modular manufacturing technologies for flexible electronics

The project Co-Up! is developed to foster the scientific partnership of Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany, Department of Digital Printing and Imaging Technology, represented by Prof. Reinhard R. Baumann, and South Korean Konkuk University, Flexible Display Roll-to-Roll Research Center, represented by Prof. Kee-Hyun Shin. The aim is to get the competencies of both research groups together to contribute to the development of flexible and hybrid manufacturing technologies for flexible electronics and printed functionalities and to strengthen the cooperation of both countries in research and development.


Scientific Background

Lightweight and flexible electronics and the digital material deposition of functional layers on flexible substrates both on lab-scale are investigated worldwide. Researchers mostly focus on material sciences as well as on single devices and less on manufacturing technologies and machine development. For the industrialization of this knowledge gained worldwide intelligent and flexible manufacturing technologies are necessary to get closer to an individualized production by digital methods and batch size one.

Project and Objective

Co-Up! has the aim to build up a systematic model of roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing lines to investigate the influence when combining Digital Printing and Gravure Printing onto substrate handling within a manufacturing line. One of the main challenges in the manufacturing process is the accuracy of superimposing material layers after post treatment steps. The objectives of Co-Up! are as follows:

  • Optimization of single-layer fabrication using inkjet and gravure printing methods including characterization of flexible substrates and applied inks. Development of a mathematical model and a simulation based on existing machinery in the laboratories of Konkuk University and Chemnitz University of Technology.
  • Research of multi-layer fabrication using inkjet and gravure printing methods. Expansion of the mathematical modeling and simulation by superimposing both material deposition methods. Demonstration of a working hybrid manufacturing line combining digital material deposition and gravure printing on lab-scale. Finally, based on the gained results, a concept for a manufacturing line will be developed.

These objectives will be accomplished by cooperative works including the exchange of knowledge during workshops in South Korea and Germany.

Aspects of Research Structure

Both research groups established over the recent years a periodic exchange of students and scientific ideas based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2007 on institute level. This development will be deepened during the research to build up cooperation on university level establishing multidisciplinary and interfaculty teamwork for the development of joint research and exchange.

Project Website

Funded in the context of the BMBF funding programme to establish joint research structures of German universities with partners in APRA. More information on APRA.