November marked the SGIA’s Annual Printed Electronics Symposium and Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. This year hosted an immense amount of growth since previous years as the SGIA has accommodated the changing market. The SGIA has also supported the growth of the Industrial Printing Community due to advancements in electronics and deposition technology, allowing for more manufacturing alternatives. The Symposium expanded upon the educational content at this year’s expo, offering master classes and discussion panels featuring prominent figures in the printing industry such as Neil Bolding of MacDermid Autotype Inc., Michael Burrows of DuPont Electronics and Communications, and David Schneider of Nicomatic.
What started as the Membrane Switch Symposium has – with the help of the SGIA – grown to cater to a more diverse marketplace for specialty and functional screen printing suppliers, giving the opportunity of education and networking to those in the variety of industries.
As a part of the 2015 Printed Electronics & Membrane Switch Committee, President Edward F. Cook Jr. attended this event just as he does each year, but was invited to lead and teach the Printed Electronics Master Class, explaining what attendees would be taking away from the class. This four hour, four segmented class period explained trending processes in the screen printing industry, each expressing their individual importance.
Nearly 80 industry professionals attended the class, and participated in a collaborative learning event. President Cook discussed the nuances of Industrial printing and Printed Electronics stating, “In this product field it is not good enough to just print an attractive part. That’s only part of the equation. You have to know everything about your process in order to have a repeatable product both functionally and aesthetically.” Form, Fit, Function are not automatically achieved unless you understand every detail of your process and setup. Colors can shift, resistance can change. You need to focus on Screen, tension, mesh, ink viscosity, squeegee durometer and sharpness; ranges of resistance, ink thickness, intercoat adhesion, to name a few.
With the help of the SGIA, we hope to see more opportunities such as The Printed Electronics Master Class that will be more open to the ever-changing, ever-growing market of the Industrial Printing Industry.