BANNOCKBURN, Ill., USA, July 30, 2013 — The electronics manufacturing industry’s first design guidelines for printed electronics, IPC/JPCA-2291, Design Guidelines for Printed Electronics, was released by IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries® and JPCA. Providing much needed guidance for consistent, manufacturable design requirements for printed electronics, IPC/JPCA-2291 together with IPC/JPCA-4921, Requirements for Printed Electronics Base Materials, and IPC/JPCA-4591, Requirements for Printed Electronics Functional Materials, establish a firm foundation for this technology alternative that is being used in a growing number of applications.
Although the concept of printing conductors onto a range of substrates is not novel, new market and technology trends favor the large format, low production cost strengths of printed electronics. Along with these benefits, the ability to print on many substrates that can have odd shapes presents a huge advantage. In addition, printed electronics’ additive processes often have fewer steps, simplifying manufacturing, and they eliminate the need for harsh etches and other materials used in subtractive processes, reducing environmental concerns and minimizing the time spent on regulatory documentation.
Covering a technology that is still in its early stages, the design guidelines represent the current consensus on best practices for companies entering this arena, “for the time being,” says IPC Director of Technology Transfer Marc Carter.
Carter explains that along with the publication of IPC/JPCA-2291, an immediate revision of the document is being launched. “That way, as the technology advances, so does IPC/JPCA-2291, ensuring that it continues to reflect industry best practices.
“As we do with all pioneering documents, IPC will continue its work on the design guidelines, in collaboration with JPCA, to secure additional companies’ experiences. We encourage companies with expertise in this area to help by participating in the continuing international consensus-building committee process.”
IPC’s Printed Electronics Initiative is developing additional documents for this emerging industry, including IPC/JPCA-6901 on performance requirements for printed electronics assemblies and the as-yet unnamed printed electronics processing guide which will capture the current best available process advice and guidance in this rapidly developing field. IPC is also developing a roadmap that will help identify needs and strengths of the emerging field of printed electronics.
Companies wishing to participate in IPC’s Printed Electronics Initiative should contact Carter at MarcCarter@ipc.org. More information on IPC and JPCA’s initiative is available at www.ipc.org/printed-electronics.