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FLEXO Magazine : July 2008
opportunities for focus on specific applica- tions. At least one firm specifically produces its silver inks with RFID in mind. Several produce silver conductive inks specifically intended for flexography. These typically have lower viscosity than older conductive inks intended for screen processes. Several of the most established materi- als and specialty chemicals firms have been supplying silver inks-primarily of the thick film/screen printed variety- for quite a few years. These include Sun Chemical (the world's largest supplier of printing inks,) DuPont, and the firm for- merly known as National Starch (which has recently become part of Henkel Electronics). Such names confirm that printed silver is a very established busi- ness in its more conventional forms and we would expect that the big names men- tioned above are likely to playa continued major role in this business. But there are going to be some major challenges. Thick-film inks may make busi- ness sense when they do not require too much R8(D and marketing support. But as the silver ink business moves from being a fairly specialized electronics materials business to being a key to an entirely new industry-printed electronics-firms will have to start spending significant sums of money on R8(D for new ink formulations and on business development aimed at the new breed of printed electronic technology and application developer. Generally speaking-and this point is bigger than just the silver conductive ink market-the large materials firms that want to move further into the printed electronics space, must either accept reve- nues that are paltry compared to what they can reasonably expect from their main businesses. Alternatively, their involve- ment in new printed electronics must take the form of some kind of financial, tech- nical and/or marketing relationship with smaller firms that have limited resources, but plenty of IP and talented engineers. As N anoMarkets' report discusses, some of these small firms may be ones who come up with the most innovative ink products in the next few years. . ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lawrence Gasman is principal anaryst for NanoMarkets Le. For a jùll copy of Silver Inks and Pastes for Printable Electronics: 2008-2015, visit www.nanomarkets.net. The unique Phantom™ doctor-blade hand-prooter offers a variety ot laser- engraved anilox rolls, which can be correlated to your presses, enabling you to save ink, substrate and valuable press time trom the get-go. Learn more by requesting a copy ot our Free "Hand-Prooter Correlation II white paper. To learn more, call 704.588.3371 or Toll Free 866.588.8686 Americas - Europe -Asia HARPER@ HARPERSCIENTIFIC @200B MAX. Your friend in flexo. Knowledgeable. Proactive. Proven. Discover what MAX can do for you. mm:c 1.800.700.6275 www.yourfriendinflexo.com YOUR FRIEND IN FLEXO [I I miilFUt ancy COM CO UVTechnology
Flexo Sustainable Fall 2008