Machinery manufacturers are entering uncharted waters when it comes to plastic electronics production – from the materials to the manufacturing process. When creating new system concepts, they can, however, rely on automation expertise that is already available today: Bosch Rexroth offers a wide spectrum of automation technology for roll-to-roll and coating methods based on decades of experience from the printing and electronic industry.
For plastic electronics, electronic components and applications, such as electric circuits, are printed using the roll-to-roll process. Expensive materials and energy-intensive methods, such as vacuum creation, necessitate new, affordable machine concepts for reliable processes. The major challenge is the precise control of several different processes in one machine. In particular, web transport and processing units for seamless processes must be perfectly synchronized and the precise web tension must be maintained. As one of the leading providers of roll-to-roll technology automation, Bosch Rexroth offers completely programmed functionalities that save both time and money.
Reduced costs – increased speed
When it comes to roll-to-roll technology, the perfect coordination of web transport and processing units is of highest priority. The required high degree of control performance can be found in the compact, controller-based Motion Logic Control (MLC) from Rexroth. Pre-integrated and predefined technological functions such as tension control and winding functions reduce engineering costs by up to 40 %. In addition, calculation- and time-critical motion functionalities can also be relocated to the drive, which enables flexible, cost-effective system concepts.
The Rexroth IndraMotion MLD gives users an additional open automation platform. It is based on the intelligent Rexroth IndraDrive system, and is used with industry-specific technological components for complex multiaxial movements.
Another complex part of the roll-to-roll process is the vacuum area for vapor coating or sealing materials. The substrate has to be free of particles and capable of being transported with a free range of motion so that cables or electronics do not interrupt the process. Rexroth therefore developed the linear Rexroth transport system called LMS (Linear Motion System) to move and position products accurate to the millimeter. Vacuum transport is performed magnetically above the spools and without any contact of the spools to the vacuum or the vapor and materials. Together with the coordinated Rexroth NYCe 4000 control system, the transport system increases speed and positioning accuracy with the simultaneous minimization of development and maintenance costs.
Rexroth’s solutions are based on comprehensive expertise in the printing and electronics industries. The proven systems also reduce engineering time and expense from one single source, which allows machine manufacturers to bring new systems for plastic electronics onto the market faster.
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