Case studies - functionality

Xennia’s digital manufacturing heritage

Some examples of the many functional deposition processes that Xennia has transformed by implementing digital manufacturing technology

With a near-20-year inkjet application development heritage, Xennia has worked with a large number of customers across many different industries to develop ground-breaking new digital manufacturing and functional deposition solutions. The examples outlined below give a snapshot of Xennia’s digital functional printing capability: a cross-section of the extensive store of knowledge and expertise at our disposal, ready for deployment onto new projects with our development partners.

Ceramic glaze effects

Digitally printed glazes allow specific areas of ceramic tiles to be given contrasting effects. Xennia has developed a range of effects including an ink that causes a relief change in the glaze, allowing a micro-texture to be defined.

Digital etch resist

Several applications, including PCB manufacture and textured gravure rollers for flooring production, require a digitally printed etch resist, which can then be used as part of the subsequent acidic metal etch process. Xennia has developed a UV-curable etch resist ink and printing solution which has been used successfully in both applications.

High precision printing

Xennia developed a high accuracy printing system for several development partners that included a granite motion stage and air bearings with one micron precision, allowing very accurate placement of functional materials with inkjet.

Manufacture of flexible conductive tracks for electronics (lighting, solar and RFID)

Xennia has developed several technologies for digital printing of conductive tracks for printed electronics applications including lighting, solar and RFID. This includes a catalytic UV curable ink process, later spun out into a separate company, and developments for several companies and EU projects.

Manufacture of electrochromic displays

Xennia worked with a partner to develop the technology required for digital printing of electrochromic displays, including a transparent conductive and electrochromic ink.

Manufacture of advanced abrasives

A major manufacturer of industrial abrasive products required a means of printing small defined areas of adhesive for one of their products. Xennia developed technology including an inkjet adhesive and printing system that allowed this to be introduced successfully into production.

Deposition of thermochromic materials for product sensors

Xennia worked with several partners on a government funded project to develop the required technology, which included inkjet printing of a thermochromic liquid crystal material. This allowed sensors to be manufactured that recorded the temperature history profile for perishable products.

Deposition of organic and inorganic photovoltaic materials

Xennia has worked on several projects to deposit photovoltaic materials using inkjet technology, including the NOVA-CIGS EU project which successfully manufactured solar cells based on copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS).

Magnetic pigment deposition

Xennia developed an ink using a magnetic pigment that enabled digital printing of magnetically-read characters (MICR).

Functional coating of fibre optics to improve light transmission

A low refractive index coating was developed for printing onto the ends of fibre optic connectors, to improve light transmission between fibres. Xennia developed a specific printable fluid and high precision printing system for this.

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