Kodak’s Brad Kruchten has described printed electronics as the “the next frontier for print” and believes commercial printers should be able to move into this evolving market.
Kruchten is president of Kodak’s Print Systems division, its largest operation encompassing printing plates, CTP systems, NexPress and Digimaster electrophotographic digital printing, and equipment service. He said that while printing businesses have traditionally been engaged in printing for “visual purposes” – such as publications and packaging – the future will involve what Kodak has coined “the printernet of things”.
“The next frontier for print is how you make things that can communicate, using printed electronic circuits,” said Kruchten. “We’ll probably spend the next three-to-four years fully understanding the process. Our intention is to be able to say to printers ‘here’s a cookbook, a how to’. I think commercial and packaging printers are going to be able to do this.” He predicted a “major explosion” in printed electronics in the future, at a fraction of today’s cost.
“I’m excited and I think this will be a great opportunity for the printing industry,” he added. “It’s absolutely the next high-margin printing opportunity for companies that can see the horizon and are looking at their next investments.