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SMT & Inspection | October 15, 2007

DEK unveils Reel-to-Reel solution

DEK has launched its brand new printer incorporating a Reel-to-Reel handling solution, designed to enable precision printing onto continuous substrates such as flexible printed circuits and advanced synthetic materials.
Reel-to-Reel (R2R) precision screen printing enables manufacturers to deposit advanced materials onto flexible substrates directly from the reel. By combining DEK’s expertise in precision alignment and versatile clamping with tooling solutions that meet the specific demands of large, flexible substrates, the new dedicated R2R printer is able to print onto substrates typically up to 150 metres in length and 500mm wide. This ability is ideal for use with Flexible Printed Circuits (FPC), organic LED substrates, non-conductive materials, fuel cell membranes and a wide range of foils, papers and composites. Applications range from rope lights and lighting systems such as those used to illuminate airliner aisles and emergency exits, to automotive instruments, mobile phones, RFID tag technologies and laptop PCs.

Reel-to-Reel is set to replace the conventional transport system used to drive boards in and out of the print area with three vacuum beds and a clamping system. Reel-to-Reel is specifically designed to optimise handling efficiency and throughput of continuous substrates, featuring robust and repeatable motion-control and substrate-clamping techniques to enable step-and-repeat sequences that maximise control and minimise waste.

“As the popularity of continuous flexible substrates intensifies, we have used our unique screen printing knowhow to develop this advanced and proven Reel-to-Reel technology,” explains DEK’s Michael Brown. “As a complete process solution, Reel-to-Reel not only delivers accurate positional indexing and tension management mechanisms, but also ensures the very lowest cost-of-ownership through enabling ultra-fast equipment changeover. Engineered for optimum process efficiency and throughput, Reel-to-Reel is further evidence of why our customers around the world Expect More.”

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