MGI Digital Graphic Technology purchased a 100 percent interest in fellow French company Ceradrop, which specializes in developing inkjet systems for the printed electronics industry, including components for 3D printing.
MGI states the move is to take advantage of a growing economic sector. The market for printed electronics, according to IDTechEx market research, was estimated at US$9.4 billion in 2012, and is forecasted to grow to more than US$40 billion by 2020 and US$300 billion by 2030.
Based in Limoges, France, Ceradrop was founded in 2006 by members of the Centre National de la Recherché Scientifique (CNRS). The company’s high caliber customer list currently includes scientific laboratories like CEA and Centre National d' Etudes Spatiales in Fraunhofer, Germany, as well as industrial groups like Gemalto, DisaSolar and Thales. In North America, Ceradrop has been working closely with Northwestern University in Illinois.
Ceradrop develops systems for printing both 2D and 3D-ceramic and organic electronic components like antennas, Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) display screens, electronic chip cards, solar cells, RFID tags, printed batteries, and biomedical sensors. These components can be printed onto a range of materials like glass, metals, polymers, plastics and paper.
The company’s 15-member development team in Limoges is currently involved in major research programs, including work with SPrinTronics to produce disruptive solar technologies in sectors like medical, aerospace, digital security and electric vehicles. ASTRIJE, managed by CEA, is working with Ceradrop on the implementation of printed fuel cells using inkjet printing. Ceradrop is also working with DGA to develop CerMJet for printed ceramic magnetic components.