The potential for RFID and functional coatings seems virtually limitless. Applications for the RFID technology go far beyond the basic tag and trace items. Functional coatings are being used on projects as diverse as solar panels, glucose sensors, transdermal electrodes and countless other applications.
A number of ink manufacturers are designing innovative products for these new markets. Engineered Conductive Materials, LLC. (ECM), whose parent company is Engineered Materials Systems, Inc., is addressing the growing need for high performance conductive inks, adhesives and dielectric coatings worldwide.
With engineering sales offices globally and manufacturing plants in Central Ohio and China, ECM is capable of on time delivery to its customers, and its combined 25 years of technically superb product development and manufacturing makes ECM the choice of the engineering community for thermosetting and thermoplastic inks, encapsulants and coatings.
“We are very excited about this market,” said Steve Toyama, ECM’s national sales manager. “While people tend to be leery of using new technologies, everything we offer is based on tried and true technology, and that cuts down on the risk.”
ECM’s industry focus is within, but not limited to, RFID tags (antenna inks, die attach adhesives and UV overcoats), silver-silver chloride inks for medical devices, surface mount adhesives and UV encapsulants for the membrane switch industry. ECM offers many standard products as well as specifically formulated solutions to problems. The company offers silver filled, carbon filled, and alloy filled inks and dielectric materials that is fine tuned for screen printing. ECM’s products are formulated using the best proprietary formulas available today to assure optimal cure profiles.
ECM’s technical department is staffed with application specialists who are available to address and solve customers’ design needs. The company has an extensively equipped development laboratory with state-of-the-art electrical, thermal and structural analysis equipment.
ECM first made its mark in the membrane switch market, where the company’s inks play a crucial role.
“Our first market was for membrane switches where the ink is very critical to the performance of the device” according to Mr. Toyama.
Chuck Feeny, president, and Todd Irion, vice president, own the privately held EMS/ECM and have considerable experience in conductive and structural adhesive manufacturing experience in their ISO and TS16949 Ohio plant.
ECM already has some notable successes in the field of RFID, partnering with a major manufacturer who is using their inks for RFID straps. ECM is also developing new products for the medical markets utilizing printed batteries.
“We want to get more involved in RFID, and we are selling inks to the biosensor market. ” Mr. Toyama said. “A lot of people think that functional coatings are a nice place to grow their printing business outside of membrane switches.”