Smart digital production

»GoBeyond4.0«: Increase of Manufacturing Process Stability and Reliability of Printed Systems

6-axis robot system with adapted digital printing technology for the production of, among other things, conductor paths on three-dimensional surfaces.
© Fraunhofer ENAS
6-axis robot system with adapted digital printing technology for the production of, among other things, conductor paths on three-dimensional surfaces.
Printed conductors electrically and mechanically contacted on automotive-approved connectors.
© Fraunhofer ENAS
Printed conductors electrically and mechanically contacted on automotive-approved connectors.

After a four-year runtime, the Fraunhofer lighthouse project »GoBeyond4.0« was successfully completed on November 30, 2020. Particularly innovative research results were achieved in 2020. These include the increase of process stability of digital printing and laser processes used for the production of individualized products up to quantities of 1, as well as an increase in product reliability (focus: thermal shock resistance) in accordance with industry standards. Together with the Fraunhofer institutes IFAM, ILT and IWU we investigated new control concepts in order to reduce the fluctuations of the printed and post-processed track resistances to below 20 %. As a result, the standard deviation of the track resistances during production was impressively reduced to 1.1 % (jet dispenser) and 4.5 % (screw dispenser), respectively.

The goal of the research carried out in 2020 to increase product reliability was to implement a heterogeneous integration of digitally printed assembly and interconnection structures in classical electronic environments. Fraunhofer ENAS developed a safe electrical and mechanical adhesive connection between printed circuit boards and automotive-approved connectors according to automotive standards, for instance. The connectors and printed traces shown in the photos on the left page have withstood a temperature cycling test of 1000 cycles (– 40 °C to + 125 °C) and are thus fully usable for an automotive application.