Contract Coating

Pilot production as a bridge between R&D and contract coating

By Dr Nicolas Schiller and Dr Steffen Günther, Fraunhofer Institute
for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, Dresden, Germany

Background. After completion of an R&D phase to develop a new technology, a critical juncture is often reached where the introduction of new coating techniques for industrial applications encounters difficulty. On the one hand, the market for a new technology may not yet have been developed sufficiently, or the development of in-house production capacities has not yet been completed. This is often the case in the area of contract coating as well, since the costs of introducing new technologies are often high in relation to contract volumes. Although coating systems are very productive, they require considerable investment, which is only justified if there is a correspondingly high capacity requirement. On the other hand, the loss of time between successful completion of the R&D phase and launching the production phase is a critical factor in maintaining a technological and competitive edge, since the construction of new facility technology naturally requires time.

Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik (FEP), D-01277 Dresden, www.fep.fraunhofer.de