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Internet of Things

The Internet-of-Things (IoT) envisions a world of multiple connected sensors which monitor and record changes in physical objects or in the environment. The sensors can be used to perfect and monitor a manufacturing process, or they can be inserted into the end product to track its performance.

IoT offers almost endless opportunities to integrate intelligence into any everyday object or surface. It is transforming manufacturing as well as user experiences; it is underlying Industry 4.0 and shaping the development of artificial intelligence.

There are many sensors which can be used or developed to produce connected smart systems for IoT. Typically, these sensors measure properties such as strain, pressure, load, humidity, moisture, temperature, pH, and/or the presence of chemicals and gases.

 

What are the challenges?

Key challenges in developing sensors for IoT applications are manufacturability and the integration of different components.

It is not always easy to transform an everyday object into a “smart object”. While in many cases traditional, rigid  electronics would provide a viable technical solution, some smart objects require specialist materials and expertise to produce electronics of unusual form factors.

The enhanced connectivity in the IoT means that there are increasing needs for electrical connections to collect data from the large number of sensors and individual devices. Whilst some of this data can be collected via wireless links, smart systems operating in electrically noisy environments may still require wired connections. These wires and electrical terminals can be bulky, taking up valuable space and adding weight.

Using our products for IoT applications

 

Our conductive inks and other electronic materials can be used to produce a variety of sensors for practically all applications. Silver conductive inks are the material of choice for producing conductive tracks which require high, metal-like conductivity. Carbon inks, on the other hand, are used to produce low-cost sensing components in strain and temperature sensors, and may also serve as low-cost interconnects where low currents are used

We offer high performance, ready-to-use formulations which are compatible with mass production techniques. We also offer customised and specialty materials which create added value for our customers.

Antenna printed with silver ink S0860 for use with the IoT

Case study: printed sensor for condition monitoring

Applying sensors to a piece of equipment or even a hand-held tool enables a move towards preventative and predictive maintenance that could immediately demonstrate improved operational efficiency and reduced downtime.

DZP Technologies is a partner in the Graphosite consortium which develops graphene sensors for condition monitoring of composite structures. Learn more about this project here.