R2R Technologies Driving Big Growth in Flexible Device Market Segments

January 07, 2016

Wellesley, Mass., January 06, 2016 – The availability of various printing methods adapted to roll-to-roll (R2R) processing represents a key growth factor of the global flexible device market. BCC Research forecasts in its new report that the global market for printed electronics segment should reach a CAGR greater than 30% from 2015 to 2020.

Flexible devices are advanced devices that are thin, lightweight and bendable. These products include primarily electronics, optoelectronics, and energy devices, although other types, such as sensors and medical devices, are emerging. The four categories that comprise flexible devices made using roll-to-roll (R2R) technologies are: electronic devices, optoelectronic devices, energy devices and sensors.  The growing popularity of flexible devices has increased the need for high-volume processes that produce them.

The global market for flexible devices manufactured by R2R technologies totaled $14.6 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $28.1 billion by 2020, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9%. Electronic devices as a segment should reach $13.7 billion in 2015 and $23.3 billion by 2020, demonstrating a five-year CAGR of 11.2%. The optoelectronic devices segment of should grow from $670 million in 2015 to $3.3 billion by 2020, with a five-year CAGR of 37.2%.

In producing flexible devices, R2R technologies offer the advantages of continuous processing, higher productivity, process repeatability, and high levels of automation. Various deposition processes (both vacuum and non-vacuum based) have been adapted to R2R fabrication, allowing the creation of different types of thick and thin films with diverse materials (pure metals, alloys, oxide, non-oxides, and composite) and permitting to achieve optimal characteristics in the final product. In addition, R2R fabrication equipment can be easily enclosed to avoid contamination, thus limiting the need for expensive manufacturing facilities like those used to fabricate semiconductor devices.

The need to produce advanced devices on a large scale using fabrication methods that are environmentally friendly and energy efficient--yet yield high throughput, low cost, and high quality--is driving big growth in the printed electronics market. Devices based on additive processes— which include circuit devices, displays, solar cells, sensors, and others—are collectively named printed electronics.  Currently valued at about $9 billion, this market is projected to grow at a five-year CAGR exceeding 30%.

“Fabrication of printed electronics is gaining momentum as it involves fewer steps and is considered more environmentally friendly when compared with subtractive processes,” says BCC Research analyst Margareth Gagliardi. “In addition, it can make use of equipment from the paper printing industry, is easier to automate and control, requires lower capital investment, and allows for bringing new products to market more quickly compared to subtractive methods.”

Global Markets for Roll-to-Roll Technologies for Flexible Devices (SMC082B) examines R2R technologies for flexible devices, including various device types and fabrication processes, and identifies current and emerging devices fabricated using R2R technologies. Analyses of global market drivers and trends, with data from 2014, estimates for 2015, and projections of CAGRs through 2020 are provided.

Editors and reporters who wish to speak with the analyst should contact Steven Cumming at steven.cumming@bccresearch.com.

Global Markets for Roll-to-Roll Technologies for Flexible Devices( SMC082B )
Publish Date: Dec 2015    

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