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No 19 | July 2017 |




LEDs are only a few nanometres

thin and can be characterised

as self-illuminating surfaced

light sources, which comprise orga-

nic semiconductors. They can be fully

printed with all the electronic com-

ponents including the batteries.

In comparison to electroluminescence,

OLEDs are 100-500 times brighter, but

only require a fraction of the energy.

Moreover, they are ultra-thin, flexible and

low-cost in their manufacture. Due to

the lower power consumption, lighting

elements can be operated with batteries

in an energy self-sufficient way for weeks

or months. The technology is sustainably

recyclable and can be easily disposed of

in line with statutory requirements.

In the future, packaging, displays, POS

materials, advertising materials, and even

bottle labels can be equipped with animated

pictures, logos and texts: a revolution for

product marketing! The lighting effect

can now even be activated contactless

without the usual sensors upon request.

The customer approaches the shelf and

the packaging lights up. An increase in

attention to the brand is the result. In the

“first moment of truth”, i.e. the moment of

selecting the product and deciding to pur-

chase, the product will likely be the winner.

The roadmap to a

bright future

In addition to illuminated surfaces, freely

printable shapes and elements that blink and

pulse or stage a brand in an impressively ani-

mated light choreography, it will be possible to

realise visions of a completely different dimen-

sion in the future. Thanks to the innovation “Hi

Light – printed OLEDs”, it will even be possible

to present videos on a paper-thin display,

mailing or cardboard packaging by means of a

printed black-and-white matrix in a few years’

time. It is “magic” on paper and cardboard that

has never been feasible but is now realisable.

The next step in development will even enable

the RGB matrix for colour videos, or colour

animated films on paper-thin media. This opens

a completely new world for trademark proprie-

tors and creative people, as the contents can

also be target-group-specifically interactively

loaded via, for instance, NFC, Bluetooth, or

WiFi by consumers or the manufacturer. This

is probably the greatest technical revolution

for the product marketing in decades.

Karl Knauer and INURU both bring along

their many respective years of experience and

wide technical expertise, which also involves

printed electronics in paper and packaging.

INURU has revolutionised the printing of

OLEDs in recent years and is now maturing

the industrial application in large produc-

tions step by step. Several patents have been

applied for regarding the manufacture of the

components, their processing for the produc-

tion of printed OLEDs and their application.

Both partners are now working exclusively

in the fields of packaging, POS, advertising

material, labels, ad specials and many more.

Karl Knauer started its involvement in

printed electronics almost 10 years ago. The

first illuminated packaging on the basis of

electroluminescence was presented by the

company as a prototype at interpack in Düs-

seldorf; in 2008, market maturity was reached

and probably the world’s first freely sellable

illuminated packaging could be offered for

sale worldwide for Bombay Sapphire from

Bacardi. More than 30 national, international

and global awards followed. For Bacardi

as the parent company, the illuminated

packaging “Bombay Sapphire” represents

the “best and most successful packaging

in the history of the brand” to this day.

Lighting up

the future of


with OLED

In cooperation with INURU GmbH from Berlin, the

packaging experts from the German company Karl Knauer

KG present probably the world’s first illuminated packaging

with printed, flexible OLEDs. The packaging is the next

logical step, as it is a further development of the

“HiLight – printed electronics” technology