Roos GmbH is exhibiting at InPrint 2015 and is a leading industrial printing company - we talked to Managing Director, Christian Roos about the company and the evolution of technology.
So Christian, please tell InPrint about Roos and the kind of business you are involved in?
For over 40 years we have committed to being a specialist screen printing company. Screen printing is one of the leading technologies with a lot of potential in the future which we can confirm with our years of experience. As screen printing is so well developed, the inks are quite incredible. Special and resistant screen printing inks as well as the diversity of printing materials characterize this printing technology.
How has your business changed over the years?
Back in 1975 we went with graphically-decorative screen printing products such as stickers, folders, nameplates, print finishes and housing and front panel lettering on the market. These products are still produced by us until today.
Over the years, we have been increasingly involved in the direction of the technical and functional screen printing. The demand for screen printed front panels has grown rapidly. Meanwhile, we have been producing in the range of input systems in addition to the front panels also switch films and shielding films and offer the complete package to a finished membrane keyboards for our customers.
Tell us more about membrane switch printing?
Membrane keyboards are used in a variety of sectors: from the operating unit of household appliances to highly sensitive medical technology to extremely resilient controls for production lines and machines. This is why the technical and design requirements for membrane keyboards are very high. As a manufacturer of customised flat input systems we always offer an optimal solution for our customers. Depending on customer requirements we can produce membrane keyboards with display windows, various types of embossing, with LED status indication and different types of mounting on an individual basis. Due to our high level of vertical integration we offer complete solutions from a single source. We manufacture and process all individual elements of membrane keyboards such as the front foil, printed electronic switches and the shielding foil in-house. Using screen and digital printing processes we also produce other industrial and graphic printed products. Amongst others we offer direct screen printing onto cases, front panels and moulded articles. Additionally we produce labels, signs as well as printed and programmed chip cards. We are specialised in print finishing for offset printed products and offer a wide range of effect lacquers and special inks.
Which trends and developments do you see in this market?
Membrane keyboards are increasingly being disrupted by the trend to use touch-technology. We are positive about this trend as we offer customised capacitive and resistive touchscreens. The advantages of touch systems are clear. They are more resistant to environmental impacts and can be fitted whilst using not a lot of space. We offer all common solutions – both as individual units as well as in combination with membrane keyboards.
Is SMART technology a part of your business?
Yes. In addition to all areas of daily life, the increase in smart touch technology has led us years into almost all branches of functional industry. New generations of machines are usually equipped with touch solutions. We have set ourselves the challenge and provide our customers with resistive and capacitive touch systems which have a considerable future in front of it as the world continues to change.
We are also seeing an increasing interest and development in the field of printed electronics. Here, screen printing is pioneering new applications in this field including: Printable conductive pastes and inks have driven the development of this production. The innovative inks and pastes adhere to a variety of materials. Electronic elements can be produced which not only save space, but are also lightweight, flexible and very pliable. We specialize in the production of flexible electronic circuits and sensors.
How are your products positioned to be able to respond to the requirements of the market/customers?
We aim to provide a full-service to our customers. We have the experience and know-how to produce both individual components such as front foils as well as integrated solutions such as membrane keyboards and touch systems. Our manufacture and processing technologies meet the highest qualitative requirements. We guarantee best quality for the manufactured products through our in-house quality control.
Which strategies do you pursue or which technologies/products did you introduce to be better able to meet market demands?
For example, we have already introduced capacitive and resistive touch systems as well as printed electronic sensors.
How do these work?
• Capacitive Touchscreens
The surface of capacitive touchscreens is made from specially coated glass. No pressure onto the surface is needed to operate the touch display. The electric field with uniform voltage is being built up over the corners of the touch surface. By touching the surface the electric field is altered. This way it can be calculated where the contact has been made.
• Resistive Touchscreens
The outer surface of resistive touchscreens is made from a coated, conducting foil. Behind it is a conducting glass or plastic panel. Both layers are separated by distance points. Pressure on the touchscreen contacts the conducting layers at this point. This creates an electric stimulus from which the coordinates of the contact position are calculated. Particularly in the industrial sector resistive touchscreens have a decisive advantage: they can be operated whilst wearing big gloves or a standard stylus without any problems.
• Printed electronic sensors
A variety of sensors for example for the medical, the automotive or other sectors can be manufactured by printing silver conductive pastes onto flexible foil material. Nowadays their use cannot be replaced because they save space, are light and flexible. The technology used for their production is industrial screen printing.
What do you believe the future will hold for industrial printing?
I believe there will be growth and an increase in demand for innovative and future-oriented solutions as this has increased greatly in the field of printed electronics as well as in the field of touch technology.
In order to cover the needs of our customers in terms of design, we have upgraded our machinery and can now provide front foils and stickers also in the digital printing process. In screen printing individualization and customisation is limited. In digital printing, however, the design of the front panels are unlimited, pretty much anything is possible.
By combining the two printing short runs can be implemented economically and design at the highest level so we see an increasing future for both screen as well as digital.
The future is very positive for industrial print companies willing to continue to evolve with the market to stay relevant and provide a service that meets the demands of a dynamic and exciting sector.
Roos GmbH exhibit at InPrint Hall A6 booth# C32