first EWD production line

Performance of reflective color displays in Out Of Home applications

Last year, Etulipa announced the cooperation with their production-partner to start mass production of the display tiles based on the reflective Electro Wetting Display (EWD) technology.

The commercial introduction of EWD technology is now one step closer

After months of hard work we are proud of our accomplishments: Etulipa has started the first production line for reflective display tiles. The commercial introduction of Electro wetting display technology is now one step closer.

This video gives you a glimpse of the production line. You see various automated processing steps that prepare the substrates and superstrates and the making of the EWD tiles.

Substrates and superstrates

The substrates enter at the production line with a hydrophobic coating. The quality of this hydrophobic coating will determine the performance of the EWD tiles over the years in the field.

The superstrates enter at the production line with the electro-wetting cell walls on it. They also include a driver chip and flat foil cable.

Steps for surface tension

In the first processing steps, the surface tensions on the substrates and superstrates are stabilized to make sure that the droplets in the EWD tiles switch properly on and off.

Before the substrates are sealed on the substrates, an adhesive emulsion is deposited on the substrates.

Sealing the sub-and superstrate to an Electro Wetting tile

Then the sub- and superstrate enter the fill and seal unit. Inside this fill and seal unit an oil dispenser unit ads the colored oil. In the final step, the substrate, superstrate, and the electro wetting liquids are merged and the oil spreads out over the entire EWD tile into a uniform very thin layer.

Reflective Black&White and full-color display

Our first commercial application is a black/white character-based reflective display, called electronic Changeably Copyboard or eCCB. Therefore we use carbon black oil to ensure maximum contrast. On this same production line, we will also make color display tiles for future applications. In that case, we replace the black oil by Cyan, Magenta or Yellow. Then, the three tiles are vertically stacked into a CMY full-color tile. In the same way, it is also possible to make the character based display in other colors simply by changing the color of the oil.

First sales of Electro Wetting Display panels in the USA

After the EWD tiles have been assembled they are 100% tested, pixel for pixel. Then they are ready for panel assembly. Eight tiles are combined into one panel. Panels are much easier to handle than separate tiles. the use of panels as building blocks for screens correspond with the working methods used in the LED industry.

The eCCB’s are made of 5 rows, each row comprising of 3 panels. These character-based black&white displays are specially developed for outdoor use and for large viewing distances. Sales of the electronic Changeable Copy Boards will start in the USA.

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