AT THE opening of its new digital mastering and replication facility, Ceres Holographics and Covestro confirmed that the two companies have deepened their collaboration around Ceres’ HoloFlekt® films for automotive display solutions. Ceres-finished HoloFlekt films are used in breakthrough holographic optical element (HOE)-enabled display solutions across automotive and other markets such as aviation, and public transport. The joint works will focus on the customization of Covestro’s Bayfol® HX photopolymer together with the Ceres mastering and replication technology that enables production of the finished HoloFlekt functional films.
The statement coincides with the installation and commissioning of Ceres’ roll-to-roll (R2R) replication technology that allows for the first time a production demonstration of its manufacturing technology and production process to produce full size HoloFlekt films. The industrialised, full-scale replication technology was installed at a purpose-built 8,000-square foot facility in Livingston, Scotland. At a development cost of £2m over a three-year period, and with the aid of EU H2020 funding (£1.2m) the R2R replication technology embodies Ceres key knowledge, and expertise of Covestro’s Bayfol HX photopolymer, and Ceres accumulated 20+ years expertise in digital hologram mastering and replication.
Ceres and Covestro have a long history of collaboration, which has allowed Ceres to develop a unique expertise in the advanced Bayfol HX film. Bayfol HX film is a transparent thin film featuring a light-sensitive, self-developing photopolymer that is ideal for the production of highly efficient volume holograms for advanced light-guiding applications.
This partnership has already resulted in Ceres’ ability to develop core technology to produce a line of light guiding film solutions. Ceres’ end-to-end holographic system and HOE design capability allows the development of customer-specific holographic master designs that can then be re-produced as thousands of perfect replicas in large format HoloFlekt films, enabling OEMs and Tier Ones to implement custom Transparent Display and AR HUD solutions in next generation vehicles.
The future engineering collaboration will first focus on optimizing the Bayfol HX film, and the HoloFlekt mastering and replication equipment to define the boundaries and range of possibilities for Ceres’ Transparent Display solution. The two companies will jointly work on meeting OEM application readiness requirements with regard to windshield displays, including system geometries, brightness, uniformity, clarity, and ease of integration etc.
Andy Travers CEO of Ceres, said:
“The unique light-guiding photopolymer from Covestro is key to our ability to produce our finished HoloFlekt films for holographic based display solutions in volume that cost less and perform better than other alternatives. We are pleased to have access to the Covestro expertise to assist in the improvement of their film and the commercialisation of Ceres technology and expertise. Ceres digital printer and replication technology takes the application possibilities for Bayfol HX even further and we are excited at the commercial interest and engagement we have already seen by global leaders in the transportation sector.”
Moritz Winterstein, Head of Growth Ventures Specialty Films at Covestro, said:
“By extending our relationship with our long-term partner Ceres, we can further coordinate our resources in this area to drive forward display solutions that meet the performance, size and cost requirements of mobility applications. We believe this combination of expertise will be instrumental in the beginning of a new era in the transportation experience.”