Ceres Holographics and Covestro have deepened their collaboration around the former company’s HoloFlekt films for automotive display solutions.
Ceres-finished HoloFlekt films are used in holographic optical element (HOE)-enabled display solutions across automotive and other markets such as aviation and public transport.
The joint work will focus on the customisation of Covestro’s Bayfol HX photopolymer together with the Ceres mastering and replication technology that enables production of the finished HoloFlekt functional films.
Installation and commissioning of Ceres’ roll-to-roll (R2R) replication technology 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 GBP2m (US$2.6bn) across a three-year period and with the aid of EU H2020 funding (GBP1.2m) the R2R replication technology embodies Ceres knowledge and experience of Covestro’s Bayfol HX photopolymer and Ceres accumulated 20-plus years work in digital hologram mastering and replication.
Ceres and Covestro have a history of collaboration, which has allowed Ceres to develop experience in Bayfol HX film. Bayfol HX film is a transparent thin film featuring a light-sensitive, self-developing photopolymer for the production of volume holograms for light-guiding applications.
This partnership has 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 replicas in large format HoloFlekt films, enabling OEMs and Tier 1s to implement custom Transparent Display and AR HUD solutions in next generation vehicles.
The future engineering collaboration will first focus on optimising 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 windscreen displays, including system geometries, brightness, uniformity, clarity and ease of integration.
“The 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,” said Ceres CEO, Andy Travers.
“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.”
For his part, Covestro head of Growth Ventures Specialty Films, Moritz Winterstein, added: “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.”