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What is Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Process and How it Helps?

What is Roll-to-Roll manufacturing?

Roll-to-Roll manufacturing, in its simplest form, is the continuous process of unrolling a flexible substrate onto an assembly line and then depositing, cleaning, patterning, or otherwise modifying materials on that substrate. Throughout this process, the intended structures are built up one layer at a time. At the end of the process, the roll substrate has a finished product layered on it, at which point it may be re-rolled. Hence the "Roll-to-Roll" description. This is the same approach that is still in use today in the printing industry, which must print hundreds of thousands of papers every day as quickly, accurately, and efficiently as possible.

The Roll-to-Roll manufacturing method is used in many technology areas including batteries, flexible electronics, photovoltaics, fuel cells, multi-layer capacitors, sensor materials, fabrics, and paper products. By comparison, many solid state microbattery makers still use a variation on the more conventional method of "discrete" manufacturing. In this approach, the battery materials are applied to a rigid substrate such as ceramic and silicon, in either rectangular or circular format. This method is convenient for small batches, but it is inherently inefficient and not scalable for large production volumes, which leads to higher costs, lower throughput, and thicker form factors. Ensurge recognized the advantages that Roll-to-Roll would offer to the microbattery industry and adapted its state-of-the-art Roll-to-Roll production facility with a wide range of capabilities to manufacture its new solid-state Lithium microbattery. This is how Ensurge is uniquely positioned to offer all the advantages of Roll-to-Roll manufacturing to the microbattery market.

Why is Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Used?

Roll-to-Roll manufacturing offers many advantages over discrete manufacturing:

Massive-scale Efficiency: Each roll in the Ensurge process begins as several hundred meters of the stainless-steel substrate, which then rolls through all the deposition steps. This approach provides high speed, high efficiency, and minimal cycle time of continuous flow manufacturing. Those features in turn bring down both the capital costs and operating costs per battery unit.

Optimal Utilization of Ultrathin Stainless Steel: The Ensurge microbattery's stellar performance is made possible with the unique ultrathin stainless-steel substrate. This material offers several advantages over other potential substrates, including extremely high Volumetric Energy Density (VED) and capacities in the 1 mAh to 100 mAh range. Furthermore, the ultrathin stainless-steel substrate lends itself very well to Roll-to-Roll manufacturing, while many other microbattery substrates cannot be made with Roll-to-Roll methods. The Roll-to-Roll process makes handling of the ultrathin stainless steel much easier. This two-prong advantage - the cost-effectiveness of Roll-to-Roll, paired with the advantages of ultrathin stainless steel - means Ensurge microbatteries provide superior performance compared to other microbatteries.

Materials Utilization: Many of the chemical components of battery manufacturing are coming under increased scrutiny due to their environmental footprint, and as such, they must be used as judiciously as possible. Roll-to-Roll manufacturing is vastly more efficient in terms of materials application and utilization, compared to discrete sheet manufacturing. This reduces the Ensurge microbattery's environmental footprint, while minimizing material usage. That's a win/win for everyone.


Ensurge operates its proprietary Roll-to-Roll production line in its own production facility, using ISO 9001-certified manufacturing principles and methods. This approach allows Ensurge to provide microbatteries that offer excellent VED and 1-100 mAh capacities, at scale. Furthermore, Roll-to-Roll reliably delivers that microbattery performance more efficiently and achieves greater economies of scale than discrete manufacturing methods. These advantages enable a new generation of solid-state microbatteries with a major impact on the sizes, shapes, features, and performance of both current and future hearables, wearables, and IoT-connected sensors.

About Ensurge Micropower

Ensurge is Energizing Innovation™ with the first ultrathin, flexible, reliable, and fundamentally safe solid-state lithium microbattery for the 1-100 milliampere-hour (mAh) class of wearable devices, connected sensors, and beyond. The innovative Ensurge Microbattery enables energy-dense rechargeable products that are ideal for form-factor-constrained applications including hearables (hearing aids and wireless headphones), digital and health wearables, sports and fitness devices, and IoT sensor solutions that use energy harvesting to power everyday things. The company's state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, combines patented process technology and materials innovation with the scale of roll-to-roll production methods to bring the advantages of Ensurge technology to established and expanding markets.

What is Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Process and How it Helps?

12 Sep 2022

Learn how Ensurge Microbattery can energize innovation in your most challenging designs