LOPEC Talk: Web seminar as part of electronica virtual

In the current situation, digital exchange plays an increasingly important role. LOPEC, the leading Exhibition and most important Conference for printed electronics, offers a year-round networking platform for exhibitors and visitors with its web seminar series LOPEC Talk. With over 170 participants the latest issue successfully took place on November 11 on the occasion of electronica virtual. In the web seminar ‘Printed Electronics: Future Trends of Mobility’, experts presented new solutions and applications. In the following, you will find a summary of the presentations:

Printed Electronics: Future Trends of Mobility

In the digital Printed Electronics Forum by LOPEC & OE-A at electronica virtual, experts presented applications of flexible, organic, and printed electronics in the automotive industry. The main topics of the web seminar, moderated by Jan Krausmann (OE-A), included innovative human-machine interface (HMI) surfaces with integrated touch sensors and large-area, curved displays for the vehicle interior of tomorrow. New applications of printed electronics for the battery management in electric vehicles were also presented.

Innovative HMI surfaces with integrated sensors for the vehicle interior

Dr. Wolfgang Clemens (PolyIC GmbH & Co. KG) addressed the increasing importance of HMIs and touch sensors in the automotive sector. He says there is a trend towards surfaces in the vehicle interior, such as dashboards or side panels, being equipped with additional functions that are not visible at first glance. They light up by simple touch and can then be operated by the user.

“We see great development potential in vehicle interiors. We are talking about customized sensors and HMI solutions, from simple to complex and suitable for any application”
– Dr. Wolfgang Clemens (PolyIC GmbH & Co. KG)

The use of printed electronics enables the implementation of completely new design approaches and a seamless integration of functions into the interior and the decor. Clemens mentioned the model id3 from VW as a current example. It has virtually no mechanical switches and is almost exclusively equipped with touch screens and capacitive systems.

OLCD enables smart, curved surfaces throughout the automotive interior

Chuck Milligan (FlexEnable) outlined the future development of mobility in general and what it means for displays in the automotive sector. Milligan has no doubts: Fully autonomous vehicles and sustainable automobiles are not just a dream, they are unstoppable trends that will be realized in the future. In this context, Milligan sees a shift in the focus of car manufacturers: “Interior design and space utilization in the vehicle are outrunning vehicle design.” Accordingly, the demand for curved displays will increase significantly in the future. Milligan quotes a study conducted by Global Market Insights (March 2019) illustrating the influence of this development on the display market: While the global market for displays in the automotive sector was still at 15 billion US dollars in 2018, it is expected to double to 30 billion US dollars by 2025. And this despite the fact that vehicle sales are expected to merely increase by 25% over the same period. So how does this result in an increase of the displays market? The size, on the one hand, and the large number of displays per vehicle on the other hand, are determining factors for growth in the display market. Milligan stresses:

“One example are dashboards that are becoming large-area displays and control elements that have to be integrated accordingly. Printed electronics enables buttons, switches and other mechanics to become dispensable.”
– Chuck Milligan (FlexEnable)

Improved battery management enabled by printed electronics

In his presentation, Thierry Goniva (IEE) presented solutions for the battery management in electric vehicles. Battery cells are mounted in units (packs) and consequently require cell detection and monitoring. Thanks to printed electronics, thin, flexible, and customized applications are now available to be utilized for battery management, including voltage sensors, temperature sensors and battery heating foils. In comparison, other technologies cannot reach certain areas of the battery and can therefore not provide the desired data acquisition. In this context, Goniva stressed:

“Battery management is becoming increasingly important for electromobility. Printed electronics has substantial advantages for the customer compared to conventional electronics. In addition to easy integration into systems, these include design freedom, the possibility of integrating various functions and increased reliability.”
– Thierry Goniva (IEE)

Would you like to follow the Web Seminar in full length? We provide the recording on the website - come and watch it now!

Web seminar