LOPEC offers in-depth insights by further focusing on industries which currently play a crucial role in the world of printed electronics. Our focus topics are in the foreground, which are also taken into account in the supporting program. The LOPEC Forum will feature daily introductory lectures on Smart Living and Mobility, each of them followed by guided tours of the trade fair.
Smart Living: With this focus topic, LOPEC is demonstrating the enormous range of how products and applications of printed electronics will make our everyday lives easier, smarter and more environmentally friendly. For example in the form of fitness trackers, smart textiles, smart pharmaceutical packaging, adhesive solar films or smart dimmable windows
Within the broad field of medicine and clinics to health promotion to sports and leisure alone, printed electronics solutions open up completely new perspectives. With Printed Electronics it is easy to measure and monitor body functions: Ultra-flat and extremely flexible body sensors, which communicate wireless, enable a much broader and simpler collection of important data and parameters—whether to improve performance during sports or to monitor heartbeat and body temperature in hospitals.
Wearables, textiles with integrated sensors are increasingly being used, for example for a 24/7 monitoring of patients or as textile all-in-one solutions in sports. Supplemented by a sewn-in flexible display, wearables can also complement or even eliminate terminal devices for reading out data There are shirts with compact vibration motors integrated in the inner garment and placed along the spine. Some shirts have both a sensor and an actuator, meaning it is interactive in real time, guiding a person’s breathing.
Smart pharmaceutical packaging can be equipped with printed electronic labels. These, for example, wirelessly provide information about the individual ingredients of the drug, its shelf life or whether the cooling temperature has been reliably maintained. Other packaging connects via Bluetooth to the patient's smartphone to assist with regular tablet intake.
What are the benefits of printed electronics in the Smart Living segment? In just under one and a half minutes, the video uses concrete application examples to illustrate the enormous potential in this area.
Moreover, printed electronics opens up new perspectives in energy harvesting: Small, printed OPV cells to provide energy for autonomous smart devices, generated by daylight or room lighting.
On a larger scale, printed and transparent solar films (also called building integrated organic photovoltaics, or in short BIOPV), which in the building are glued between the exterior and interior windows, produce electricity; at the same time, they act as shading.
Self-dimming windows with electrochromic or liquid crystalline functional layers allow stepless switching from full incidence of light and maximum transparency to strong darkening and opacity.
And even floors and walls become “smart”: Large-area, ultra-flat pressure sensors in the floor, for example, make it possible to automatically establish the number of people in a room; wall sensors will determine the moisture content in the concrete.
Especially in the automotive and aviation industries, printed electronic components unlock a multitude of opportunities and possibilities.
From sensors in passenger seats to electrochromic windows to ultra-flat touch screens in the cockpit: Numerous applications of printed electronics and 3D structural electronics are used in the field of mobility or will soon be ready for series production.
For example, printed heating elements continue to gain with the growing importance of electric cars. Since electric motors produce significantly less waste heat to be used for heating than gasoline and diesel aggregates, printed, lightweight, super-flat heating elements ensure pleasant temperatures inside the vehicle, for example in seats and behind door and side panels.
Another application of printed electronics in the mobility sector are windows and mirrors that change their coloring stepless at the touch of a button or through automatic control. This is ensured by an electrochromic layer printed on the back of the mirror or between the two flat glass panes. Depending on the voltage, it changes its permeability.
Interior and exterior mirrors in the car can thus be dimmed automatically as soon as they are hit by glaring light from other vehicles. For the windows, the driver determines the desired degree of tinting at the touch of a button. There are also airplanes today where passengers can adjust the tinting of their windows from transparent to jet-black.
Printed electronics in the automotive and aviation industries
Printed electronics in cockpits enable flexible touchscreens. They can be integrated into curved surfaces giving complete freedom of design for vehicle interiors. The direct combination of design and electronic functionality through 3D-structural electronics or in-mold electronics facilitates particularly innovative human-machine-interfaces, at the same time reducing weight and the number of components required.
In other respects, too, restrictions in design, functionality and feel are virtually a thing of the past. This allows, for example, mechanical switches to be replaced by tactile buttons with haptic feedback. This in turn enables exciting day-night designs as well as seamless surfaces with a high-quality look and feel.
Luminaires with organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs for short, will increasingly be seen on the outside of vehicles. In the future, they will be printed on film, making them highly flexible and easily adaptable to curved shapes.
Printed electronics allows mechanical switches to be replaced by tactile buttons with haptic feedback.
Luminaires with organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs for short, are seen on the outside of vehicles. They can be printed on film, making them highly flexible and easily adaptable to curved shapes.
Applying sustainable principles to production and products seems mandatory, when we consider the climate crises and its challenges it poses to us. In our daily lives we use a variety of products, often without thinking about what their production and consumption means for our climate and the environment. As the flexible, organic and printed electronics industry has moved to mass production, we are aware that we have the duty and responsibility to act towards a circular economy. Therefore at LOPEC we frame the production process and the technology also through the lens of sustainability.
PE Printing processes are very energy efficient compared to conventional production processes. As an additive process, printing consumes less material and reduces the amount of waste needing disposal or treatment. The materials used are often organic chemicals and non-hazardous to the environment, hence recycling is possible. On the product side, the use of printed electronics pays off, too. It saves material and reduces the weight of a product.
At LOPEC the flexible, organic and printed electronics industry presents its technology and applications which enable more sustainable products for Smart Living, Mobility and other markets. Visit LOPEC and see e.g. how PE can help to prevent food waste, lessens fuel consumption or generates cleanest electricity.