LOPEC 2014 Offers Insights into State of Organic and Printed Electronics

The growth of the organic and printed electronics industry can be seen in many ways, and the expansion of the leading conferences is one clear way to judge. At a time when many trade shows are struggling to remain even, the printed electronics conferences are enjoying sizable growth.

One such example is LOPEC. Organized by the OE-A (Organic and Printed Electronics Association) and Messe Munich, LOPEC 2014, the 6th International Exhibition and Conference for the Organic and Printed Electronics Industry, will be held May 26-28, 2014 at Messe Munich in Munich, Germany. OEA leaders say that the show is already ahead of previous years.

“In terms of attendees: last year, more than 1,800 people visited LOPEC,” said Klaus Hecker, OE-A’s managing director. “We are expecting more than 2,000 attendees this year.”

LOPEC chairman Wolfgang Mildner, managing director of PolyIC GmbH & Co KG and vice chairman Europe for the OE-A Board, said that LOPEC is continuing to grow in size and number of exhibitors.

“Approximately 130 international companies will be represented with a booth,” Mildner added. “Additionally, there will be 190 presentations and posters from 28 countries. This is new record participation.”

Exhibition chair Thomas Kolbusch, vice president of Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH and a member of the OE-A Board, said that the variety of exhibitors demonstrates that organic and printed electronics has arrived in the marketplace.

“This is what initial applications in automotive, packaging, pharmaceuticals and consumer electronics indicate,” Kolbusch said. “LOPEC will be showing first products on their way to market entry. There will be OLED displays in TVs and smartphones as well as intelligent packaging and applications in the automotive area.

“For the first time at this year’s LOPEC, we are offering young, innovative companies the opportunity to exhibit their ideas on how to apply organic and printed electronics in the special Innovation Showcase area,” Kolbusch added.

LOPEC should have a strongmix of presenters, covering areassuch as new technologies, materials, processes and even 3D printing in conjunction with printed electronics.

“We have a high-quality program with an international mix of speakers,” Mildner said. “They were selected by an experienced conference advisory board to assure the presentations’ quality.

Mildner mentioned three talks of note:
• Khalil Rouhana, director of the General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology at the European Commission – “EU strategy for Organic Electronics & Photonics.”
• Hitoshi Abe, president of Japera, the Japan Advanced Printed Electronics Technology Research Association – “Japan’s Strategy for the Growth of Printed Electronics Technology and Business.”
• Frédéric Bonnefoy, product manager active glass as AGC Glass Europe – “Organic Photovoltaics in Building Applications: Glass Solutions for Zero Energy Buildings.”

“At the business, scientific and technical conferences, speakers will be presenting the state-of-the-art of organic and printed electronics,” Kolbusch said. “The program shows that many of them are specifically talking about applications and their way into the marketplace.”

As the field of organic and printed electronics expands, showing attendees the technology’s capabilities is critical. LOPEC will offer tours and manufacturing demonstrations. The OE-A noted that the LOPEC Forum will feature 30-minute introductory lectures with basic information about everything related to printed electronics.

“For the first time, there will be presentations and subsequent tours for visitors who are new to the topic,” Hecker said. “This enables first-time attendees to familiarize themselves with the show and the world of organic and printed electronics.”

OE-A officials also report that LOPEC 2014 will have a fully-functional Demonstration Line to create a battery tester. Fraunhofer ENAS (Baumann Printing Research) is coordinating the effort, which is based on an idea by TU Darmstadt (IDD Printing Science Technology), in conjunction with Messe München.

The companies participating in the line include adphos, Bosch Rexroth, Coatema, DuPont Microcircuit Materials, Fujifilm Dimatix, Heraeus Precious Metals, LCR Hallcrest, Novacentrix, Schoeller Technocell, Thieme and Xenon Corporation.

“A fully functional ‘battery-tester to go’ is the product produced live on-site on this year’s LOPEC demo line,” Kolbusch noted. “A collaboration of OE-A members, 11 international companies and two research institutes, are working on the project. Visitors can see the printing process right on-site, starting with the materials and components required, via the machines to the finished product, the battery-tester. The battery-tester is printed on paper and only as big as a credit card. As a consequence, it is thin, lightweight and flexible. This demonstrates the benefits of printed electronics.”

All in all, Mildner and Kolbusch say that LOPEC will offer attendees a clear picture of the state of the organic and printed electronics industry.

“LOPEC is the world’s largest showcase for organic and printed electronics,” Mildner said. “The conference provides visitors with an up-to-date overview of markets and technology. LOPEC is the international venue for the industry’s global players. Its goal is to present everyone who is attending with a clear and fair view on the state-of-the-art of organic and printed electronics.”

“What’s most important is the excellent feedback from major industry sectors such as automotive, packaging, pharmaceuticals and consumer electronics as well as white goods,” Kolbusch added. “We are looking forward to meeting them at LOPEC in May.”