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PE USA 2016 Will Emphasize Gains in Flexible and Printed Electronics

By David Savastano, Editor | October 19, 2016

Unilever, Coca-Cola, Google, Intel, Toyota, Porsche and other leading end users are among the presenters this year.

Flexible and printed electronics (PE) are drawing increasing attention from brand owners and consumers alike, and Printed Electronics USA 2016, organized by IDTechEx, is highlighting the opportunities ahead for commercialization.
PE USA 2016, which will be held Nov. 16-17 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, and its co-located shows have enjoyed continued growth in terms of attendees and exhibitors every year. IDTechEx CEO Raghu Das said 2016 is expected to follow this trend.
“As of Oct. 17, we are up more than 350 attendees versus this time last year – a month out from the event,” Das said. “We expect overall to far exceed 3,000 attendees. The exhibition has grown – not only in numbers but also in size of booth. We have found this year companies are taking a large stand and investing more in their booth.”
Das added that he anticipates more maturity in the applications presented and products shown in the exhibition, due to a greater focus on commercialization, which is happening on many fronts from flexible displays to in mold electronics to e textiles.
IDTechEx emphasizes end users at its annual conferences, with brand owners giving talks on their successes as well as their needs. PE USA 2016 has a wide range of brand owners on hand, with Coca Cola, Unilever, Google, Intel, Qualcomm, Boeing, Toyota, Porsche, Caterpiller and others on hand to share their insights. In addition, leading flexible and printed electronics manufacturers, materials equipment suppliers and researchers will also present their latest developments.
“We have a great line up of speakers, including large brands such as Unilever, Google, Coca Cola Company to many in the PE field covering new developments.,” said Das, “In particular, hot topics/sessions include structural electronics, 3D printed electronics, e-textiles, flexible displays and lighting, wearable electronics and energy independent vehicles.
“Overall, we have seen companies provide a greater focus on understanding specific end user needs and creating solutions for that, in mold electronics being a good example, where it can provide weight saving, cost saving and be more robust,” he observed.
One of the major advantages for attendees are the co-located programs, which being together growing fields that have some overlap. This year’s edition includes co-located conferences on 3D Printing, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage Innovations, Graphene, Internet of Things (IoT) Applications, Sensors, and Wearables.
Das noted that the co-located tracks are all relevant to printed electronics, because printed electronics is an enabling technology which can be used in different industries.
“By covering topics such as wearables, IoT, electric vehicles, sensors, energy storage and 3D printing, attendees can understood those value chains, problems in those industries and the innovation coming through,” he added. “As a result, the event provides a platform for companies in printed electronics to meet with interested parties from different industries.”
The wearables and automotive markets have been on a rapid growth trajectory, and IDTechEx will have new features for attendees to see the latest developments in these sectors.
“We have added an E-textile zone to showcase the latest progress with e-textiles/wearables,” Das noted. “In addition, many vehicles will be at the event to show attendees how these technologies are being applied to the automotive industry.”
Das said that the expansion of IDTechEx’s annual conferences in the US and Europe reflects the growing capabilities of flexible and printed electronics technologies. 
“Our event has evolved by covering end use applications and related technologies, be they flexible, organic, hybrid etc.,” Das noted. “This is in reflection of the growth in the printed electronics industry – it is an enabling platform and goes far beyond printing electronics but encompasses many new materials and ultimately end device form factors, which can enable strong differentiation in the products they are used in.”
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