LOPEC 2018, organized by the OE-A, will be hosting its 10th exhibition and conference for the printed electronics industry, from March 13-15 at Messe Munich, and today, much has changed.
The technology itself has evolved into more of a hybrid process, and markets such as sensors and wearables not even dreamed of back a decade ago are now showing the most promise. Dr. Klaus Hecker, the OE-A’s managing director, noted that LOPEC has grown substantially throughout its 10 years.
“LOPEC developed very nicely over the years, growing in space, number of exhibitors and attendees,” Dr. Hecker said. “We expect more than 2,500 attendees and 150+ exhibitors, with our exhibition space growing again, so we look very positive to the 10th edition of LOPEC.
“With additional industries such as sporting goods, food packaging, medical/pharmaceuticals as well as the ‘connected’ world and IoT showing more and more interest in integrating our products, we expect LOPEC to grow further,” he added.
Dr. Hecker pointed out that commercialization is making big progress with major brands integrating organic and printed electronics in their products.
“IKEA now has OLED lamps, several car manufacturers are integrating touch surfaces and OLED tail lights in cars, and major sporting goods brands are integrating printed heaters and electrodes in jackets and shirts,” Dr. Hecker said, noting a few examples. “And you can see these new products at LOPEC. We are seeing additional interest in home automation, IoT, and the medical industry.”
“This year the market for organic and printed electronics is expected to reach $35 billion, with OLED displays being the main driver, and flexible OLEDs will enable even more products,” he added. “Also, the OE-A members expect a substantial growth of their business. According to our last business climate survey, our members expect a growth of their business by 16% in 2018.”
Dr. Hecker said that LOPEC 2018 will have focus on the topics “Mobility” and “Wellbeing.” This addresses in particular automotive and transportation industries, as well as healthcare and sporting goods. The conference and the exhibition will show numerous products and developments in these fields.
Other highlights are the LOPEC innovation showcase with products for example from automotive, wearables, consumer electronics, and sporting goods, and the LOPEC Demo Line, where production steps of a printed electronics are shown live and attendees are invited to pick up a sample product of printed electronics. The OE-A booth will showcase a wealth of products, prototypes and demonstrators as part of the OE-A competition.
In terms of Mobility, printed electronics is already well established in the automotive industry.
“Printed electronics are, for example, used as sensors or dimming elements in lighting applications,” Dr. Hecker said. “Their importance is only set to increase, with printed electronics being incorporated into applications ranging from operating elements and ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) to ambient lighting.
“The automotive industry was one of the first large-scale industrial sectors to recognize and utilize the potential of printed electronics,” he added. “The technology has been used as standard for quite some time, for example in seats with printed sensors to register seat occupancy and heating elements to keep the passenger warm. Electrochromic mirror and glass roof elements change from light to dark, windows are frost-resistant and touch sensors facilitate passenger interaction while offering a seamless integration into dashboards. A greater scope for design, higher efficiency, or luminosity can be delivered with the application of OLEDs.”
As for Wellbeing, in addition to sectors such as the packaging industry, the consumer electronics industry and the mobility sector, the healthcare market is becoming increasingly important.
“From smart hospital shirts to interactive packaging for drugs, the medicine and pharmaceuticals industry is one of the main industry players injecting inspiration into the development of printed electronics,” Dr. Hecker observed. “Solutions centered around printed electronics are already providing an unprecedented level of adaptability when it comes to taking and monitoring vital signs within the medical sector, coming in forms such as discreet wristbands, strain gauges, and ultra-thin electrodes that are applied directly to the patient’s body.
“Functional t-shirts with built-in sensors that provide extensive monitoring features may already be in production, but the next step is the hospital shirt that makes it quick and easy to keep track of all vital parameters at all times and that can be used to regulate temperature automatically,” he added. “Drug manufacturers can make sure their products are taken in the correct doses and are therefore at their most effective by using multi-functional printed labels that remind patients among other things when to take their next pill. Certificates of authenticity printed onto packaging, and containing information about the origin, ingredients, and storage temperature profile if required, will improve safety standards in future and provide protection against counterfeit medicine.”
To cover these themes, attendees will see an excellent lineup of speakers at LOPEC 2018.
“I am very pleased that we have speakers from IKEA, SAP, Jaguar Land Rover, Continental, Merck, Anheuser-Busch, and Thinfilm at the conference showing how printed electronics is rolled out in the market,” Dr. Hecker said. “Top research results will be presented by Universities of Tokyo, Berkeley, and Dresden, just to name a few.”
The Plenary sessions feature a range of interesting speakers, including:
• Dr. Peter Fischer, COO, Thin Film Electronics – “Manufacturing Innovations to Scale Printed Electronics Enabling the Internet of Everything.”
• Dr. Heidi Fagerholm, head of advanced technologies, Merck KGaA – “350 Years of Innovation is Just the Beginning!”
• Prof. Dr. Karl Leo, professor, Technische Universität Dresden (IAPP) – “Novel Flexible Organic Devices for ‘Soft-Electronics’ Applications.”
• Francesca Rosella, chief creative director and co-founder, CuteCircuit – “CuteCircuit’s Pioneering Work, Transforming Wearable Technology into Fashion - 15 Years of Groundbreaking Fashion Innovation
• Johan Edvardsson, strategic dynamic marking program manager, IKEA of Sweden AB – “Enhancing Customer and IKEA Value through Printed Electronics.”
• Ashutosh Tomar, principal engineer (research), Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Research and Technology – “Applications of Printable and Organic Electronics in Automotive.”
• Prof. Dr. Takao Someya, professor, University of Tokyo – “Electronic Skins Connecting Cyberspace and Human.”
• Chuck Milligan, CEO, Flexenable – “Industrialization of Game-Changing OTFT-Based Flexible Displays and Sensors
The LOPEC Conference consists of three major sessions: Business, Technical and Scientific. The Business session will be held March 13, which the Technical and Scientific sessions will be held March 14-15.
The topics for the Technical Conference include smart and hybrid systems; flexible displays and lighting; touch, tactile and haptic feedback; wearables electronics; energy; Internet of Things; upscaling production and manufacturing processes; biomedical applications; functional materials; substrate and encapsulation; publicly funded projects; and lighting in mobility applications.
The Scientific Conference will discuss materials, devices, processes, thin-film analysis and characterization, and circuit design, simulations and systems.
For more information on LOPEC, visit www.lopec.com.