IDTechEx’s Senior Technology Analyst Dr. Richard Collins and Technology Analyst Dr. Iain Maeger presented four awards – Technical Development Materials; Technical Development Manufacturing; Best Product; and Best Booth.
A summary of the awards and winners are as follows:
Technical Development Materials Award - PARC and NASA Ames
This award was for the first demonstration of measurement of methane and identification of methane leaks using printed materials in a real-world setting.
PARC is developing a low-power, low-cost fugitive methane detection system based on arrays of printed modified carbon nanotube sensor elements that operate at ambient temperature and humidity. Each sensor element is customized with functionalization, coatings, or nanoparticles such that it responds differently to different gases.
Through customized machine learning techniques, the system can be trained for high sensitivity and selectivity for hydrocarbons, H2S, and other components of natural gas over interfering compounds, including NH3 and CO. The system is manufacturable at ultra-low cost, according to PARC.
During blind fugitive methane leak quantification tests at simulated natural gas well pads at METEC, Ft. Collins, CO, PARC was able to locate a majority of leaks to within 2 m2 and some to within 1 m2.
Technical Development Manufacturing Award - Thinfilm Electronics
Thinfilm Electronics received the award for setting up the first printed electronics factory of its kind at its U.S. headquarters in San Jose, CA.
The 22,000-square-foot fab is double the size of the development facility it replaced and is home to the world's first production R2R printed electronics line using stainless steel substrates. Replacing a sheet-fed line based on stainless steel substrates, the roll-to-roll line is designed for an annual capacity of up to 7 billion die.
Based on capital expenditures of less than $35 million, the equipment cost is multiple orders of magnitude below that of a contemporary silicon fab.
The project required the development of a complete line of capital equipment, including a combination of adapted roll-to-roll machinery from other industries and the co-design of certain modules for specific purposes.
"By combining the scalability, cost-effectiveness, and robustness of printed electronics with the flexibility of pre-integrated cloud-based software, Thinfilm is focused on NFC mobile marketing and supply chain solutions enabling the Internet of Everything for brands, retailers, and industrial users,” CEO Dr. Davor Sutija said.
Best Product Award - Quest Integrated
Quest Integrated won this award for the development of a structural health-monitoring fuse-like sensor using structural printing.
With the increased usage of modern structures, the industry is faced with even more demands to understand performance during usage and durability over time. This situation occurs on metallic, composite and ceramic structures where the presence of damages could affect their structural integrity. In many cases, highly stressed areas or "hot spots" occur on zones with limited access or no access at all.
These hot spots can be found on structural elements that transfer load from one sub-structure system into another. For example, in aircraft, hot spots are frequently found on structural interface members such as landing gear/wing, landing gear/fuselage, wing/fuselage, and engine pylon/fuselage among others. Current non-destructive inspection methods detect and monitor damage when a structure is undergoing routine maintenance. However, inspecting assembled structures is difficult and sometimes impossible due to hardware assembly and/or limited access.
In addition, conventional inspections of these spots may require time-consuming and expensive disassembly tasks. The printed sensor from Quest Integrated addresses these issues.
Best Booth – PPG
The judges said it was an attractive booth, nicely lit and space was used well. Three individual business units were represented on the booth and this was clearly communicated with effective descriptions.
The next IDTechEx Printed Electronics award ceremony will be held Berlin in Germany, on April 10-11, 2019.
The judges were Dr. Brian Worfolk of Philips 66; Thomas Morel of JCDecaux; Dr. Sandro Francesco Tedde of Siemens Healthcare; and Dr. Daniel Tordera of the Holst Centre.