Printed Electronics Paves Way for Mobility and Smart Living

One of Europe’s biggest tech and media hubs Munich, will be bringing together leading players from application to research from all over the world to participate in LOPEC – short for Large-area, Organic and Printed Electronics Convention – the world’s leading international platform in the field of flexible and printed electronics.

LOPEC 2023 will open its doors at ICM – Internationales Congress Center München from 28 February to 2 March, 2023. The three-day conference and exhibition – jointly organized by Messe München GmbH and Organic and Printed Electronics Association (OE-A) – will feature top-flight research and a busy show floor. Over 150 exhibitors have confirmed participation, ready to showcase their latest products, services, and applications in the field of organic and printed electronics.

LOPEC 2023 printed Electronics

Emerging as one of the key technologies of the 21st century, printed electronics, and its advancing maturity, has made everyday lives easier, smarter, and more environmentally-friendly. From mobility and automotive to printing and packaging, from consumer electronics to healthcare, and from smart buildings to the Internet of Things (IoT), practically every industry relies on printed electronics.  Today, no mega trend can do without the cost-effective, ultra-thin, lightweight, robust, and flexible electronic components anymore, key features that distinguish organic and printed electronics from traditional semiconductor technologies.

General chair of LOPEC and owner, founder, and CEO of German consulting and technology company MSWtech Wolfgang Mildner says, “Printed electronics has proven how easily it can be integrated into three-dimensional objects and its readiness for series production.”

LOPEC 2023 printed Electronics

“At LOPEC, we can see an ever-growing range of applications for many different industries,” adds Mildner. US-based pioneer in ePaper technology E Ink Corporation has developed electronic shelf labeling for supermarkets that hardly uses any electricity and puts an end to constant reprints and exchange of paper labels by hand. The company is presently creating a stir with its smart surfaces where colourful car bodywork patterns can be changed at the touch of a button. German automaker BMW’s i Vision Dee (Digital Emotional Experience) is a colour-changing concept car that has adopted the technology to change the pattern and colour of its bodywork directly by human thought!

For the automotive industry, printed electronics adds functionality to interior surfaces of the central console, doors, steering wheel and more with complete design freedom. While German touch sensors and printed electronics specialist PolyIC and Finnish manufacturers of 3D structural electronics Tactotek will showcase 3D panels with integrated touch function, display, and illuminated elements, visitors to LOPEC 2023 can also look forward to innovations such as ultra-thin heating elements for e-cars, printed sensors for greater safety during autonomous driving, and many more for tomorrow’s mobility.

LOPEC 2023 printed Electronics

Besides Mobility, Smart Living is the other of the two focus topics in the 2023 edition. LOPEC will demonstrate how the huge range of products and applications of printed electronics, such as fitness trackers, smart textiles, smart pharmaceutical packaging, adhesive solar films, or steplessly dimmable windows, will create a smarter, sustainable tomorrow. Smart surfaces with printed sensors are also driving the Smart Living mega trend. German company Henkel, manufacturer of high-quality inks and coatings, will be showcasing inks that can be used to print sensors that detect water leaks in buildings, while its partner LAIIER has developed super-thin, self-adhesive printed sensors for building surfaces that detects even the slightest moisture under pipes and other installations and sends the status and data via its cloud platform for analytics and notifications. INKxperience kit is another innovative product from Henkel that allows engineers to use various sensor technologies to detect leaks and measure liquids in a container, showing the potential of printed electronics in sustainable building management.

In the building sector, printed electronics is a crucial tool for achieving the climate goals. German solar energy equipment supplier Heliatek will be displaying large-area organic solar films which can be easily attached to various surfaces and integrated into a solar system with their connectors. Another attraction is Epishine’s flexible ultra-thin indoor solar cells that replace batteries or prolong their lifetime in low-power applications. The Swedish company produces flexible printed organic solar cells.

With global spotlight on sustainability, LOPEC 2023 promises an even greater focus on green products and smart production. “Printed electronics makes green solutions possible and ensures more environmentally-friendly production methods,” says Mildner.

Inspiring ideas like a biosensor test kit that helps avoid spread of virus, a 3D-printed flying drone, a sensing glove, and smart skis that “feel” vibrations of a piste are some of the catches displayed at the OE-A booth at LOPEC 2023 of this year’s OE-A Competition. OE-A managing director Dr. Klaus Hecker says, “This year’s submissions are very much in line with the focus topics of LOPEC with great projects in the field of smart living and mobility.” The projects will be judged by an expert panel divided into three categories: Prototypes & New Products, Freestyle Demonstrator, and Publicly-funded Project Demonstrator.

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